TO ENCOURAGE AND SUPPORT CAREGIVERS

THE HOPE INITIATIVE


The Hope Initiative is a five part course designed to encourage and support caregivers, the chronically or terminally ill, and anyone contemplating life and its meaning. The material is faith based, but will help people from all backgrounds prepare for the spiritual and emotional struggles they may face while confronting the deeper questions of life, particularly questions about death. 

The course is designed to run in hospitals, churches, or at home with a small group. Most recently, Suburban Hospital hosted a course at their Bethesda facility.

For more information email hello@htc.us

SESSION ONE

LOVE


In the first talk, we meet our host, Jamie Haith, who introduces the aims of the Hope Initiative and establishes the structure for the rest of the course. This session focuses on how love motivates and strengthens us and how it can be renewed. Love as a principle and primary drive in our lives is discussed through references, anecdotes and stories. As we attempt to combat negative thought patterns such as stress, worry, fear and depression this talk considers how love can stop these ‘giant’ enemies from dominating our lives.

SESSION TWO

HOPE


In this session, Jamie contemplates hope as the central theme of the whole initiative. He discusses the difference between wishful thinking and true hope, and points towards a hope that won’t disappoint. We consider how any hope that is stable through all the changes of life, past present and future, can offer a potent antidote to the fear that suffering often provokes. We also learn how true hope can grow and deepen even in the midst of our difficult circumstances.

SESSION THREE

JOY


In the third session, we consider how to combat fear and difficulty with joy and the strength it brings. Jamie considers a different kind of joy, one that exists beyond happiness and the happenings of life. We’re led to contemplate the existence of an eternal joy, and to explore how we might discover it in the here and now. We learn a bit about Jamie’s family, and how joy helped them navigate the difficulty and distress of chronic illness.

SESSION FOUR

PEACE


In the penultimate session, we look at the relationship between our understanding of a situation and the peace we have within it. Jamie suggests that true peace is found when relinquish our need to be in control and learn to trust. We consider how trust can powerfully counteract our anxiety in the midst of difficulties and pain, and how the resulting peace can comfort and sustain us, even in the most chaotic and complex of circumstances.

SESSION FIVE

FAITH


The final session considers how faith in eternity and a loving God can enable us to face even our worst fears with confidence. It discusses the importance of a relationship with God in all aspects of life, but especially when we are facing serious and end-of-life issues. Jamie encourages us to explore faith, and to step out and consider how living with faith in a life beyond this one can profoundly impact the life we live now.

THE HOPE INITIATIVE PRAYER


Heavenly Father, thank you that you are always good and loving.  May I have the faith to believe you are with me in every struggle, and the trust to accept that ultimately you are in control.  Please empower me with your unfailing love and grant me your wisdom, kindness and strength.  Instill a hope of heaven in me and those I love, that we would know you are always with us.

Amen.

A survey of The Hope Initiative was conducted at

the Johns Hopkins Medical Center


of the people who responded

said spiritual support is important for caregivers81%
found the course experience to be comforting77%
Said the talks provided spiritual encouragement 95%
would recommend The Hope Initiative to a friend95%
An Interview with Mona Hanford on the Hope Initiative, featured by Harvard University

Hope at the End of Life

Mona Hanford is an end-of-life-care activist, teacher and writer. She chaired the conference “Journey of the Soul–Peace at Last,” which was held at the Washington National Cathedral. In this interview, she explains her work with the Hope Initiative, a program designed to offer support to those facing end-of-life decisions. Mona currently serves on the board of the Collegeville Institute.

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