Tonawanda HopeKeepers Mission

Tonawanda HopeKeepers is a Christian support group for people dealing with a chronic illness and/or pain.  The purpose of Tonawanda HopeKeepers is to be a group of people who share faith and hope with each other in order to meet the challenges that come from living with chronic illness or pain.

The group was formed in September 2014 and is facilitated by Chris Anspach.* and Sharon Raymond** at St. Christopher Parish in Tonawanda, NY.  Both are affiliated with founded by Lisa Copen.

Click [here] for the 2015-2016 schedule.

Tonawanda HopeKeepers Viewpoint on Faith

• We believe that God has revealed himself to humankind as a Trinity of Persons—The Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, one God in three persons.

We believe God the Father is the creator and the ruler of the universe. Believing that God is Father also means believing that each of us is God's son or daughter whom God creates, accepts and loves.  God has created us as lovable. God chooses to have a personal relationship with each person.

• Jesus Christ is the Son of God, God's saving Word become human.  Jesus lived a fully human life on earth and experienced the blessings and difficulties of life just as we do. Because of his special relationship with his Father, he lived a sinless human life, but not a life without suffering.  In his life on earth and his death on the cross, Jesus showed us how great God's love is for us and how far God's love and mercy extend (Heb. 2:14ff.). Jesus' resurrection from the dead shows us God's power over sin and death. Jesus ascended to heaven where he intercedes on our behalf (Hebrews 4:14 ff.).

• The Holy Spirit is equal with the Father and the Son of God. The Spirit is present in the world to make people aware of their need of Jesus Christ. The Spirit also lives in every Christian (Rom. 5:5). The Holy Spirit provides the Christian with power for living, understanding of spiritual truth, and guidance in doing what is right. The Christian seeks to be transformed by the Holy Spirit each day.

• The basis for our belief is Scripture and the Tradition passed on to us by all who have believed in the Triune God. The Scripture is God's word to all people. Written by human authors under the supernatural guidance of the Holy Spirit, the Scriptures are an important source of truth for Christian beliefs and living. 

* Chris Anspach has lived with Multiple Sclerosis for 26 years. Chris has a BS in Management and is a former Medical Office Manager. A Spiritual Director from St. Joseph Spirituality Center, Chris is also an Associate of the Sisters of St. Francis of the Neumann Communities for many years, a Bible Study leader, and an Advocate for persons with disabilities at St. Christopher's Parish, Tonawanda, NY. 

**Sharon Raymond has lived with Devics Disease -Neuromuelitis Optica for 13 years. Sharon has her Associates Degree in Applied Science, and is a Certified Medical Assistant.  She has also been a medical office manager.