Faith and Health Partnerships Monthly

A resource toolkit for faith and community leaders

September 2, 2022

Welcome to the September edition of Faith and Health Partnerships Monthly. In this issue, we feature National Recovery Month, National Self-Care Awareness Month, and the spiritual practice of Sacred Service. 

We hope you find these resources and tips helpful. If you have questions or topic ideas for future issues, please reach out to us - we'd love to hear from you.

Thank you for your commitment to caring for those in your congregation and community!

Caring for Mind

September is Recovery Month

More than 15 percent of adults in the United States have struggled with a substance use disorder of some kind—that means you probably know someone in your congregation or community who has a substance use disorder or is in recovery.

During National Recovery Month – and beyond - your faith community can get involved by: 

Hosting Mental Health First Aid trainings to learn how to recognize the signs of someone experiencing mental distress and substance use disorder.

Coordinating trainings on how to administer naloxone, an FDA-approved opioid overdose-reversal drug.

Learning how to support those in recovery through these resources:

Publicizing support resources in your congregational newsletter website, and on your social media sites:

Providing the same welcoming and supportive environment your community would for anyone experiencing a medical and/or chronic condition.

Download flyer to share.

Download and share

Recovery Toolkit

See Advocate Aurora Health substance use treatment resources in Illinois.
See Advocate Aurora Health substance use treatment resources in Wisconsin.

National Recovery Month’s theme, Recovery is for Everyone: Every Person, Every Family, Every Community, reminds us that relationships and social networks play a large role in helping individuals engage or stay in the recovery process.

According to The Partnership Center: “Social support is one of the critical elements of treatment for substance use disorders. [This can include] taking time to listen…fostering a relationship…or sending notes of encouragement and hope, as one would for anyone struggling with a chronic condition.”

Caring for Body

September is Self-Care Awareness Month

National Self-Care Awareness Month reminds us that caring for ourselves is not selfish or self-centered – self-care is crucial to our overall health and wellbeing.

This is especially true for faith leaders. 

Stressors, like navigating a congregation through the pandemic, balancing a heavy workload, and responding to crises in the community, can cause a faith leader’s cup to run dry.

But by prioritizing self-care - getting enough sleep, eating a nutritious diet, exercising, saying ‘no’ without guilt, and setting healthy boundaries - faith leaders can recharge and have more energy to best serve members of their congregation and community.

Here are some self-care suggestions from Mental Health MinistriesClergy Self-Care Renewed flyer.

  • Join a clergy group to find support.
  • Exercise and eat a healthy diet.
  • Develop relationships for yourself, your spouse, and your family independent of the congregation.
  • Take Sabbath time.
  • Seek help to process post-traumatic stress syndrome symptoms and address addictions or other means of self-medication.

Download and share this self-care tips flyer:

for faith leaders

for members of your congregation

Our links to others can have powerful effects on our health. Whether with family, friends, neighbors, romantic partners, or others, social connections can influence our biology and well-being. You can get involved with others by taking a class, volunteering in your congregation, participating in neighborhood events, or joining a group focused on a favorite hobby.

Source: National Institutes of Health

Caring for Spirit

Sacred Service

The spiritual practice of sacred service involves doing something to benefit others, without expecting recognition or reward in return. 

You can practice sacred service by being aware of your surroundings, taking notice of those around you, listening during your conversation for needs within your community, and finding out how you can make a difference.

Tessa Pinkstaff, author of Spiritual Practices for You and Me, offers these suggestions:

  • Ask God [or your higher power] to reveal areas in your neighborhood or community that might be good places for acts of service.
  • As you prepare, approach the people you wish to serve with humility and listen to their ideas about what is needed.  
  • Avoid the temptation to be praised for your work. Let God’s pleasure be your greatest reward.

Ask yourself:

  • Where do you see God already at work in your neighborhood or community?
  • How might you join God in the works of service that are already happening?
  • Who is your neighbor? How might God expand your ideas about who you are willing to serve?

When we engage in spiritual practices, like sacred service, we engage with God’s presence, Pinkstaff writes. “Spiritual practices are merely tools that place us in the space where God resides, so we can listen to, learn from, and love our Creator.”

Download flyer to share.


The Advocate Aurora Local Services Guide allows you to find free and low-cost options for food, safe housing, child care, transportation and more.

Download and share this recovery resources toolkit with members of your congregation and community.

Download this flyer to learn how the Advocate Aurora Health LiveWell app and website can help you manage your health and wellness.

Who We Are

Advocate Aurora Health

Faith and Health Partnerships

We work side-by-side with faith communities to promote health equity by mobilizing the transforming power of social connectedness and spiritual wisdom.

Our core belief: Drawing on the wisdom of our religious traditions and the best social and public health science, we believe that positive, mutual relationships and the intentional practice of faith are at the heart of what creates equitable health and well-being for individuals, congregations and communities.

Learn more about our work in English and Spanish.

We blend the strengths of Advocate Aurora Health with the strengths of your congregation to improve the health of those in your community.

Faith and Health Partnerships Monthly aims to address health topics that are important to you, as well as share educational resources and ideas on ways you can make a difference in your community.

We invite you to reach out to us with your questions, ideas, and topic ideas for future issues.

Thank you!
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