2010 Faith and Health Summit
The North Carolina Council of Churches’ Partners in Health and Wholeness program held its 2010 Faith and Health Summit in March, drawing together nearly 250 participants to learn about integrating health practices and strategies within faith communities.
Keynote speaker Gary Gunderson, Senior V.P. of the Faith and Health Division at Methodist LeBonheur Healthcare in Memphis, challenged Summit participants to focus on the causes of life rather than on death and disease. Although statistics about illness and disease can prove useful when trying to allocate funds, identify human resources or develop treatment plans, the focus should be on continually seeking the health assets in communities.
The summit, which took place at First Baptist Church in downtown Raleigh, also featured a series of workshops where clergy and others learned how to identify mental health problems in congregants and make proper referrals; how to make more locally, nutritious foods available to people of faith; how to use a faith- and evidence-based approach to address health disparities; how to improve the overall health and safety of clergy and congregants; and the criteria for becoming a PHW Certified congregation.
See a complete list of Bronze-certified congregations here.
Also, with the signing of health care reform legislation into law on the very day that the Faith and Health Summit was held, the workshop on health care reform proved timely. Governor Beverly Perdue addressed the audience during lunch, speaking candidly about her personal commitment to health and her desire to work with the faith community to create healthy and whole congregants. She quoted III John:2 to help illustrate the spiritual relevance of maintaining a healthy lifestyle: “Beloved, I pray that all may go well with you and that you may be in good health, just as it is well with your soul.”
Special thanks to those who helped make this first of its kind event a success, especially to The Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina Foundation and Kate B. Reynolds Charitable Trust for funding.