Congregations across the state are now taking part in the North Carolina Council of Churches’ Partners in Health and Wholeness (PHW) Certification Program, demonstrating that their bodies are God’s temple by eating healthier, being more physically active and reducing the impact of smoking on themselves and their neighbors. So far, 49 congregations have achieved Bronze Level Certification by each naming a health contact person, maintaining tobacco-free buildings and serving healthier church meals.
Five churches are the latest to receive this honor, setting a wonderful example for others in the faith community to follow: Holly Springs Baptist Church, Franklin; New Birth in Christ Holy Church, Hillsborough; Palmer Grove Baptist Church, Kingstown; St. Paul Baptist Church, Enfield; and Watauga Baptist Church, Franklin.
To learn more about the PHW Certification Program and how your congregation can get involved, please visit www.healthandwholeness.org.
In August, PHW held its first Clergy Breakfast on Health at St. James African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church in Goldsboro where Dr. Dwight Cannon serves as pastor. Twenty-five local pastors and public health professionals were in attendance to learn about health as a practice of faith, the state of health in Wayne County, and opportunities to improve the lives of clergy and congregants by participating in PHW and other faith-based health initiatives. The Rev. Joseph C. Brown, Sr., Presiding Elder of the A.M.E. Zion Dunn-Lillington District, was the keynote speaker. The Council will hold similar events across the state in the coming year.
In addition, PHW recently unveiled its new logo.The original PHW logo was modified in order to increase the visibility of the Jerusalem cross at the center. However, the concept behind the logo remains the same. It illustrates the mission of PHW – 1) to promote health as a faith issue (represented by the Jerusalem cross at the center of the logo); 2) to build key partnerships between existing health programs across the state and the Council’s 6,200 affiliated churches (represented by the four burgundy-colored hands surrounding the cross); and 3) to facilitate congregations to serve as health promotion centers in the community, helping people of faith to lead healthier, more fulfilling lives (represented by the sun – a symbol of happiness, life and spirituality – that is formed by connecting all of the hands together).