Our future PHW program is aimed toward achieving Gold Certification. As we uphold our Silver Certification we will continue to provide worship bulletin inserts on health. Also, healthy potluck lunches will be pursued and healthy snacks for children will be maintained. We have collected a set of recipes from our first healthy potluck luncheon for our planned healthy cookbook. More recipes will be added and a free healthy recipe pamphlet prepared for our congregation. We are continuing our devotional walks on the numerous hiking paths available at the homes of various church members.
Last week we participated in Alleghany County’s annual “Relay for Life” event at our local high school athletic field. We have scheduled two additional fund raising events before this year’s “Relay for Life” funding ends in August.
As for new ventures, we are hosting a five-week, one-hour nutrition class in our fellowship hall. This class is taught by a nutritionist and is open to the public. A weekly yoga class in our fellowship hall is scheduled for the fall-winter season. We have arranged for church members to receive a 15% discount at our excellent Wellness Center and a free blood pressure screening is planned for church attendees.
We have found the health education aspect of our PHW program a readily accepted step for our congregation. Stimulated by our Silver Certification and to grow the spiritual and wholeness component of our PHW program, we are planning a fall retreat at Laurel Ridge entitled “Momentum for Life”. The retreat components are the following: “Momentum Mass in Motion”, “Devotion to God”, “Readiness for Lifelong Learning”, “Investing in Key Relationships”, “Visioning for the Future” and “Eating and Exercise for Life”.
Our advice for others trying for PHW certification is patience. We recommend forming a committee to select the best avenues of certification for that particular congregation. We found that extensive explanations of the PHW program and the NC Council of Churches are crucial for initiating enthusiasm in a PHW program.
The success story above was submitted by James R. Norris, Jr., PHW Liaison at Sparta Presbyterian Church in Sparta, and under the leadership of Rev. Bruce J. Benton, Jr. If your congregation would like to put your faith into action by prioritizing the health of your members, please visit the PHW website at www.healthandwholeness.org.
-Willona Stallings, PHW Program Coordinator
Partners in Health and Wholeness is an initiative of the North Carolina Council of Churches. PHW aims to connect health as a faith issue. Please visit our website to sign your personal pledge to be healthier, and to find out about grant opportunities for places of worship in NC.