Months of planning and networking for the Partners in Health and Wholeness Faith and Health Summit culminated in a day that birthed a community choir and an anthem that was specially written for PHW. Jill Crainshaw, Blackburn Professor of Worship and Liturgical Theology at Wake Forest University School of Divinity; Brad Wilson, President and Chief Executive Officer of Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina; and Gary Gunderson, Professor of Faith and Health of the Public at Wake Forest University School of Divinity and Vice President of Faith and Health Ministries at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center, all offered inspiring words. And everyone assembled learned about being good stewards of our bodies and practiced being good stewards of the earth.
The break-out sessions in the morning featured what is happening in NC related to faith and health. Participants left these workshops feeling revived and thrilled to move forward.
NCCC Executive Director George Reed opened lunch with remarks including the announcement that PHW Program Coordinator Willona Stallings was leaving to become the Affordable Care Act Project Specialist for Care Share Health Alliance. Willona was able to thank everyone for their commitment to faith and health and promised that her connection to that would not end.
Headed from lunch to the afternoon session, people disposed of their food waste into the compost bins. Davon Goodwin, a local farmer, had donated an elegant glass bottle of muscadine grape juice for every table. The empty bottles went into the recycle bin and the non-compostable cups into the trash. These simple acts from lunchtime generated three 96-gallon bins of compost that otherwise would have gone to a landfill and contributed to an unhealthy and unjust environment disproportionately affecting people in rural areas, of low income, and of color.
The afternoon was filled with zumba dance, additional break-out sessions, hands-on activities, and another time for worship.
It was a beautiful day, full of excitement, appreciation, and a chance to grow. Thank you to everyone who helped make this day happen. Even more, thank you to Willona Stallings who ended her five years with the Council at the height of a Summit.