Partners in Health and Wholeness (PHW), an initiative of the North Carolina Council of Churches, is designed to bridge issues of faith, health, and justice. We partner with faith communities to provide the necessary tools for healthy, whole, and abundant living. Through these spotlights, we will be sharing an overview of the programs and initiatives of some of our partner congregations doing great work. For more information on how to join the Collaborative, visit healthandwholeness.org.
PITTSBORO, NC — Lynn Frost has been attending Brown’s Chapel United Methodist Church since she was a baby. Lynn is the health-lead for the Wellness Committee at Brown’s Chapel UMC. As a full time registered nurse and health coach to those with chronic health issues, Lynn understands firsthand the successes and challenges of leading a balanced, healthy lifestyle. She saw the connections between her work and her faith community and decided to take action: “With the work that I do, and talking to people that have chronic health diseases, I could see in my community that there a lot of people that could benefit from sharing health information. It’s a captive audience too, so it’s a good way to get the message out and be helpful in the community.”
The Wellness Committee at Brown’s Chapel UMC was formed around 2011. The team consists of two registered nurses, one physical therapist, and four volunteers. Brown’s Chapel UMC began their partnership with PHW in November 2017 after joining the Collaborative.
The main foci of the health ministry are encouraging healthy eating and physical activity. Lynn discussed one of their most popular programs they host every year called Eat the Rainbow: “Every week in the month of September we focus on a different color of the rainbow and we have different snacks of that color available. There was more participation this year, because different Sunday School groups signed-up for to provide the snacks for a particular color. In October, we have an Eat the Rainbow Luncheon with a variety of fruits and vegetables, a potato bar, and we simultaneously host our flu shot clinic. We have Walgreens come onsite to the fellowship hall to give flu shots to those who are interested. People have been really excited about it.”
Along with physical well-being, the Wellness Committee has highlighted the importance of mental health through offering a free mental health first aid training. “In light of recent tragedies in schools across the country, we as a community really need to be on the lookout for ways we can better support people. We also need to be aware of resources that are available so they can find the help they need.” Along with mental health awareness, the ministry emphasizes the importance of self-care through offering knitting and crocheting groups as a time for fellowship and stress relief.
Another program the Wellness Committee will be launching later this year is a Lyme disease and tick-borne illness support group. Chatham County has one of the highest rates of tick-borne diseases, and Lynn explained why this service is so important: “It’s hard to get a diagnosis, then there’s problems with insurance as well as many other challenges. There’s not any set treatment or protocol, so it can be hard on people. It definitely seems to be a real interest in our community, and I think it’s going to be a beneficial program to have in support of those people that are suffering.”
Please feel free to reach out to Lynn (firstname.lastname@example.org) if you are interested in partnering with the health ministry at Brown’s Chapel UMC or would like to know more about some of their programs. We are grateful that Brown’s Chapel UMC joined the Collaborative and are excited to continue our partnership. Thank you to Lynn and everyone at Brown’s Chapel UMC for exemplifying health and wholeness in your community!