Sep
28
2012
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<h1><a href="/blog/health-and-healing-highlights-bright-spots-of-hope">Health and Healing Highlights: Bright Spots of Hope</a></h1>

Each week, we’ll share interesting health and healing-related stories in the news. Following is a round up of articles about physical, emotional and spiritual health and healing that could be applied to health ministries.

AME Program Emphasizes Healthy Lifestyle
Within communities, churches often serve as an educational space, a refuge and renewal space. For the University of Florida, the African Methodist Episcopal Church is the launching pad for its Health-Smart Church Model Program. Currently in the implementation stage, the program is focused on ways to address obesity—and how to empower church leaders to establish supportive programs locally.

VA Clinic Lets the Sunshine In for Greater Healing

One of the most therapeutic aspects of the new VA outpatient clinic in Cape Coral, Florida, is its use of natural light. Designed around a “four-story glass curtain” the center’s physical structure compounds treatment and provides an added healing boost. How can you make more use of sunlight in your health ministry?

Kids Healing Kids: Healing Hearts, Make Kids Smile

For 20 years, Kids Healing Kids has used music to send messages of healing and support to hospital-bound children. Today’s technology makes it possible for the performers to reach ailing kids regardless of geography: songs are recorded and shared via the Internet. It’s not just the recipients or even the performing kids who feel empowered—adult volunteers have also been transformed by the experience. “Music can make them happy, and I heard that if you’re happy, it can make you live longer,” said 10-year-old George Isles. “I feel like it’s helping someone with every word you sing.”

Amen. 

Art for the Health of It

How inspiring! “Art by the disABLEd” exhibit at the Alliance for the Arts in Fort Myers, Florida, showcases work contributed by artists who suffer from a range of issues, including low vision, autism, mental illness, paralysis and multiple sclerosis. The artists aren’t necessarily trained. For Martha Scott, a recovered drug and alcohol addict who now suffers from macular degeneration, art is a way to learn. “we can get rid of things, like negative emotion. Painting also helps me with patience and with the idea that less is more.”

How can your congregation benefit from artistic expression?

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Terra Hoskins contributes to the NEHM and NEAC blog on a freelance basis. Drawing from her background in sales, communications and Internet marketing, she helps organizations create an online presence and use the Internet to expand business. Follow Terra on her blog: http://terrahoskins.com/ and on Twitter: @terrahoskins.

* Photo by fdtate.

Sep
20
2012
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<h1><a href="/blog/back-to-school-routine-brings-focus-on-health">Back to School Routine Brings Focus on Health </a></h1>

It’s that time again.

Kids are heading back to school; it is like a national wake-up call that shakes everyone back into a routine—regardless of stage of life. For health ministries, it is an opportunity to help congregations prepare and facilitate care.

Immunizations, annual vision and dental checkups.
Annual checkups, vision and dental screenings may be easy to remember this time of year, especially if children are straining to see the chalkboard or workloads increase for adults. But immunizations can slip through the cracks; many people do not remember when they had their last booster or tetanus shot.

Health ministries can assist by coordinating access to immunizations and helping parents with the process of gathering these records for schools.

Prevent illness.
Any time groups of people get together, there is a chance someone will get sick. Bacteria can stay active for up to two hours on surfaces, and when you think about the doorknobs alone that get touched in one day, it is surprising we are not ill more often.

Preventative measures are easy to teach: tips like washing your hands effectively, using your own supplies, getting enough sleep (at least eight hours), eating a healthy diet and taking vitamins, and daily activity. Together these practices preserve your immune system and protect you from catching that cold or flu going around.

Revisit healthy diet.
It is never too late to get back on track with eating habits: focusing on lean protein, whole grains, fruit, vegetables and healthy fats. Sometimes it is easier when your schedule is more defined.

Educating others to make healthier diet choices is critical, but perhaps an overlooked need is showing them how to plan and work healthy eating/cooking into busy schedules.

Get help/emotional support.
Everyone needs help now and then. It could be with homework; computer/technical, speaking or presentation skills; weight loss or fitness; stress management or empowerment; grief, emotional abuse, addictive behaviors or other forms of counseling.

Consider printing guides and other materials that consolidate various resources for your congregation. Perhaps inviting speakers for educational sessions and other partnerships would be useful at this time.

Make time to play—away from the computer. Get up and move!
The longer you sit, the more you put your body at risk for heart disease and numerous other health issues. A great deal of research has been published recently, along with tips for combating stagnation. Perhaps the most shocking revelation is that despite workouts, you’re still at risk—even if you do a 30-60 minute workout per day: uninterrupted sitting reduces life expectancy.

But you can dramatically reduce your risk by standing every hour. Walking to deliver something instead of emailing or calling. Take the stairs. Encourage outside play time and sports for kids. Find ways to keep your body moving all day. Set a timer to remind yourself to step away from your computer.

Let’s Move!
Sign up for the Let’s Move! campaign to receive free resources and updates for your health ministries programs. Download the Faith and Communities toolkit for free today and join others around the country in giving the gift of better health to each other.

 


 

Terra Hoskins contributes to the NEHM and NEAC blog on a freelance basis. Drawing from her background in sales, communications and Internet marketing, she helps organizations create an online presence and use the Internet to expand business. Follow Terra on her blog: http://terrahoskins.com/ and on Twitter: @terrahoskins.

* Photo by Damian Gadal

Sep
09
2012
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<h1><a href="/blog/health-and-healing-highlights-give-a-hand-make-a-difference">Health and Healing Highlights: Give a Hand, Make a Difference  </a></h1>

Each week, we’ll share interesting health and healing-related stories in the news. Following is a round up of articles about physical, emotional and spiritual health and healing that could be applied to health ministries.

Healing Hands for Arthritis

September 19 marks a national event to raise money and awareness about arthritis: Healing Hands for Arthritis; it’s an opportunity to explore how your health ministry can serve those affected in your congregation and community.

Supporting the Arthritis Foundation’s mission to prevent, control and cure arthritis, Massage Envy will give the foundation $10 for every one-hour massage or facial performed; its partner, Murad, will contribute 10 percent of products sold at Massage Envy to the foundation.

Massage is just one activity that provides relief from arthritis pain. The Arthritis Foundation has a number of events your health ministry may take part in, along with programs and ideas you can apply to your ministry.

Episcopal Disability Network

The Episcopal Disability Network helps congregations adhere to accessibility requirements and provides comprehensive resources for health ministries. The new website was launched just prior to this year’s General Convention; you’ll find a range of materials and suggestions there, including large print and braille versions of prayer books, hymnals, devotionals and books on tape.

Contact The Rev. Barbara Ramnaraine for information about the network. If you’d like to contribute information for the website, please contact Twila Smith.

FISH to Open Free Health Clinic

Monroe, Georgia-based Faith in Serving Humanity (FISH) is stepping in to fill the void left when its predecessor, Healing Angels Medical Clinic, was forced to close earlier this year. Providing care and access to treatment is a move many see critical as the costs of healthcare and state of the economy made it difficult for patients to afford treatment.

Patients receive free care, but in exchange they are asked to perform three hours of community service per each office visit. It’s an active partnership that serves the community in a well-rounded way.

How might this model work in your community?

With God All Things Are Possible, Even Weight Loss

A nurse, chef and priest...it sounds like the opening of a joke, but you’re more likely to applaud—rather than laugh—at the results achieved by these men from Episcopal Diocese of Central Florida. They brought the Bible into the weight loss process with Weight For GOD! Created for men, the program plays off of natural competitiveness, spirituality, sense of humor and tendency to “(mis)behave.” Six teams from local churches joined forces, learned a lot, had a great time and slimmed down: 30 men lost 650 pounds in 12 weeks!

Weight for GOD! wants to share this program with churches. Contact Fr. Rob Goodridge at fr.rob@stgabs.org to get the program off the ground in your community.

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Terra Hoskins contributes to the NEHM and NEAC blog on a freelance basis. Drawing from her background in sales, communications and Internet marketing, she helps organizations create an online presence and use the Internet to expand business. Follow Terra on her blog: http://terrahoskins.com/ and on Twitter: @terrahoskins.

* Photo by Liz Grace

Sep
02
2012
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Each week, we’ll share interesting health and healing-related stories in the news. Following is a round up of articles about physical, emotional and spiritual health and healing that could be applied to health ministries.

Get in Touch with What Heals Your Congregation

Photo by loswl: http-//www.flickr.com/photos/loswl/4999165922/

Physical contact and in-person interaction improves brain activity, heart health, blood pressure, motivation, serotonin levels and happiness—decreasing depression and anxiety. How can your congregation create healing opportunities in the church and out in the community? Consider visiting assisted living facilities, nursing homes, hospitals—or people homebound due to illnesses. Reach out and touch those who need help and compassion.

Using Writing to Aid the Healing Process

Four-time cancer survivor Pamela Post-Ferrante shares how the act writing and sharing stories helped her work through her illness. She now helps others, leading writing groups that foster support and introspection and help members unburden and find peace.

Activities that involve writing, creating and sharing stories seem prime for Sunday School and health ministries. How might this work in your congregation?

Churches in Tornado Recovery “for the Long Haul”

Local churches became refuges when a series of tornados hit Southern Indiana and Kentucky six months ago. Today many of these churches are the epicenters or aid and support—even helping the community rebuild. It is, for many, a poignant way to experience and demonstrate Christ’s love. Find out how congregations are drawing closer and working with the community to heal.

Creating the Right Environment for Health

Science is catching up to what the faith community already knows: prayer creates an environment for healing, especially when focused on the individual as a whole: mind, body and spirit.

 


 

Terra Hoskins contributes to the NEHM and NEAC blog on a freelance basis. Drawing from her background in sales, communications and Internet marketing, she helps organizations create an online presence and use the Internet to expand business. Follow Terra on her blog: http://terrahoskins.com/ and on Twitter: @terrahoskins.

*photo by loswl

Aug
27
2012