Movers and shakers

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Churches aiding Michelle Obama's campaign against childhood obesity; an interview with Dr. Scott Morris.


First Lady Michelle Obama is leading "Let's Move," a national effort to combat childhood obesity.  The United Methodist Reporter tells how churches are aiding the cause. 

Among other faith-based efforts, the Amazing Pace program in the Mississippi Conference is making an impact. 

Lee Burdine, a member of First UMC in Columbus, Miss., witnessed that dynamic with the annual conference’s Amazing Pace program, in which clergy and other staffers are challenged to track their activity levels using pedometers.

Even though the program targets adults, Mr. Burdine is seeing a positive trickle-down effect as kids in congregations adopt healthier habits, too.

“Clergy are natural leaders in their communities,” he said. “Once participants become more aware of their activity levels, they become more active. They start sleeping better, their energy levels go up, they look healthier and that leads to a conversation with members of the congregation.”


This sounds like a good example of a way that pastors' positive changes in their own health behaviors can reverberate in the community.

In a related story, Scott Morris is a physician and United Methodist pastor.  He directs the Church Health Center in Memphis, TN, part of a constellation of faith-based institutions that confront the challenges of health care access and continuity of care in the Memphis metro area.  Morris has written a new book, Health Care You Can Live With.  The UM Reporter has an interview with the author

Shalom y'all,




John James, M.A.

Research Analyst

Clergy Health Initiative

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