"High-Touch" Health Reform

A new pilot program for health care coordination shares some features with Spirited Life and our Clergy Wellness Advocates.

Here is some local news with potential for a ripple effect across the U.S.:

North Carolina will become a healthcare reform test bed through a new public-private partnership that aims to see if a Medicaid management program that has saved more than $1 billion can also bring savings and efficiencies when applied to the private sector.

First Community Bank of Self-Esteem and Improved Health

A local church is a place to share fellowship, make connections, offer help, and (hardest of all for many of us) ask for help when needed. Could time banks help promote these sorts of vibrant congregations?

New term for the day: time banks.  Time banks are volunteer networks, typically established by non-profit groups.  They are becoming increasingly popular for health-care organizations but hold interesting potential for churches as well.  The term is fairly self-explanatory: Members of a time bank make deposits in the form of volunteer hours, and can make withdrawals when they need help from other community members.  Help can take many forms: household repairs, ass

Broadband Growing, Options Opening

There is a renewed initiative to increase broadband data access to rural areas of North Carolina.

Via N.C. Public Radio, we learn of a renewed initiative by the Microelectronics Center of North Carolina (MCNC) to increase broadband data access to rural areas of our state.

The Local Church as Immune System

Each of us contributes to it in our times of strength, and each of us benefits from it in times of need.

A 10-month-old with a compromised immune system recently contracted a life-threatening infection.  Doctors saved the boy's life by administering immunoglobulin, a concentrated dose of antibodies derived from the plasma from more than 1,000 blood donors. 

Church Systems Task Force Report on Clergy Health

All parts of the church have a duty and a stake in improving clergy health.

A few days ago, the United Methodist News Service published a story about clergy health.  The story is tied to a task force report that the UMC’s General Board of Pension and Health Benefits (GBPHB) and the General Board of Higher Education and Ministry (GBHEM) released in May.  To address the challenges pastors face to their hea

Community Gardens: Bringing Forth Fruit

The mission of Nourishing NC is to install or enhance community gardens throughout the state.

Our friends at Partners in Health and Wholeness (North Carolina Council of Churches) recently passed along an announcement of a new program, Nourishing NC, a joint venture between the North Carolina Recreation & Park Association and Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina.  The mission of Nourishing NC is to install or enhance community gardens throughout the state with the goal of starting gardens in all 100 counties by the end of 2013.  The initiative will be led by public parks, health, and extension depa

Care for clergy families in a time of transition

The blog SpouseConnect has caring and prayerful suggestions for United Methodist clergy families coping with a change in conference appointment.

Today let me highlight a web resource that is always on the sidebar of this blog, but is especially relevant for many United Methodist clergy families right now:

SpouseConnect is a blog launched by a group of clergy spouses in the Indiana Conference.  Recently SpouseConnect has offered a number of caring and prayerful suggestions for coping with a change in conference appointment. 

If you, a colleague, or a loved one is making a move this summer, keep this resource in mind.

Aiding Pastoral Transitions

The wife of a North Carolina Conference pastor shares her experiences with itinerancy, and resources she has gathered from around the United Methodist connection.

Tennyson may have noted that "In the Spring a young man's fancy lightly turns to thoughts of love..." But the United Methodist pastor's thoughts often turn to the possibility of a new appointment. 

Peer Groups: "Ministry as Community Property"

Pastors themselves report a high level of satisfaction with these groups. Moreover, there can be benefits to the congregation and in the clergy culture.

Robin Swift, Ed Moore, and the wellness advocates have just returned to Durham from Oak Island, N.C., the site of the last of our spring series of Spirited Life workshops.  Though putting on a road-show for the last three months has proven intense for our staff, we’re thrilled that the pastors have found these events to be the powerful introduction to Spirited Life that we hoped they’d be.  

One Step at a Time: Your Tips for a Healthier Church

Health isn’t something we can achieve solely on our own – it’s connected to the environment around us. What steps is your church taking to make your corner of the world a little healthier?

Health isn’t something we can achieve solely on our own – it’s connected to the environment around us. Having access to fresh foods (and being able to afford them!), being able to walk or jog safely without the risk of being hit by a speeding car -- these things all play into our overall sense of well-being.

There are definitely things that congregations can do to improve the health environment in and around the church. And we want to hear about them!