Ash Wednesday, the beginning of Lent, is almost upon us. Let me call readers’ attention to Seasoning Lent -- an eight-week Lenten devotional that features daily healthy recipes.
Seasoning Lent invites us to contemplate cooking simple, healthy meals as a spiritual practice. Take a look.
John James, M.A.
Research Analyst, Clergy Health Initiative
Our friends at Church Health Reader recently published Part 2 of an interview with Duke Divinity Professor Randy L. Maddox, discussing John Wesley's views of health and medicine.
I'd like to return to a theme I've touched on before: that the local church is a great venue for health-promotion activities.
Below are a few resources for churches that are intentional about caring for the bodies of congregants and community members. All of these program templates have some basic principles in common:
The Staff-Parish Relations Committee is a pivotal thing in the life of a United Methodist pastor. PPRCs / SPRCs can be a source of real support to a pastor. Or things can go off the rails at that point. The committee can be a stress reliever or a stress producer.
Pastor, what does your congregation do to demonstrate care for the physical health of your members? Are your church buildings designated tobacco-free? Are low-fat foods or unsweetened beverages even an option at church fellowship events? Have you ever preached or taught on The Body as a Temple?
Last week, Faith & Leadership published an article by Mark Miller-McLemore about clergy sabbaticals. The writer identifies a number of downsides for the congregation and staff who must hold down the fort while the senior pastor is away. The purpose of the article is not to urge against sabbaticals, but to point out some pitfalls that should be kept in mind when a pastor plans for a sabbatical.
The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) designates the first full week of October as Mental Illness Awareness Week, and the Tuesday of that week as the National Day of Prayer for Mental Illness Recovery and Understanding. The date this year is Tuesday, October 5. (pdf)
The North Carolina Council of Churches publishes Acts of Faith, a series of lectionary-based worship aids focusing on themes of social justice in North Carolina. The guide for September 19 (Proper 20) is titled “A Balm in Gilead”: Mental Health Care and The Church.