Summon in the Spirit

Recalling a bit of etymology may prove important as pastors move through Advent and into the celebration of the Incarnation.

There’s strong evidence that St. Mary’s of Bethlehem, an ancient hospital in London noted for its care of the mentally ill, is the source for the word bedlam, meaning chaos and cacophony. The account has it that the word Bethlehem underwent the process of contraction common in English until it became cockneyfied into bedlam. The name for the town where Jesus was born gradually decayed into a word synonymous with the cries of the mentally ill.

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

Regular Meals

"If anyone knows about regularity, it's monks." 

"If anyone knows about regularity, it's monks."  That's a quote from Phil Fox Rose (at Busted Halo), and I detected a double-entendre that he probably didn't intend.  Rose recently went on a monastic retreat, and among his epiphanies from that experience, he was struck by the value of having set daily meal times and limited menu choices.  (At his retreat, breakfast each morning was 1 hard-boiled egg, 2 slices of toast with orange marmalade.  Take it or leave it.)

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

A votre santé! (To your health!)

For many years, citizens of countries such as Greece, Italy, and Yugoslavia enjoyed excellent health. But recent studies indicate that health advantage is slipping away.

Could our diet be a symptom, rather than a cause, of our unhealthy and unbalanced lives? 

For many years, citizens of countries such as Greece, Italy, and Yugoslavia enjoyed excellent health relative to the rest of the world.  Public health researchers credited the "Mediterranean Diet," an assemblage of foods that features fruits, vegetables, fish and poultry, whole grains, and olive oil (and includes little red meat or processed food). 

A Prayer for Health

Prayer for good health is on the rise -- and with it, efforts to care for body and mind.

It seems that prayer for good health is on the rise.  New research, published in May in the journal Psychology of Religion and Spirituality, notes that in a comparison of two studies, 49 percent of respondents actively prayed for their own good health in 2007, up from 43 percent in 2002. 

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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

Take A Stand Against Fanny Fatigue

Most of us spend far more time sitting than our ancestors did. And sitting slows our metabolism and increases our risk for chronic health problems.

Some public health challenges are the result of a kind of time warp.  We've talked about this before on The Connection: Modern society changes so fast that in certain ways, the evolution of Homo sapiens lags behind. 

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!

Eating Better

For six weeks, Ellen Tarlin kept an online diary of her efforts to eat better.

For six weeks, Ellen Tarlin kept an online diary of her efforts to eat better.  Her final post went up on Valentine's Day.

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