Pray Healthy is one way that individuals may incorporate health promoting behaviors into their lives. There are many ways to be healthy in body, mind and spirit.
Culture of health:
The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation is embarking on a venture to create a culture of health. From http://www.rwjf.org/en/about-rwjf/annual-reports/presidents-message-2014.html#: “ It calls for us, as a nation, to strive together to create a culture of health enabling all in our diverse society to lead healthy lives, now and for generations to come.” The components are:
We believe an American culture of health is one in which:
How can we, as members of faith communities in Central Virginia, contribute to building this culture of health? What are we doing well? Where can we do/be better? Health is more than physical. It is emotional and spiritual as well. We can make a difference!
Starting a health ministry:
While the Pray Healthy faith communities and many others have already embraced the concept that making the connection between faith and health, others may be wondering how to get started. Here are some suggestions and resources:
This is a video from Max Lucado, on behalf of a program in Florida. It is Christian, but the principles may be applicable in many faith traditions.
This resource is geared toward African-American churches. The practices are applicable for most faith community gatherings.
This is a multi-faceted program promoted at the state level.
Resources around town:
Thanks to the generosity of the Centra Foundation, the following are available on a limited basis:
Health ministry programs may request these items from Ruth Syre at firstname.lastname@example.org. Documentation of proposed use, and report back after distribution is required.
The Spiritual Exercise of Blessing:http://atheism.about.com/od/bibledictionaryonline/p/blessblessing.htm
What is a Blessing?
In the Bible, a blessing is depicted as a mark of God’s relationship with a person or nation. When a person or group is blessed, it is a sign of God’s grace upon them and perhaps even presence among them. To be blessed means that a person or people take part in God’s plans for the world and humanity.
Blessing as a Prayer:
Although it’s common to think about God blessing humans, it also occurs that humans offer blessing to God. This isn’t in order to wish God well, but instead as part of prayers in praise and adoration of God. As with God blessing humans, however, this also serves to help reconnect people with the divine.
Blessing as a Speech Act:
A blessing communicates information, for example about a person’s social or religious status, but more importantly it is a “speech act,” which means that it performs a function. When a minister says to a couple, “I now pronounce you man and wife,” he isn’t just communicating something, he is changing the social status of the individuals before him. Similarly, a blessing is a deed which requires an authoritative figure performing the deed and acceptance of this authority by those hearing it.
Blessing and Ritual:
An act of blessing links theology, liturgy, and ritual. Theology is involved because a blessing involves the intentions of God. Liturgy is involved because a blessing occurs in the context of liturgical readings. Ritual is involved because significant rituals occur when a “blessed” people remind themselves about their relationship with God, perhaps by reenacting events surrounding the blessing.
I pray that I never miss the opportunity to give.
I pray that I never miss the opportunity to help.
I pray that I never miss the opportunity to bless.
I pray that I never miss the opportunity to be positive and uplifting.
I pray that I never miss the opportunity to say kind words.
I pray that I am a blessing everywhere I am.
Christopher Ian Chenoweth