Pray Healthy

This Pray Healthy page supports faith communities in promoting whole person (body, mind and spirit) health in a variety of ways.  Think of something we should add? Contact us and let us know!  We are pleased that several churches have already signed a covenant to declare their mission to promote health. Don’t see your church listed? Contact us!

Pray Healthy Communities

– click on the name to go to the webpage!

Appomattox Court House Presbyterian Church 159 Oakleigh Avenue, Appomattox

Calvary Baptist Church 20957 Timberlake Road, Lynchburg

Centenary United Methodist Church 1501 Rivermont Avenue, Lynchburg

Cross Road Baptist Church in Evington 191 Cross Roads Lane, Evington

Holy Cross Catholic Church 710 Clay Street, Downtown Lynchburg

Holy Name of Mary Catholic Church 1307 Oakwood St, Bedford

Holy Trinity Lutheran Church 1000 Langhorne Road, Lynchburg

West Lynchburg Baptist Church 3031 Memorial Avenue, Lynchburg




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 “ 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:

  1. Good health flourishes across geographic, demographic and social sectors.
  2. Being healthy and staying healthy is valued by our entire society.
  3. Individuals and families have the means and the opportunity to make choices that lead to healthy lifestyles.
  4. Business, government, individuals, and organizations work together to foster healthy communities and lifestyles.
  5. Everyone has access to affordable, quality health care.
  6. No one is excluded.
  7. Health care is efficient and equitable.
  8. The economy is less burdened by excessive and unwarranted health care spending.
  9. The health of the population guides public and private decision-making.
  10. Americans understand that we are all in this together.


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!

culture of health



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:

  1. Contact Ruth Syre, RN, Congregational Health Coordinator at Centra: This program provides guidance and support.
  2. Talk to folks from the Pray Healthy partner faith communities. Ask them what they are doing, how did they get started, how is it going?
  3. Look around at other programs/resources. Here are a few:

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.





“Let them give thanks to the Lord for his unfailing love and his wonderful deeds for mankind, for he satisfies the thirsty and fills the hungry with good thing.” Psalm 107:8-9 (NIV)

Resources around town:

Thanks to the generosity of the Centra Foundation, the following are available on a limited basis:

  • Let’s Move Faith Communities Tool Kit
  • My Plate samples
  • My Plate placemats
  • My Plate wallet cards

Health ministry programs may request these items from Ruth Syre at Documentation of proposed use, and report back after distribution is required.



my plate


The Spiritual Exercise of Blessing:

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




For additional support and resources, contact:


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