Religion and a Healthy Life

The index is based on a survey of 550,000 Americans that attempts to measure the components of “the good life.”

Not surprisingly the Gallup Organization finds a significant correlation between religious people and a healthy life:

Americans who say that religion is an important part of daily life and that they attend religious services weekly also report having much healthier habits than people who self-identify as moderately religious or nonreligious.

Read it all at Episcopal Cafe here.

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Want to Reduce Stress? Invite a Friend to Church!

“Only when one forms social networks in a congregation does religious service attendance lead to a higher level of life satisfaction.”

Here’s another good reason to invite a friend to church. The 2006 Faith Matters survey shows that people are happier (and less stressed) when they have close friends sitting in the pews. Read about it here.

The survey authors found that “Only when one forms social networks in a congregation does religious service attendance lead to a higher level of life satisfaction.”

So de-stress, lower your blood pressure and evangelize at the same time. Bring a friend to church.


How to Handle the Holidays-Women’s Retreat at Holy Comforter, Augusta

Using the Gifts of the Spirit to De-Stress the Holidays-Women’s Retreat at Holy Comforter, Augusta November 20, 9am-1pm.

Its that time of year again. As the holidays approach, stress levels increase as we try to prepare for that “perfect” Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Years. In reality, many people suffer from worsening depression, grief, or stress because things aren’t all that “perfect.”

Stress reduction is part of a congregational health ministry and the Deacons of the Augusta Convocation are offering a Women’s Retreat at Holy Comforter, Augusta on Saturday, November 20, 9 am to 1 pm, entitled “Using the Gifts of the Spirit to De-Stress the Holidays.”

Four speakers will present different sides of holiday preparation, designed to help you CALM your season!  Each meditation will be followed by discussion, activities, or a walk in a beautiful setting. Invite a guest and make your reservations by calling Emily at Holy Comforter, 706-210-1133 .

One excellent way to insure a blessed, peaceful and holy Advent.


Community Health Ministry at Christ Church, Augusta

Christ Church, Augusta working in partnership with physician assistant students at MCG to provide care to indigent and homeless patients.

Here’s an example of a health ministry that reaches out to the community. Christ Church Augusta has formed a partnership with physician assistant students at the Medical College of Georgia to provide health screenings and checkups to residents of the Harrisburg neighborhood where Christ Church is located, including the homeless.

This is a good example of a congregation-community partnership that provides a valuable service to the residents of the neighborhood where Christ Church is located. While every community doesn’t have access to PA students, nursing students or other health professionals in training can help others in a setting like this and get experience as well.

Read more about it here.


Health fair at St. James’, Quitman

Health Ministry in action-St. James’, Quitman holds health fair for Brooks County.

From this week’s issue of our Diocesan email newsletter, From the Field:

St. James’, Quitman
A Health Fair Day for Brooks County
For the second year in a row, St. James’ Church, Quitman, hosted a Health Fair Day. The October 16 event included screenings for vision, blood pressure, and blood sugar, as well as a check of the participants’ weight and body mass index. A free lunch was also provided by the church.

Plans are already underway for next year when it is hoped the health fair will be able to add to the screenings offered this year by giving free flu shots.


How to Start a Health Ministry

A simple guide to help you start a health ministry.

New post in the Congregational Health Ministries section on how to start a health ministry in your congregation. It has some ideas about how to go through the process of discerning what type of health ministry would be a good fit for your congregation and who to talk to for ideas and resources. Check out Starting a Health Ministry!


Defibrillators in Churches

How to start an AED program in your church

New page in our Congregational Health Ministries section, “Defibrillators in Churches.”

Check it out!


Why Health Ministries?

“Truly I tell you, just as you did it to one of the least of these who are members of my family, you did it to me.” (Matt. 25:40)

Lots of people ask, “why should my church get involved in a health ministry?” Let’s take a look at rural health, which is especially appropriate for our diocese as most of the counties that are a part of the diocese are rural.

Rural health is characterized by “leasts.” Rural communities tend to have a disproportionately high number of least healthy, least wealthy, living in the least healthy communities, with the least support services and resources.*

This combination of “leasts” gives us a tremendous opportunity for mission, to live out our commitment to the Gospel by helping our neighbors and members of our own congregations. The opportunity may be as simple as a volunteering in a local free clinic, starting a screening program at your parish for diseases such as high blood pressure, or helping a member of your parish navigate the complex maze of health-related issues that come with caring for an elderly parent or spouse.

There is no shortage of needs in our diocese. Over the next few weeks we will be posting information on the various pages of the site so you can see how healthy your community is and where the ministry opportunities are. If you’re already participating in a health ministry, let us know what you are doing and how its working.

The harvest is indeed plenty are the laborers regrettably are few. Time to get started!

(The Rev.) Bob Polglase, MD, JD

*David M. Young. Rural Health Ministry-An Emerging Community of Practice. Available from here