Summer 2018 Health Ministry Connections

How to Use This Issue in Your Congregation

Mindfulness, Christian tradition, and health care—three threads intertwine for fuller, balanced lives open to the presence of God in both ordinary moments and larger experiences. In many congregations, this combination may be unfamiliar, and this issue of Church Health Reader helps bring the experiences together for improved health.

How can you use this issue in your health ministry?

  • Provide copies of a key article to a small group, such as a health ministry team, leadership team, or home Bible study group, and facilitate a conversation about how the article’s ideas could help people in your congregation or community move toward better health. (See provided suggestions.)
  • Using suggestions in “Sanctuary, Silence, and Service” (page 36), plan a one-time contemplative worship service. Then invite feedback about how the experience helped members of your faith community find inner space to welcome God’s presence.
  • Post or distribute copies of “Getting Started with Mindfulness” (page 23) as a way to help people see that simple practices that take only a few minutes and fit into daily routines can bring health benefits to body and spirit.

Mindfulness in the Christian Tradition (page 16)

  • The author says that something similar to mindfulness has been around in the Christian tradition since the beginning. Thinking about major parts of the Bible and what you know of church history, how do you see this to be true?
  • The article highlights three main examples from the Gospels of “waking up,” becoming more fully aware, and getting ready for the moment when God arrives. How might simple practices of mindfulness help us in these faithful practices?
  • Share other examples or stories from the Bible that show mindfulness or meditation bringing healing into our relationship with God and others.

Take Every Thought Captive (page 20)

  • A vicious cycle of stress and distress leads to greater symptoms of depression and anxiety. How widely do you see the issue of depression and anxiety in your own circles and experience?
  • The author of this article describes the harm of ruminating on negative thoughts that are not founded in fact. How does mindfulness help interrupt the “script” of non-truths with truth?
  • In what ways can mindfulness be both a beneficial psychological and spiritual practice?

 

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