Rural Missouri Connection: Care Inside and Out
What is one thing you can do for the well-being of your church? What is one thing you can do for the well-being of your community? When you care inside, it becomes modeling for caring outside. A core part of Jesus’ identity was his healing ministries. Christians recognize continuing this care is important in showing God’s love to the world. Rural communities are in a position to identify and build upon existing resources and relationships that can promote opportunities around well-being and thriving communities.
Holistic efforts take into consideration the whole person: the health of the mind, body, and spirit. Whether it be your individual members, your entire congregation, or your broader community, everyone can benefit when we care inside and out.
Examples for health of the mind
- Dedicating one Sunday a year to talk about mental health resources in your community
- Supplying posters for suicide awareness/resources for local businesses and community buildings
- Watching the movie Inside Out and using our weekly study guide to discuss emotional well-being
Examples for health of the body
- Incorporating stretching and movement into sermons
- Hosting a healthy community potluck. Encourage recipes that use fresh produce, whole grains, or locally sourced items. (Great way to also support your local farmers!)
Examples for health of the spirit
- Inviting the community to participate in community service days
- Have a journaling club that meets once a month or post a monthly journaling topic on your bulletin board or marquee
If we want to see our individuals, congregations, and communities thriving, we can try framing our exploration or question with the end goal in mind. Use our words to create the worlds we want to see.
Example 1: Anywhere UMC wants our congregation to practice expressing emotions in healthy and constructive ways. We will have a discussion and ask questions, such as, When was a time in which we saw emotions being expressed in healthy ways? How can we use that example to prepare for future opportunities? What made that time appear to be “healthy”? What structures or resources might we need in place to help us be successful?
- Use the Rural Missouri Connection Community Resource Guide and video “how-to” to see what’s available in your community (found on the resources tab).
- Contact Sidney Everhart for more resources or a brainstorming session.
- Visit umcabundanthealth.org for more information on ministry with physical, spiritual, and mental well-being emphases.