Ten Western PA United Methodists engaged in health ministries are in Houston, Texas from Sept. 8-10 to learn about a new congregational health initiative called "Healthy Congregations, Healthy Communities."
The initiative is being launched in a joint effort by the denomination’s General Board of Global Ministries, the General Board of Pension and Health Benefits, and Wesley Theological Seminary. The summit is be hosted and co-sponsored by Houston Methodist and St. Paul’s United Methodist Church.
“I consider our opportunities in health ministry one of our expanding fields of mission, said Global Ministries top executive Thomas Kemper. “We ask God to give us the energy and wisdom for this work of healing and wholeness in the world.”
The health summit is designed to highlight congregational and annual conference work in health ministry, covering topics including community outreach, congregational health ministries, hospital-based community engagement, health and wholeness, academia, and spiritual healing ministries. The summit will also feature work across general agencies that supports healthy clergy, congregations, and communities.
Barb Lewis, chair of the WPAUMC Health as Wholeness (HAW) team arranged a display showcasing the various workshops and trainings the team offers as well as the information on the Conference website at wpaumc.org/healthaswholeness. She also highlighted the Erie UM Alliance's partnership providing health care for homeless people.
The Methodist heritage is rooted in a strong concern for health, which is reflected in the current United Methodist commitment to “abundant health for all” in communities throughout the world. John Wesley, the founder of Methodism, compiled the best available medical information of the day, which every Methodist preacher was expected to carry while making rounds. The Healthy Congregations, Healthy Communities summit extends that tradition in the 21st century, providing current information and guidance to improve health for U.S. United Methodist congregations to use in their own ministries.
Representatives from 29 annual conferences registered for the summit.
Representing WPAUMC are: