Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Anniversary is celebrated with a 300-day wellness challenge.

The Church of the Brethren Wellness Ministry has issued a 300-day wellness challenge as another way of celebrating the 300th anniversary of the Church of the Brethren, using Romans 12:1 as a theme scripture: "Therefore, I urge you...offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God--this is your spiritual act of worship."

The Wellness Ministry is a joint ministry of the Association of Brethren Caregivers, Brethren Benefit Trust, and the Church of the Brethren General Board, staffed by Mary Lou Garrison.

The "Anniversary Challenge" encourages Brethren to engage in exercise or other healthy activities on 300 days of the next year. The challenge was issued at the 2007 Annual Conference that ended July 4, and continues through next year’s anniversary Conference in Richmond, Va., on July 12-16, 2008.

"As part of our 300th Anniversary celebration, individuals and congregations are encouraged to take on the challenge to be fit for the journey as the Church of the Brethren," said Garrison on the challenge website. "Being well is a journey--of the body, mind, and soul. Each step takes us to new places of discovery about ourselves. As we exercise our freedom to make healthy choices in how we use our body, tend our soul, and enrich our mind, we draw closer to the Creator."

Those who attended the 2007 Conference and completed the "Passport to Wellness" activities received a "Fit for the Journey" t-shirt that featured a chart to mark off 300 days of participation. The same chart can be downloaded from Participants mark a square of the chart for each day they engage in a "good-for-you choice" of activity, then are invited to bring their completed chart to the Wellness Office exhibit at the 2008 Annual Conference.

"Keep in mind that the 300 days do not need to be consecutive and the more varied activities you mix in, the happier and healthier you’ll be!" said Garrison. "Post or hang your chart where you will see it and mark it daily, incorporating the challenge as part of your spiritual wellness and whole person development."

Brethren are invited to take the Anniversary Challenge as a personal goal, invite others to join in a supportive group, or use the challenge to promote healthy activities in a congregation or district. The website also offers sample wellness activities such as an annual physical, turning down dessert, eating a healthy snack, reading scripture, going on a family picnic, and taking a walk, among others. Also available is a bulletin insert about the Anniversary Challenge to help congregations promote the program.

Find the bulletin insert, the chart, and more information about the challenge at, where congregations and individuals also may register their activities and sign up to receive periodic notes of encouragement and a "mid-way check in."

Source: 7/19/2007 Newsline Extra

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