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Growing wellbeing: Staying healthy in mind, body and spirit

WHEN WE talk about health we often only think of illness or disease.

But there are many aspects to wellness as discussed on the Queensland Synod’s new Thriving in your Life and Ministry website (an accompaniment to the Healthy Church website).

Compiled by Ann Warren, Queensland Synod Human Relations Adviser, and Rev Dr Robert Bos, Director of Pilgrim Learning Community, the Thriving website states that the, “Health of a congregation or agency is directly related to the mental, physical, emotional and spiritual health of its members”.

Ms Warren said there is a large amount of research that shows having faith in a higher being contributes to a person’s wellbeing.

“They don’t know why, but research shows that simply attending church on a regular basis will increase your life expectancy,” she said.

One study, an analysis of results from numerous studies, stated attending church weekly could add as much as seven years to your life expectancy or 14 years for African Americans.

Ms Warren said a person’s wellbeing was dependant on a number of factors including: a sense of meaning or purpose which creates a sense of control of their own life, having a moral code to live by, social support, and dietary and health practices.

Blue Care Director of Mission Rev Colleen Geyer said the concept of wellness is multidimensional.

“It’s about becoming aware of what it means to be well and then making choices in different parts of one’s life in order to be well,” she said.

Promoting wellness and wholeness for all people encapsulates an understanding of the uniqueness of God’s creation.

“The church, the community of faith, is an example of the body moving towards wholeness and reconciliation,” she said. “We have a responsibility to care for each others’ wellness.”

Lifeline Community Care Chaplain Rev Bob Harriman said wellbeing was more than just creating a good work-life balance.

“There is a shift occurring towards resilience, so that when the chaos of life is raging, people have the capacity and the networks to work through the chaos,” he said.

The Thriving website enables the Queensland Synod to be proactive when it comes to the wellbeing of its staff and members in their life and work.

This resource is one of the first of its kind in Australia with the Church leading the way in the area of wellbeing.

Visit the Thriving in your Life and Ministry website at thriving.ucaqld.com.au or go to the Synod website at http://www.ucaqld.com.au and click on Thriving in your Life and Ministry