About nine months ago Sharon Jones, Christian Counselor, gathered the pastors of Holy Trinity Episcopal, First Christian and First United Methodist Church. She had a vision to share with the pastors of these three downtown Melbourne churches in hopes that they would catch the vision with her, join forces and make a difference. She had been reading and learning about Parish Nursing programs that give room for churches to not only focus on people’s spiritual needs, but also their physical needs. Believing in a connection between the spirit, mind and body, the three pastors, jumped on board and a collaboration was begun.
The mission and vision of the Parish Health Coalition is promoting physical, mental and spiritual well being. The cooperative effort between Holy Trinity, First Christian and First United Methodist churches to addresses the health needs of our parishioners and surrounding community. It is their belief that optimal health involves a balance of physical, spiritual and emotional well-being. The group works to increase awareness of common medical conditions through church newsletters, speakers and health fairs.
Gathering people in their churches that also had a passion about health and wellness, the three pastors: Rev. Marc Vance, Associate Rector at Holy Trinity, Rev. Wiley Harris of First Christian and Rev. Melissa Delker at FUMC, began to form the program.
“We came up with a long list of health needs and sent out surveys to assess the most pressing issues of the communities within the three churches.” Melissa tells us. “We found that arthritis, blood pressure, cholesterol, diabetes, exercise & health, heart disease, and women’s issues, had the greatest need. From gathering this information, we began setting and will continue to set the activities for the year.”
An immediate service that started at the churches was a monthly blood pressure check. Keeping a log helps identify if something unusual is going on with someone’s heart and health.
This month is heart health awareness month. Newsletters feature tips and information. The group will also be offer a “Heart Health” seminar on Thursday, Feb 24 at 7:00 pm at Holy Trinity, 50 W. Strawbridge Ave.
Speakers Dr. Richard Baney and Dr. Michael Green, members of First United Methodist, will be sharing management and intervention. There will also be information on healthy eating and blood pressures will be taken. Join them for a great evening of learning.
In Matthew 9: 1-7 a paralytic was brought before Jesus on a mat. Jesus said, “Take heart, son; your sins are forgiven.” Then he told the man, “Get up, take your mat and go home.”
Jesus was about the mission of healing people spiritually, by offering forgiveness through faith in him. He was also of the business of healing physically as the paralytic was then given the ability to walk. Our health and faith are not separate parts of our lives, but interwoven with one another in an interdependent relationship.
If you would like information on upcoming events, copies of the newsletter information or would like to get involved in any way, please contact:
Rev. Melissa Delker at First United Methodist, (321) 723-6761
Rev. Marc Vance, Associate Rector and point person Lisa Slattery at Holy Trinity, (321) 723-5272
Rev. Wiley Harris and point person Mary Gulledge at First Christian, (321) 723-6831