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Cabarrus Health Alliance to lead classes on healthy living at Hood Theological Seminary

“But I discipline my body and keep it under control, lest after preaching to others I myself should be disqualified.”

The Bible verse, 1 Corinthians 9:27, is one of many scriptures cited in Cabarrus Health Alliance’s nine-week Faithful Families Eating Smart and Moving More Series.

The series was developed to help individuals and families connect healthy eating and physical activity to their religious or spiritual beliefs. It will be offered free of charge at Hood Theological Seminary this February through May.

Faithful Families is available to Hood seminary students and alumni, community clergy members and leadership, and church volunteers interested in offering wellness-related activities to their congregations.

Jenn West, program manager at Cabarrus Health Alliance, said the faith partnership evolved from observed outcomes in congregations with healthy leadership. Church members were more likely to implement wellness lessons led by clergy members.

“When the pastors were doing those things, the program was more well received by the congregation,” said West.

West said the faith community is a great place for wellness activities like physical activity and nutrition and stress management. People gather regularly in places of worship and trust their church leaders, she said.

Cabarrus Health Alliance is offering programs to create what West calls “healthy places of worship.”

That means places that have healthy food policies, work to increase access to physical activity and encourage self-care, she said.

The food policies can include actions as simple as reorganizing food pantries so that those served are more likely to choose brown rice over white rice, she said.

Faithful Families classes will teach participants healthy meal ideas and simple ways to be physically active, all while addressing the connections among food, physical activity and faith.

The classes will be once weekly with two days and times available: 9:30 to 10:45 a.m. Thursdays and 8:45 to 10 a.m. Saturdays.

Cabarrus Health Alliance also will offer the following one-time ministry workshops, each from 8:45 to 10 a.m. with a light breakfast included.

• Feb. 3: Wellness Programs and Resources

The workshop will overview programs, activities and policies proven effective in a faith-based setting. Participants will receive resources to help start and support their efforts to create a culture of health within their places of worship. Sample topics include community gardens, diabetes prevention classes and healthy food pantry makeovers. To attend, reserve a spot by Tuesday.

• March 24: Train the Trainer Physical Activity Programs and Resources

The workshop overviews effective physical activity programs and local resources instrumental in improving congregational health and wellness. Participants will learn to integrate physical activity into their congregation through exercise classes as well as walking groups and challenges. Information about free and low-cost exercise resources will be provided. To attend, register by March 13.

• May 12: Train the Trainer Nutrition Demonstration

The workshop teaches four recipes that reduce inflammation associated with chronic diseases like diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure and arthritis. Recipes use foods that can improve mental clarity and mood. Participants work together in small groups to prepare one to two recipes, taste testing their creations and discussing opportunities to share with others.

Worship centers that offer at least one of the recommended programs to their congregation will be entered to win $100 toward wellness programming when they provide Health Alliance staff with photos and participant surveys.

To register for any of the classes or workshops, contact Jenn West at 704-920-1337 or jennifer.west@cabarrushealth.org. All classes and workshops will be held in Room 302 at Hood Theological Seminary, 1810 Lutheran Synod Drive.

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