By Bishop L. Jonathan Holston
“But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” Acts 1:8
Abundant Health is one of our current areas of focus in the United Methodist Church. The goal is to improve health and wholeness for all people through church and community involvement. This initiative provides a vision and aligns the efforts of United Methodists at every level of the church all around the world. We are a connectional church, and working together with a shared purpose creates an exponential impact in the name of Jesus Christ.
South Carolina United Methodists are already participating in the Abundant Health Initiative through our work with the FAN (Faith, Activity, Nutrition) Program, and we have an additional opportunity before us to join the Hulapalooza Challenge.
FAN teaches about the importance of good nutrition and physical activity. The Hulapalooza Challenge will help us embrace becoming more active in a way that connects us with people around the world.
Hula hooping is a fun way to get active, and it is a favorite pastime for people all over the world. Any time you pick up a hula hoop in South Carolina, you have an instant connection with a child in Guatemala or a teenager in Europe. Throughout global history, children have been fascinated by the endless ways to have fun made possible by constructing a round hoop.
Now I challenge you to gather a group from your church or community and get moving. This might be your Sunday school class, youth group, children’s choir, knitting group or any group of people. Whether you are hula hooping or doing any other physical activity, record a video and share it on social media with the hashtag #GetMovingUMCSC.
The cabinet and I have met the Hulapalooza Challenge, and now it is your turn! Our video is posted at www.umcsc.org/home/hulapalooza/. You have permission to be creative. Getting healthier can be fun!
If your church hasn’t yet decided to participate in the FAN program, there are community health advisors ready and available for training and resources to help your church achieve goals to promote healthier minds, bodies and spirits. Jessica Stucker, FAN Project Coordinator, can be contacted by email (firstname.lastname@example.org) or phone (803-576-5992) if your church is ready to get involved.
Acts 1:8 reminds us of the importance of our witness. We are witnessing to Jesus’s promise of abundant life as we work toward better health in our communities and beyond. We are working to improve the health in our own communities and around the world through the Hulapalooza Challenge.
Let’s commit to improving our health and wellbeing. Embrace the Hulapalooza Challenge, continue your efforts with FAN and invite others from the community to join you.