Body and soul
Sometimes it takes a nudge from above to treat your body right
In today’s health climate of rising stress and obesity rates, there’s a new movement throughout Sacramento Christian churches to help everyone become and stay healthy in body and spirit. The connection between spiritual and physical health is a common theme in the Bible, with prayers and stories of physical healing linked to faith and instructions to care for the physical body. Perhaps the most famous verse is 1 Corinthians 6:19-20: “Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? … Therefore honor God with your body.”
One way of approaching this connected body and spirit movement is through the activities of Holy Health and Wellness, a joint venture between Sacramento’s PraiseWorks Inc. and Serenity Enterprises. To kick-start their programs, they recently held a spring event at the Oak Park Community Center, complete with guest speakers; fitness and exercise demonstrations; workshops on exercise, pain management, Christian meditation and nutrition; and a vegetarian lunch.
But the health help doesn’t stop with a one-day event. The Holy Health and Wellness program hopes to “spread the health” by expanding services currently housed at Valley Hi Covenant Church to more area churches and by eventually opening a dedicated center. The cooperative program, founded by Serenity Enterprises’ Rhonda Jones and Lynnis Woods-Mullins of PraiseWorks Inc., offers health-and-fitness services that emphasize the connection of mind, body and spirit from a Christian perspective.
“We will be providing a variety of exercise classes, nutritional counseling, boot camps and weight-loss challenges, weekly meditation groups, bodywork services, life coaching and more at the lowest fees possible,” says Woods-Mullins. She added that currently, all classes are “by donation only.”
Jones and Woods-Mullin bring their efforts to join the ranks of other Sacramento churches offering services to heal the body.
For instance, Creekside Church in Rocklin has aerobic classes on Saturday mornings. The Abundant Life Fellowship in Roseville runs Lord’s Gym locations in Roseville and south Sacramento, offering weight and cardiovascular training plus classes such as kickboxing, hip-hop and break dancing for young people. The Fremont Presbyterian Church in Sacramento offers a sports-recreation program that is open to the public.
On her Web site devoted to Christian meditation, Jones discusses the importance of honoring God with your body and spirit. She links problems of stress and obesity to mental states of doubt, worry, anxiety and other “faces of fear,” and states that living in fear is the opposite of living in faith.
Such problems cannot be fixed through another diet plan, or any other plethora of promises sold in the world’s marketplace, Jones says, citing Romans 12:2: “Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.”
In other words, a New Year’s resolution to go to the gym isn’t going to create permanent freedom from health problems. Such freedom requires a total transformation of the spirit and the body through faith.
Programs like Holy Health and Wellness seek to facilitate this transformation by drawing on biblical themes of health, such as 3 John 1:2: “I wish above all things that you may prosper and be in good health, even as your soul prospers.”