BETTER HEALTH MINISTRY
The vision of the Better Health Task Force is to create a caring community of vitality, health, and wholeness. As Spiritual beings, our physical health affects our spiritual health and vice versa. Paul has termed our bodies as temples of the living God. We are therefore stewards, custodians, and managers of God’s property; ourselves, our bodies, minds and spirits. We would like to motivate the congregation to follow a healthy lifestyle reflecting our affirmation of life as God’s gift. While health has a different meaning for everyone, the Better Health Team looks to provide educational programs for creating healthy minds, bodies, and spirits, as well as emotional and social support. Proposed programs include classes on nutrition and health, incorporating healthy choices, walking clubs, yoga, supper clubs, information on mental health issues, caregiver support, spiritual direction and family fun night. A caring congregation that promotes the physical and spiritual health of each church member and out into our community; that’s Better Health at FUMC! We invite you to join our team!
Introducing CHATI (Connecting Hearts Across the Internet)
Nothing cuts through the pain of loneliness and lifts the spirit like a friendly visit or a warm embrace. But when in-person visits aren’t possible, at Fredericksburg United Methodist Church, we get CHATI!
CHATI uses refurbished or donated IPADS equipped with FACETIME to allow virtual visits with people who can no longer come to church. Those formerly homebound can now attend church services, Sunday School, participate in meetings, or visit with family and friends. Using the interactive feature of this technology, people feel transported into whatever place they are visiting.
The participants have said:
…. “It is like you are all here with me in my living room!” YES!
…. “You mean I can come back to Sunday School and see my friends and they can talk to me and I can hear the lesson?!?” YES!
…..”People can visit me while I’m in the hospital?” ABSOLUTELY!
….”Can this be brought into nursing homes?” YES!!
The program was introduced in a dramatic fashion when one of our members who was receiving extensive treatment in a hospital an hour away, was able to “attend” a church service. His image was projected onto the wall of the sanctuary. At first, everyone thought it was only a picture, until he started to speak! He was able to tell the congregation about his progress and how much the gift of a prayer shawl had helped him get through his treatments. He thanked them for their cards, visits, and prayers. And then, he could hear the prayers being offered especially for him. The brief “chat” was closed as he saw the congregation waving and wishing him well. What a special blessing!
The program allowed a grandmother who could not travel to the wedding to share an incredibly special moment with her granddaughter before she went down the aisle.
Each participant is provided with an IPAD that is set up for them with members or with groups that they would like to connect with. From there, it is one step to connection. If they want to have a visit with “X,” all they have to do is either tap ”X’s” name or “X’s” picture. That’s it! The participants must have WIFI access in order to be a part of the program. After the initial set-up, anyone with an Apple product, (iPhone, IPAD, or iPod) can visit with these members. (Our ability to use other tablets and platforms is under development.)
The potential of this ministry is only limited by our imagination and helps us to share our love with one another by bringing our brothers and sisters in Christ closer together. Those confined at home, whether temporarily or long-term, can now have their own visitation ministry and reach out through the internet! Having purpose and meaning enhances life and vitality. Personal connection tears down the walls of isolation and bridges the gap, giving participants a sense of community.
Loneliness and social isolation can have devastating health consequences and are becoming a national epidemic. Loneliness puts the body and spirit in a state of chronic stress and has the potential to compromise overall health, robs us of joy, and threatens general well-being. While nothing replaces human touch and actual face-to-face interaction, the next best thing is “virtual” face-to-face interaction! This program is not a replacement for an in-person visitation program, it is meant to enhance one.
While anyone can watch a church service on television any day of the week, the unique value of CHATI is having a personal connection with their home church family. Using this new enabling technology, time and distance constraints that work against the connectivity that is fundamental to the church’s work are overcome. CHATI allows people to maintain the promises they made when they joined the church and for the church to fulfill the promise it made to the member.
Mary McGhee-Pasternak – presentation “When Did We See You…" (Based on Matthew 25:35-45)
Presentation - Seeing Fredericksburg Virginia through the eyes of Christ this presentation will download to your computer (downloads folder)
Fredericksburg is a patchwork community great wealth interspersed with poverty.
- Population 27,025 *
- George Washington’s Boyhood home
- Known for its civil war and colonial history
- Tourism is a major part of the economy
- The average household income is $67,030*
- 15.5% of the population and 10.4% of families were below the poverty line.*
- 19.9% of those under the age of 18 and 8.8% of those 65 and older were living below the poverty line.
- Unemployment 4.2% (664 unemployed)
- The largest ancestry is from Ireland at 12.1%
- The divorce rate is 11.2%
- 1st in bars per capita. More bars per capita than anywhere else in Virginia
Lord, When did we see You… When I was hungry…
Fredericksburg UMC Outreach Food Pantry
- The Food Pantry provides food for several days to those in need. This year, through May, our volunteers distributed 11,000 pounds of groceries providing 740 bags of food for 1,527 people.
- The FUMC Outreach Food Pantry operates Monday through Friday from 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. in Room 110, immediately behind the Charlotte Street reception desk. There are presently 23 FUMC dedicated volunteers who administer the pantry to those in need.
- The FUMC Food Pantry is the only one of several in the area that operates Monday through Friday throughout the year, except for holidays. It has been in operation for 25 years.
- People requesting food assistance normally are from Fredericksburg and surrounding counties including Caroline and Fauquier. Clients include young families as well as senior citizens.
- Dinner - Cooking and serving a free community dinner at the church, primarily for our homeless population. Twice a month commitment, second and fourth Saturday.
- Breakfast - Cooking and serving a hot breakfast to our homeless population at the church on Tuesday mornings.
- Lunch - Fast Food made with Love! Each week, Micah distributes 300 lunches prepared ahead of time by volunteer groups including FUMC to individuals in our community.