Bracknell Church's Health DNA
4th April 2019
When I first went to Bracknell church in November 2018, not only did I observe how warm and welcoming the members were, but I also noted one week an announcement in the bulletin on a health expo. Health is increasingly becoming integral to the Bracknell church, so had planned the expo in the last weekend of January 2019.
The church had decided to adopt the health message as part of its integral church culture, allowing it to impact and transform their dietary habits as well as using it as a tool to connect with their wider community.
The health expo started on Friday evening, opening up to health checks and conversations, which continued on Sabbath morning and afternoon outside of church service time. Attendees including community members were encouraged to be checked, comparing their previous health readings, to see how they were progressing on their health journey. The environment in the health check room was calm, peaceful and focused on the individual, and a medical missionary was at hand to interpret the results and offer advice accordingly.
Interspersed with the checks were presentations on other aspects of health, and in January this covered lessons from the blue zones, the difference between exercise and activity, longevity tips, plant-based diet and ways to change health habits. Children and youth also got involved by giving fascinating presentations on various fruits and vegetables, such as blueberries and oranges and how they nourish different parts of our bodies. The children's story differentiated between the over and under aspects of malnutrition, while the sermon focused on the topic of entertainment.
Lunch held a colorful array of grains, legume stews and vegetables, with two huge salad platters to which members helped themselves freely. Going around with a huge smile of contentment was Davina Gayle-Harris, the health leader in the church, as she remarked, "We have come a long way ‒ from serving meat during fellowship lunch, to this!" She took pictures of people happily enjoying their healthy meals. "This is a true reflection of what has been done in Bracknell in regards to the church emphasis on health and using the message to reach out to the local community," remarked the church minister, Pastor Vicentu Dranca.
Six health programmes have been planned for 2019. Please keep the church in your prayers as they carry out these plans.