The Health Ministries Department of the British Union Conference functions to:
- Provide information for health ministries leaders and health professionals to enhance their ministry role within the church and the community.
- Assist churches by making resources available to them in the area of health and healing.
- Highlight key aspects of health ministry and how it can be incorporated into the mission of the church.
- Provide a foundation on which to undertake future workshops to enable learning about the mind/body/spirit connection and how it relates to general well-being.
- Encourage our churches to become centres of healing and hope for all.
This ethos is reflected in the General Conference Health Ministries caption which states:
Every Church – a Community Health Centre; Every Church Member – A Medical Missionary.
Key Departmental Objective: To promote a healthful lifestyle among the members of the churches in the Union and the communities in which they serve.
The BUC Health Ministries Department’s aims to achieve this through the following:
1. CHURCH HEALTH PROMOTION
- Communicating the message of health and well-being through national publications like MESSENGER magazine and media sources such as Hope TV.
- Promote the goals of the department and encourage church members in healthful living by visiting, preaching, teaching and undertaking training events in local churches in the BUC territory.
- Conduct mid-week, Sabbath and/or weekend seminars on pertinent subjects as requested.
2. PUBLIC HEALTH EVANGELISM
- Conduct Health Seminars and programmes:
- Health screening and Health Expos
- Mental Wellbeing initiative
- Healthy lifestyle practices awareness (exercise, rest, diet)
- Lifestyle change programmes such as NEWSTART/ CELEBRATIONS/ CREATION HEALTH
- Smoking Cessation
- Stress Management
- Nutrition seminars and food demonstrations
- Other topical health programmes as requested
- Health Risk Assessments:
May be used in conjunction with the above programmes or as an adjunct to the programmes of other departments (eg. Community Services); to complement evangelistic meetings; or as an ‘entering wedge’ in new areas through appropriate agencies (ie. County & Health Fairs etc).
- Initiate and organise training programmes for ministry and laity in various health programmes (ie. Nutrition Instructors training course) utilising overseas and/or local qualified personnel where appropriate.
- Give selective input to the Health Evangelism component in our educational institutions, evangelistic programs and Literature Evangelist training.
- The production of health resources and relevant literature for use by health ministries leaders, the wider membership and individuals in the communities in which we serve.
- Act as a resource for locally led programmes delivering presentations and providing relevant literature and visual aids.
- Adapt overseas programmes for local use.
- Advise on (or actually provide) exhibition materials.
- Liaise with and provide mentorship to Health Ministries leaders in their role
- Support pastoral teams and the wider membership on matters relating to health
- Give input to evangelistic outreach programmes providing a health component and giving advice on issues relating to wellbeing.
- Network with professional groups such as AMEN (Adventist Medical Evangelism Network) involving Adventist medical and paramedical personnel.
- Represent the Health Department of the Church at national initiatives both within church and community settings.
- Act as the spokesperson to the media regarding health related issues of interest to Adventists.
- Contribute to the work of national organisations where appropriate: e.g. Department Of Health (D.O.H) etc especially where health issues impact on religious beliefs.
7. HEALTH COMMUNICATION NETWORK
- Co-ordinate departmental activities throughout the Union territory liaising with Division and local fields supplying such information, reports and materials as may be required to the appropriate bodies.
- Utilise weekly and monthly reporting outlets like BUC Newsletter and MESSENGER to share developments and the work of the Health Ministries Department.
8. ENGAGEMENT WITH NATIONAL HEALTH SERVICE INITIATIVES
- Encourage health leaders to participate in national annual health events through the dissemination of the NHS health events calendar
- Liaise with The Department of Health and other health organisations to encourage the inclusion of faith and cultural aspects in their national programs / projects.