Church members put on walking shoes to promote healthy living
|A UMNS photo by Millie Meese
Henderlight, the Rev. Kevin Cole and Bill Stuart collect donations for
the Holston Conference's Change for Children campaign.
Henderlight, the Rev. Kevin Cole and Bill Stuart show off the fruit
juice collection box, where donations were made to the Holston
Conference's Change for Children campaign and to a fund to help children
in Africa. A Walk for Change highlighted the second year of Grand Camp,
a promotion by the conference for all "grands"-grandparents, grandkids
and honorary grands-to help the intergenerational church family grow. A
UMNS photo by Millie Meese. Photo #05-481. Accompanies UMNS story #387.
July 8, 2005
A UMNS Feature
By Allison Scahill*
conference means a lot of sitting, but more than 200 United Methodists
meeting at Lake Junaluska, N.C., left their seats this year to “Walk for
Change” and promote healthier lifestyles.
The Walk for Change
highlighted the second year of Grand Camp, a promotion by the church’s
Holston Annual (regional) Conference for all “grands”—grandparents,
grandkids and honorary grands—to help the intergenerational church
family grow. The first year of Grand Camp focused on reading and
literacy, year two was dedicated to healthy living, and year three will
emphasize mission work and volunteerism.
children’s ministry coordinator for the Holston Conference, was pleased
with the turnout at the June 14 health walk.
“It was great,” she
said. “It was from 6 a.m. to 2 p.m., and when we got there to set up the
tent at 5:30 a.m., there were already people there ready to
Walkers and donors
received green ribbons, and the walkers also were recognized by having
their names placed on mini tennis shoes on a “Walk of Fame.”
The Walk for Change
raised more than $45,000. Half of that will benefit the conference’s
Change for Children campaign, and half will go to help children in
Africa, Henderlight said.
The Holston Conference,
which covers parts of Tennessee, Virginia and Georgia, met June 12-15.
All 63 of the church’s U.S. conferences held their annual meetings in
May and June.
Henderlight noted that
obesity in the United States is increasing every year, and she wants to
educate people about the importance of being healthy.
“Among kids ages 6 to
19, one in six are overweight. We want to promote people to get out, get
moving and get active,” she said. “Don’t sit on the couch and watch too
much TV, don’t eat a ton of fast food or high-caloric food.”
Making healthy choices
has long-term benefits, such as better stewardship of bodies, more
energy, less stress, reduced illness, clearer thinking, improved
communication, and more enthusiasm and optimism, she said.
“We want to encourage
people to keep walking and keep a healthy lifestyle after this is over,”
she said. “We want to keep promoting healthy initiatives in churches,
specifically in the needs of children.”
Bishop James Swanson
supported the Grand Health Campaign by co-starring in a video with two
Holston children, Hannah Gamble, 10, and Erin Gamble, 5, Henderlight
|A UMNS photo by Eric Glass
Bishop James Swanson walks with Hannah and Erin Gamble to promote the Walk for Change at Lake Junaluska, N.C.
James Swanson walks with Hannah Gamble, 10, and Erin Gamble, 5, at Lake
Junaluska, N.C., to promote the Walk for Change. The Walk for Change
raised more than $45,000. Half will benefit the Holston Annual
Conference's Change for Children campaign, and half will go to help
children in Africa, A UMNS photo by Eric Glass. Photo #05-482.
Accompanies UMNS story #387. 7/8/05|
“Bishop Swanson has
been great,” Henderlight said. “He has been such a force of support and
helped to make the launch successful.”
Sue Isbell, director of
children’s ministries at Church Street United Methodist Church in
Knoxville, Tenn., said Swanson made quite an impact on Erin, a
5-year-old member of the congregation.
“One afternoon (Erin)
was visiting my office and asked for a granola bar,” she said. “After
carrying it around for about 20 minutes, she gave it back unopened. When
I asked why she hadn’t eaten it she said, ‘The bishop said we should
listen to our bodies and my tummy tells me it isn’t hungry anymore.’
Obviously, she recalled the thrust of the campaign and what Bishop
Swanson had talked with her and Hannah about on the day they made the
The idea for Grand Camp
came about as a way to bridge the gap between the young and elderly
people in the church, Henderlight said.
After the campaign was
launched, a long list of people showed interest in doing something
similar in their local church, she said.
“As a conference staff,
our job is to be a resource to local churches and lift up ideas,”
Henderlight said. “We encourage people to make things happen for the
Jennifer Hartwig, of
Middlebrook Pike United Methodist Church in Knoxville, is putting
together a 5K run fund-raiser for her congregation’s children’s
“It’s more in my head
than anything else,” she said. “Our church is blessed with a park with
walking trails right across the street, so I wanted to make it a
churchwide thing with a 5K run and a one-mile ‘fun walk’ for those who
don’t want to run, and maybe even a 50-yard race for little kids or
|A UMNS photo by Millie Meese
Members of the Holston Conference display the names of participants in the Walk for Change.
Isbell and Jaymie Derden (left to right), who are Children's Ministries
Team members of the Holston Conference, display the "Walk of Fame" with
tennis shoes that bear the names of the participants in the Walk for
Change. A UMNS photo by Millie Meese. Accompanies UMNS story #387.
Hartwig, who took time
off from being an exercise physiologist to stay home with her daughter,
said she thought of the idea as she was training for a
Henderlight said she
was excited about Hartwig’s efforts. “She wants to set an example for
children. I want to do everything I can to help her.”
Henderlight is working on phase three of the Grand Camp, which will focus on mission work and volunteering.
“Through the Grand
Camp, we have tried to find ways to be in ministry in a practical way,”
she said. “We want to change the world.”
*Scahill, a mass
communications major at United Methodist-related Baker University in
Baldwin City, Kan., is an intern with the Convergence Team at United
News media contact: Tim Tanton, Nashville, Tenn., (615) 742-5470 or email@example.com.
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