Healthy Congregations Retreat, April 25-27

Building a Healthier Tomorrow Together

“Location, location, location” has long been a prime consideration in real estate and business, but there is growing awareness that our health is deeply influenced by factors in the places where we live, learn, work, and pray – with impact reaching far beyond what happens at the doctor’s office.

As we’ll explore from a number of angles, conditions in the places we live – from the state to the very local level – have a tremendous impact on health, well-being, and lifespan.  Your zip code can add or subtract years from your life.  In many cases, people living just blocks apart experience dramatic differences in health and longevity.

The data, and more so the individual and community stories behind it, is both sobering and inspiring.  These are factors we can work together to improve – and the faith community has a natural and vital role in leading this work.

All Kansas and Nebraska United Methodists are invited to come to the 2019 retreat and learn how local churches can partner and lead to build a healthier tomorrow together – toward communities where each of us can live our healthiest lives and reach our fullest potential.

The retreat is for all Great Plains United Methodists

You don’t have to be a Healthy Congregations team member to participate in the retreat. Held at scenic Rock Springs 4-H Center near Junction City, KS, the event is provided free of charge through United Methodist Health Ministry Fund sponsorship, but pre-registration is required.  A $25 deposit, which will be returned at check-in, secures your registration.

Opening Keynote: Health is More Than What Happens in Your Doctor’s Office

Dr. Kate Kingery is Deputy Director, Community Transformation, for County Health Rankings & Roadmaps, a program focused on improving health outcomes and advancing equity in local communities. In her keynote, Kingery will highlight how CHR&R data, evidence, guidance, and stories help us identify how to make our communities healthier places for everyone. Drawing on examples from communities like Allen County, KS, Kate will talk about how people can work together to build a Culture of Health. Together, we’ll explore how faith leaders can share a call to action and engage with others to create opportunities for everyone to live their healthiest lives.

Panels and Workshops

Panel 1 – Community Spotlight: Learn how Kansas communities are positively influencing healthy behaviors. With Karen Braman, KS Hospital Assn.; Lisse Regehr, Thrive Allen County; and Shelley Rich, Wichita YMCA

Panel 2 – Feeding Our Hungry Neighbors with Action and Advocacy: Learn what food insecurity and hunger look like in our region. Public policy issues and how we can advocate both nationally and locally will be highlighted. Participants will learn about local responses to hunger and gain ideas for activity in their own communities. With Matt Freeman, The Big Garden and Joey Hentzler, Kansas Appleseed.

Panel 3 – Community Responses to Behavioral Health Concerns: Discusses programs including 7 Cups of Tea, Mental Health First Aid, and how neighboring work can combat social isolation and loneliness. With Kaley Connor, High Plains Mental Health Center and Adam Barlow-Thompson & Matt Johnson of

Workshops including:

  • How Healthy is Your Community? Dr. Kate Kingery
  • Expanded Opportunities for HC Teams – HF staff & Lisse Regehr
  • Faces of Displacement: Let Their Voices be Heard – Dr. Debra Bolton
  • Growing Justice Together – The Big Garden Program – Matt Freeman
  • Holy Yoga to Inspire – Amy Bowers
  • Introduction to the Neighboring Movement – Adam Barlow-Thompson & Matt Johnson
  • Offering Affordable Child Care in a Church – Starla Wells
  • Planting Seeds to Better Your Community – Shelley Rich
  • Pray as You Go Prayer Walk
  • What’s Faith Got To Do With It? Values, Advance Care Planning: Our Roles as Trusted Messengers – John Carney

Healthy Congregations

Healthy Congregations is a United Methodist Health Ministry Fund initiative providing Great Plains UMC teams with training, resources, and annual grant funding to support effective congregational and community health ministry.

Pre-retreat training opportunity

Healthy Congregations certification training is available on Thursday, April 25.  This is the last opportunity to become certified ahead of the summer planning deadline – don’t miss out.

Key Benefits for Participants

  • Discover ways churches can advance health, healing, and wholeness in the congregation and local community
  • Learn from Healthy Congregations training courses
  • Enjoy fellowship with others sharing your passion for health ministry
  • Gain renewed personal energy in a scenic retreat setting
  • Earn nursing and pastor CEUs

Who Should Participate?

The retreat is especially helpful for parish nurses, pastors, and laity involved in or wanting to start health and wellness ministries in their congregations – but is something that anyone with an interest in congregational and community health will enjoy.  Healthy Congregations teams will find the retreat a great place to complete training courses and network with peers.

The retreat covers spiritual, mental, physical, and social health with information you can take home and use in your own church and community. You’ll leave recharged, filled with new ideas and renewed inspiration.