Mind Body Spirit – May-June 2019


Mind, Body, Spirit: Linking Lives for Health and Wholeness
The Wellness Ministries of the UCC Newsletter
(formerly The Faith Community Nurse Health Ministry Newsletter)

May-June 2019, Volume 4, Issue 4

01_Butterfly.jpgThe butterfly counts not the months but moments, and has time enough”.  Rabindranath Tagore.  

Spring flowers are blooming, and young emerging plants rise upward to welcome the growth and sustenance summer will bring. This is a season of marking celebrations within the cycle of life: Mother’s Day, commencements, graduations, Father’s Day, marriages, new ventures, joys and sorrows. 

This issue marks another beginning.  We now plan to produce the newsletter on a bi-monthly basis.  The remaining issues for 2019 will be the July-August issue, September-October issue, and the November-December issue.



National High Blood Pressure Education Month

Many health ministries programs and faith community nurses provide blood pressure screening.  These sessions are also an opportunity for education to promote healthy living.  Educational sessions can be offered on selection of blood pressure monitoring equipment and proper technique for obtaining home blood pressure readings.  The Mayo Clinic has a webpage, Get the Most out of Home Blood Pressure Monitoring with helpful tips:


An inactive or sedentary lifestyle has recently been identified as increasing the risk for cardiovascular disease, hypertension, stroke, high cholesterol, metabolic syndrome, type 2 diabetes and certain cancers.  During National High Blood Pressure Education Month in May, the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) is challenging Americans to participate in a national pledge to #MoveWithHeart to help reduce their risk of high blood pressure. NHLBI is asking people to pledge by posting a photo or uploading a video being physically active and using the hashtag. http://www.movewithheartpledge.com/

A fact sheet is available for posting with tips on moving more: https://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/sites/default/files/media/docs/Fact_Sheet_Move_More_508.pdf

Connect here for information on Hypertension risk factors, causes, symptoms, diagnosis, treatment, complications, and living with hypertension: https://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health-topics/high-blood-pressure02_Cyclist.png

Bike Safety Awareness Month 

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has information on bike safety tips for parents and kids. There are also videos on bike riding safety, fitting a bike helmet, rules of the road, and Driving Safely.  A bulletin board poster can be downloaded at https://www.nhtsa.gov/sites/nhtsa.dot.gov/files/811557.pdf

National Melanoma Skin Cancer Prevention Month

Prevention and early detection of skin cancer is emphasized as we move into the warmer season with increased sun exposure.  This is the time to help spread sun-safety messages and increase public awareness about skin cancer.  The American Academy of Dermatology is promoting National Melanoma Skin Cancer Prevention Month.  The website includes 18 free educational resources to help others learn how to prevent and detect skin cancer.  You can download these free at this link:



Alzheimer’s Disease

Worldwide, 50 million people are living with Alzheimer’s and other dementiasThe Alzheimer’s Association is asking people to go purple and raise awareness this June. Purple is the official color of the Alzheimer’s movement.  People are invited to share a photo on Instagram or Twitter using the hashtags #ENDALZ or #EndAlzheimers.

On the Alzheimer’s Association’s website, you can find educational information and  professionals and support options located near you.  See section of page titled Find Local Resources:

Men’s Health Month

The purpose of Men’s Health Month is to heighten the awareness of preventable health problems and encourage early detection and treatment of disease among men and boys.   Consider celebrating Wear Blue Friday, the Friday before Father’s day. Use the on-line Tool Kit to help enhance your outreach efforts.

The webpage http://www.menshealthmonth.org/ also includes a link to the Men’s Health Network, a national non-profit organization whose mission is to reach men, boys, and their families where they live, work, play, and pray with health awareness and disease prevention messages and tools, screening programs, educational materials, advocacy opportunities, and patient navigation. The Free Health Care listed under the Resources Section on the website is a search feature for Free and/or Low-Cost Health Care by state and city location. 

03_NHTSA.pngNational Safety Month   

The National Safety Council holds National Safety Month each June.  Each week has a focus:

Week 1: Hazard Recognition

Week 2: Slips, Trips and Falls

Week 3: Fatigue

Week 4: Impairment

You can use this month to raise awareness about important safety issues like preventing poisonings;  medication safety and prescription drug abuse; driving, biking, and working safely; first aid and emergency preparedness; preventing slips, trips, and falls.  http://safety.nsc.org/national-safety-month-2019-post-launch

The US Department of Health and Human Services Healthfinder.gov website offers a toolkit for National Safety Month.  https://healthfinder.gov/NHO/JuneToolkit2.aspx  You can sign up to receive free safety materials: http://safety.nsc.org/national-safety-month-2019-post-launch


04_Food_Safety.jpgSpeaking of safety – this is a good time to provide educational information about food preparation and safety.  Outdoor picnics and parties may provide opportunity for spoilage and the potential for food poisoning.  Proper techniques for food handling, cooking, and storage are essential for preventing food-born illnesses.  The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) offers the Basics for Handling Food Safely.  It also has numerous fact sheets on topics such as Grilling and Food Safety, Handling Food Safely on the Road, Food Safety While Hiking, Camping, and Boating.   Another fact sheet that is helpful for Health Ministries Meal Ministries is titled Food Safety Tips for Home Delivered Meals Program Participants. 



May 2019: 

Mental Health Sunday:  The United Church of Christ Mental Health Network invites you to highlight mental health on the third Sunday in May or any Sunday that suits your schedule.  Worship resources and inserts are available http://www.ucc.org/mental_health_sunday_2017  The UCC Mental Health Network Congregational Toolkits are also available:


If your health and wellness ministries committee wants to explore becoming designated by the UCC Mental Health Network process as a WISE (Welcoming, Inclusive, Supportive and Engaged) Congregation for Mental Health can be accessed at this link: http://moredomainsforless.com/mhnucc/becomingaWISEcongregationformentalhealth2019ed.pdf


Registration is open.  https://www.synod2019.org/en/uccsynod2019

The Wellness Ministries of the UCC will be participating at General Synod 32 in several ways.  Peggy Matteson will be moderating a workshop on the Opioid Crisis Response.  Alyson Breisch will be doing a short presentation about the Wellness Ministries at the General Synod 32 Health Wholeness & Human Service Lunch. Both are participating with representatives of the UCC Disabilities Ministries and the UCC Mental Health Network, and Rev. Sarah Lund in the planning for a quiet room and adjoining wellness-focused space at General Synod.


Visit our FaceBook and Linked-In pages: share information about your health ministries and join in conversations and postings. 



Previous issues of the newsletter
Use previous year’s monthly newsletters to aid your search for links to resources on health ministries and wellness topics: http://www.ucc.org/ucc_faith_community_nurse_network_newsletter

Contact us:
Have something you want to share with your colleagues?
Are you looking for something to assist you in your ministry? 
Interested in joining the Leadership Team for the Wellness Ministries of the UCC? 
Let us hear from you.

Alyson Breisch and/or Deb Stankiewicz