U.S. Health Summit launches in Houston September 8-10
The Methodist heritage is rooted in a strong concern for health, which is reflected in the current United Methodist commitment to “abundant health for all” in communities throughout the world. United Methodists who are engaged in health ministries can learn about a new congregational health initiative called “Healthy Congregations, Healthy Communities” at a U.S. Health Summit scheduled for September 8-10, 2015, in Houston.
The initiative is being launched in a joint effort by the denomination’s General Board of Global Ministries, the General Board of Pension and Health Benefits, and Wesley Theological Seminary. The summit will be hosted and co-sponsored by Houston Methodist and St. Paul’s United Methodist Church.
Global Ministries’ top executive Thomas Kemper considers opportunities in health ministry one of the denomination’s expanding fields of mission. He says, “The forum will have great importance for the church. Churches and conference leaders will learn about health ministry’s importance for the church and receive Healthy Congregations, Healthy Communities toolkits to pilot new health ministries in their congregations. We look forward to announcing at General Conference 2016 the initial results of the pilot work undertaken by those who participate at the forum.”
The health summit will highlight congregational and annual conference work in health ministry, covering topics including community outreach, congregational health ministries, hospital-based community engagement, health and wholeness, academia, and spiritual healing ministries. The summit will also feature work across general agencies that support healthy clergy, congregations, and communities. Representatives from 29 annual conferences have already registered for the summit.