The beginning of Lent is March 5th. We will offer an Ash Wednesday worship service in the Sanctuary on that night. The service, which includes the ‘ceremony of ashes’ and ‘Holy Communion’, will begin at 7:00 p.m.
The Walk to Jerusalem, a church wide health initiative, will launch February 2nd! The program provides the opportunity for all members of the congregation to improve their overall health by tracking and gradually increasing their daily physical activity over a 12 week period of time. The challenge for our church is to learn about other cultures, pray for other countries, and become a healthier congregation as we strive to symbolically walk from Tampa to Jerusalem before Easter, a total of 6644 miles. Passports to Health booklets, pedometers, and before and after biometric screenings will be provided to all participants. Parish Nurses and South Florida Baptist Hospital Community Health will be in the fellowship hall on Sunday, February 2nd, from 10:00 am to 1:00 pm to answer questions, sign you up, distribute materials and do biometric screening. We hope you will join us on the Walk to Jerusalem!
The steps/miles turned in from week one have been tabulated and even though less than 50% of the participants turned in their green cards…we have already walked a total of 1973 miles, putting us a little more than half way across the Atlantic Ocean.
Our first stop once we cross the Atlantic Ocean will be Casablanca, the economic capital of Morocco. With a population over 3.1 million, it is the main center for business and commerce with a large textile industry and a large export of phosphate. It is home to one of the largest artificial ports in the world, is known for its beautiful mountains, desert and fascinating beaches, and houses the primary naval base of the Royal Moroccan Navy. Ruled in the past by the Spanish, French, and Almoravids, Morocco gained independence from France in 1956. Today, Morocco is 98% Sunni Muslim, with residents speaking Arabic, Berber dialects and French. Consider praying for the Moroccan people as we walk this week.
Based on our church biometrics, we need to understand hypertension. The American Heart Association designates a blood pressure of 120/80 or lower as normal. A blood pressure of 140/90 or greater gets you a diagnosis of hypertension. Hypertension increases your risk of stroke, heart attack, congestive heart failure, kidney damage and hardening of the arteries. Lifestyle modifications that will help combat high blood pressure include: weight reduction, eating more fruits and vegetables, lowering salt intake, aerobic exercise and moderate consumption of alcohol. If these are not successful, medications to lower your blood pressure will be prescribed. The goal is to keep your BP less than 140/90 , or less than 130/80 if you have diabetes or chronic kidney disease. Visit the Walk to Jerusalem table before or after services to turn in your green cards and get more information on the benefits of walking and ways to better manage your blood pressure.
Keep Moving…Susie Prescott, RN, BSN, Faith Community Nurse
Week 2 brought us 2110.5 miles closer to Jerusalem. THAT IS AWESOME! We made it through Casablanca and with an unbelievable grand total of 4083.5 miles, we’ve crossed Algeria, passing through Ghardaia and are just 29.5 miles away from Ghadamis, Libya. Algeria is the largest country on the African continent, nearly four times the size of Texas, with 35 million residents. Libya, just a little bigger than Alaska, has a population of 6 million and stretches along the northeast coast of Africa. The ethnicity of both countries is almost exclusively Arab Berber, practicing the Sunni Muslim religion. This week I hope you will join me in praying for peace and freedom for the people in Algeria and Libya.
Health Tip of the Week: Last week's focus was high blood pressure, known as the "silent killer" for its damage, over time, to your internal organs, with little to no symptoms. Our topic this week is a key player in hypertension: Sodium, otherwise known as salt. Research shows the amount of salt you consume has a BIG impact on raising your blood pressure. Most Americans consume over 3400 mg of sodium every day. The recommended intake for the average healthy person age 3 to 50 is 2300 mg a day. Salt limitations of 1500 mg a day are recommended for: children 2 years and under, adults 51 years and older, African Americans, and any one with hypertension, diabetes or chronic kidney disease.
Just to put this into perspective, one teaspoon of salt equals about 2300 mg. But, here's a key point...most of the salt we consume, is not from the salt shaker. It comes from packaged and restaurant foods. Your best bet is to eat fresh fruit and vegetables, purchase low or no salt added products, and ask for no salt added when eating out. Knowing how much sodium you should have in a day and reading food labels will help you avoid too much salt and help keep your blood pressure down. Today, the Walk to Jerusalem table has informational fliers for you about sodium. Come by and get educated and don't forget to turn in your green cards. Let's Keep Moving and Learning About Healthy Lifestyle Choices.
Keep Moving…Susie Prescott, RN, BSN, Faith Community Nurse
In week 3, we made it to Jerusalem AND started our trip back to Tampa. We are currently 255 miles west of Siwa, Egypt heading back to Ghadamis, Libya. At this pace, we should make it back to Tampa a couple of weeks before Easter. Now, that doesn't mean we want you to stop moving. The goal of this program is to help us work on continually increasing our physical activity and learning about healthy lifestyle changes we can make part of our daily lives. After Easter we will be rechecking our biometrics, reporting our church wide results and having a celebration with healthy snacks from Jerusalem.
¨ Health Tip of the Week: Sugary Drinks
When it comes to weight loss, there are low-carb diets, high-carb diets, low-fat diets, grapefruit diets, cabbage soup diets, and blood type diets, to name a few. No matter what diet you may try, to lose weight, and keep your blood sugar under control, you must limit your sugar intake and take in fewer calories than your body uses. Most people try to reduce their calorie intake by focusing on food. Another way to cut calories may be to think about what you drink. A 12 oz soda contains 10 teaspoons of sugar or 150 calories, a 12 ounce glass of 100% orange juice has 170 calories. Cutting your soda intake from two to one per day can help you lose about 16 pounds in one year. Now that you know how much difference a drink can make, here are some ways to make smart beverage choices:
- Choose water, diet, or low-calorie beverages instead of sugar-sweetened beverages.
- For a quick, easy, inexpensive thirst-quencher, carry and refill a water bottle throughout the day.
- Don't "stock the fridge" with sugar-sweetened beverages. Instead, keep a jug or bottles of cold water in the fridge.
- Serve water with meals.
- Make water more exciting by adding slices of lemon, lime, cucumber, or watermelon, or drink sparkling water.
- Add a splash of 100% juice to plain sparkling water for a refreshing, low-calorie drink.
- When you do opt for a sugar-sweetened beverage, go for the small size. Some companies are now selling 8-oz. cans and bottles of soda, which contain about 100 calories.
- Be a role model for your friends and family by choosing healthy, low-calorie beverages.
Sunday, March 9th everyone who turns in their green card will be eligible for a drawing. We will be giving away two copies of the Church Health Center cookbook entitled Seasoning Lent: 40 Days of Recipes and Reflections, one at each service. Names will be drawn on Sunday, March 16th. Let's Keep Moving and Learning About Healthy Lifestyle Choices.
Susie Prescott, RN, BSN, Faith Community Nurse
This event focuses on the membership vows of a Methodist - to support the ministries of Christ's Church through our prayers, presence, gifts, service and witness.
"A Disciple's Way" will be our theme for each Sunday's worship and preaching event. All midweek small groups and most Sunday School classes will study it. Reflections about it will be provided on our social media.
Plan now to join a small midweek group (every other week for 7 sessions) or join a Sunday School class each week for 13 sessions. Small groups are forming with meetings both in the daytime and evening.
Join us in the Sanctuary at 10:00 AM to worship and to hear Pastor Earl's message "Don't Leave Christmas in 2013!"