Helping Area Pastors Live Healthy: Free Clergy Wellness Initiative
St. Vincent’s Health System, which is a part of Ascension, recognizes that the demands on a pastor can be highly stressful. To provide support to these important community leaders, St. Vincent’s has developed a free, Clergy Wellness Initiative (CWI). The year-long tailored wellness program is designed to promote physical, emotional, mental and spiritual health lifestyles unique to the needs of a priest/pastor/rabbi/ministry leader. With the help of St. Vincent’s, CWI affords clergy the opportunity to define their own health goals and devise a plan of action that can be integrated into their daily and/or weekly schedule.
The program includes free:
- Membership at a St. Vincent’s Fitness Center (available at multiple St. Vincent’s locations)
- Personal Training Sessions
- Consultation with a Nutritionist
- “Lunch and Learn” Sessions offered twice a month at St. Vincent’s Birmingham or St. Vincent’s East
“Many clergy spend so much time caring for the needs of their flock and not focusing on self-care,”
explains CWI participant, Rev. Lamont Johnson, Pastor of Thirgood Memorial CME Church in Birmingham. “This program has allowed me to focus on taking care of self. The opportunity to exercise at a great facility and having the access to a trainer was a tremendous blessing for me… it is so easy to lose focus of self. This program is a constant reminder for me to understand the importance of self-care especially with it comes to dealing with stress through wellness.”
Johnson adds that the exercise component as well as Lunch and Learns with fellow pastors encourages him to continue to live healthy and share that enthusiasm with the community he serves. “Being disciplined is one of the keys in being effective as a pastor. The Clergy Wellness Program assists in this as well,” says Johnson. “I am extremely grateful to God for the opportunity to be a part of such a great program. “
To learn more about CWI and to receive a copy of the program application contact program manager, Tineciaa Harris, MSPH, 205) 558-3597, Tineciaa.Harris@stvhs.com. Applications are due this month and orientation will be held in August. The free program will accommodate approximately 60 participants.