The Health Ministries Department of the British Union Conference functions to:
· Provide information for health ministries leaders and health professionals to enhance their ministry role within the church and the community.
· Assist churches by making resources available to them in the area of health and healing.
· Highlight key aspects of health ministry and how it can be incorporated into the mission of the church.
· Provide a foundation on which to undertake future workshops to enable learning about the mind/body/spirit connection and how it relates to general well-being.
· Encourage our churches to become centres of healing and hope for all.
This ethos is reflected in the General Conference Health Ministries caption which states: ‘Every Church – a Community Health Centre; Every Church Member – A Medical Missionary.’
Key Departmental Objective: To promote a healthful lifestyle among the members of the churches in the Union and the communities in which they serve.
The BUC Health Ministries Department’s aims to achieve this through the following:
1. CHURCH HEALTH PROMOTION
Communicating the message of health and well-being through national publications like MESSENGER magazine and media sources such as Hope TV.
- Promote the goals of the department and encourage church members in healthful living by visiting, preaching, teaching and undertaking training events in local churches in the BUC territory.
Conduct mid-week, Sabbath and/or weekend seminars on pertinent subjects as requested.
2. PUBLIC HEALTH EVANGELISM
Conduct Health Seminars and programmes:
- Health screening and Health Expos
- Mental Wellbeing initiative
- Healthy lifestyle practices awareness (exercise, rest, diet)
- Lifestyle change programmes such as NEWSTART/ CELEBRATIONS/ CREATION HEALTH
- Smoking Cessation
- Stress Management
- Nutrition seminars and food demonstrations
- Other topical health programmes as requested
Health Risk Assessments:
May be used in conjunction with the above programmes or as an adjunct to the programmes of other departments (eg. Community Services); to complement evangelistic meetings; or as an ‘entering wedge’ in new areas through appropriate agencies (ie. County & Health Fairs etc).
Initiate and organise training programmes for ministry and laity in various health programmes (ie. Nutrition Instructors training course) utilising overseas and/or local qualified personnel where appropriate.
- Give selective input to the Health Evangelism component in our educational institutions, evangelistic programs and Literature Evangelist training.
The production of health resources and relevant literature for use by health ministries leaders, the wider membership and individuals in the communities in which we serve.
- Act as a resource for locally led programmes delivering presentations and providing relevant literature and visual aids.
Adapt overseas programmes for local use. Advise on (or actually provide) exhibition materials.
Liaise with and provide mentorship to Health Ministries leaders in their role
- Support pastoral teams and the wider membership on matters relating to health
Give input to evangelistic outreach programmes providing a health component and giving advice on issues relating to wellbeing. Network with professional groups such as AMEN (Adventist Medical Evangelism Network) involving Adventist medical and paramedical personnel.
Represent the Health Department of the Church at national initiatives both within church and community settings. Act as the spokesperson to the media regarding health related issues of interest to Adventists. Contribute to the work of national organisations where appropriate: e.g. Department Of Health (D.O.H) etc especially where health issues impact on religious beliefs.
7. HEALTH COMMUNICATION NETWORK
Co-ordinate departmental activities throughout the Union territory liaising with Division and local fields supplying such information, reports and materials as may be required to the appropriate bodies. Utilise weekly and monthly reporting outlets like BUC Newsletter and MESSENGER to share developments and the work of the Health Ministries Department.
8. ENGAGEMENT WITH NATIONAL HEALTH SERVICE INITIATIVES
Encourage health leaders to participate in national annual health events through the dissemination of the NHS health events calendar Liaise with The Department of Health and other health organisations to encourage the inclusion of faith and cultural aspects in their national programs / projects.