Runners take their marks during last Saturday’s 5K walk/run hosted by Broadview Missionary Baptist Church and held in Broadview. | Photos submitted
Saturday, September 24, 2016 || By Michael Romain || @maywoodnews
Last week, around 30,000 churches across the country recognized National Back to Church Sunday in varying ways. Broadview Missionary Baptist Church, 2100 S. 25th Ave., commemorated the day by focusing on health and wellness.
On Sept. 18, the church simultaneously celebrated the national initiative and its own Family Week by urging congregants and guests to focus on their health.
“The scripture we used for the day is from Third John chapter one verse two, ‘I pray above all things that you may prosper in health,’” said Rev. Robert Walker, the church’s mission pastor.
Walker said the Sunday service was the culmination of a week’s worth of physical fitness and wellness initiatives. On Sept. 17, the church hosted a 5K walk/run, with around 50 participants rushing the finish line and circling in prayer.
“Our goal is to provide participants with information about local services that support healthy living, good nutrition, and exercise,” according to a statement released by the Family Week planning committee. “We would also like to include information about opportunities for families to serve God through missions and outreach.”
After the 5K, the church opened its doors for a health fair, which featured vendors such as Oak Street Health, Access to Care and Walgreens. The pharmaceutical chain offered free flu shots and health screenings to participants.
The weekend events were part of a much larger mission for the church, said member Leonard Love, a planning committee member.
According to it’s 2015 strategic plan, the nearly 50-year-old church — which has more than 2,000 congregants — is seeking to expand its outreach efforts. But effective outreach requires healthy Christians, Love said.
“If you’re not healthy and fit, it’s much harder to go out and witness to folks and engage people,” Love said. “We have a lot of older people who attend here and it’s a challenge for us, but I think a lot of congregations are getting folks to realize the importance of exercise in the mission field.”
Love said he teaches his fellow congregants that staying fit doesn’t necessarily require a gym membership or an exacting exercise routine.
“You can exercise with what you have at home,” Love said. “Take some cans or, better yet, a gallon of milk. That’s one of the best things to have. You can be sitting around the table and before you know it, you’ve done 25 curls without even paying attention to it. And you don’t have to pay a gym membership fee or anything. You don’t have to be a body builder or a marathon runner.” VFP