Health and Wellness
The United Methodist Church is offering Boundary/Ethics training this fall and winter. Boundary training focuses on developing healthy boundaries in ministry and is specific to the role of a clergy person. Of particular concern is the power difference between a person in a ministerial role and a member of his or her congregation, or a person being counseled. Boundary training also includes conversation about personal and professional health and the use of social media.
Boundary 101 is the basic course; Boundary 201 is for those who need a refresher course.
All trainings begin at 9:00 a.m. and end at 5:00 p.m. The cost for lunch and the participant book is $25. You may register for any of these trainings by using this link:
Contact Rev. Nancy Lambert by email (email@example.com) or phone (402-464-5994, ext 126) with any questions.
The schedule for Boundary 101 is
- September 28, Wichita West Heights UMC, 745 N Westlink Ave., Wichita, KS
- September 28, Junction City First UMC, 804 N Jefferson, Junction City, KS
- September 29, Grand Island Trinity UMC, 511 N Elm, Grand Island, NE
- September 29, Gretna UMC, 11457 S 204th St, Gretna, NE
- October 3, Iola Wesley UMC, 301 E Madison Ave., Iola, KS
- October 17, Ogallala First UMC, 421 N Spruce St., Ogallala, NE
The schedule for Boundary 201 is
- Centenary UMC, 608 Elk St., Beatrice, NE, Oct. 28
- First UMC, 413 S College St., Scott, KS, Oct. 29
- Faith UMC, 301 N 31st St., Parsons, KS, Oct. 29
- Countryside UMC, 3221 SW Burlingame Rd., Topeka, KS, Nov. 2
- First UMC, 900 O St. Gering, NE, Nov. 3
- Grace UMC, 1832 W 9th St., Hastings, NE, Nov. 12
- St. Mark’s UMC, 6422 Santa Fe Dr., Overland Park, KS, Nov. 20
- First UMC, 406 W Philip Ave, Norfolk, NE Dec. 2
- Church of the Cross UMC, 1600 Rush St., Salina, KS Jan. 12
- First UMC, 2123 Forest Ave, Great Bend, KS, Jan. 13
- St Mark’s UMC, 8550 Pioneers Blvd, Lincoln, NE, Upper Fellowship Hall, Feb. 16
- Trinity UMC, 7130 Kentwell Lane, Lincoln, NE, Feb. 16
Saturday, April 25, 10:00 am.
Church of the Holy Trinity
6001 A St. Lincoln, NE 68510 (402-488-7139)
Film producer John Maisch and co-star of the film, Frank LaMere, will be present to answer questions.
Sober Indian | Dangerous Indian is both a story of brave men and women on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation who have found empowerment through sobriety and those still struggling to overcome their alcohol addiction. Set in the weeks leading up to the Oglala Sioux Tribe’s historic vote to repeal its ban on alcohol on August 13, 2013, the documentary follows the journey of four alcoholics living on the streets of Whiteclay, Nebraska, less than 300 yards from their homes in Pine Ridge, South Dakota. A must-see film for anyone interested in stories about beating the odds in one of the poorest places in the country, Sober Indian | Dangerous Indian explores the harmful effects of alcohol abuse on tribal reservations including high rates of fetal alcohol syndrome, cirrhosis, teen suicide, and high-risk sexual behavior.
Blessings to you and yours during the next few months! In these warmer, longer, lazier days of summer, the living may not be easy, but your life probably feels less chaotic. Even adults tend to let their hair down as children are out of school and summer activities begin. This is also a perfect seasonal time to improve your health. Here are 8 Summer Steps for Healthy Living from eight health experts in fields such as diet, fitness, stress, vision and oral health. They were asked this question: If you could only suggest one simple change this season to boost personal health, what would it be? Here are their top eight tips. You might be surprised at how effortless this is.
1. Give Your Diet a Berry Boost
If you do one thing this summer to improve your diet, have a cup of mixed berries every day. Blueberries, strawberries, raspberries, black berries. They help load you up with antioxidants which can help prevent damage to tissues and reduce the risks of age-related illnesses. Berries are high in fiber which helps lower cholesterol and may prevent some cancers. Blueberries and blackberries in particular are especially antioxidant rich.
2. Get Dirty and Stress Less
Plant a small garden, cultivate a flower box, or plant a few pots indoors and out. It can improve stress levels by focusing your attention elsewhere relieving both physical and mental stress. Appreciating nature and the spiritual beauty of one’s surroundings is soulful and relaxing.
3. Floss Daily
You know we need to, and the dentist will never tire of telling us this. Now is the time to start. Floss every single day. Do it at the beach, while reading on the patio, taking a walk or watching TV. Flossing reduces oral bacteria. It not only improves overall body health- but if low- your body has more resources to fight bacteria elsewhere in your body. Floss daily and you will be doing at least 85% more for your health than others who do not.
4. Get Outside to Exercise
Pick one outdoor activity- going on a hike, taking a walk, playing games such as tag with your kids, cycling, roller blading or swimming. This gets you out of the boring routine of gym workouts and being indoors. The family that plays together gets fit together and creates bonding time.
5. Be Good to Your Eyes
To protect your vision at work and play, wear protective eyewear. When outdoors, wear sunglasses that block at least 99% of UV A and B rays. Sunglasses can help prevent cataracts, as well as wrinkles around the eyes. Ask your eye doctor about the best type of sport specific eyewear when mowing the lawn or playing certain sports.
6. Vacation Time!
Improve your heart health: take advantage of summer’s slower schedule by using your vacation time to unwind. Vacations have multiple benefits: they can help lower your blood pressure, heart rate, and stress hormones such as cortisol. Elevated cortisol levels contribute to weight gain and increases risk for heart disease.
7. Alcohol: Go Lite!
Summertime is a great time to skip drinks with hard alcohol and choose a light, chilled alcoholic beverage (unless pregnant or other health issues) such as a sangria (table wine diluted with juice), a cold beer, or a wine spritzer. They are all refreshing and light. In moderation – defined as one to two drinks daily — can help protect against heart disease. Water (with twist of lemon or lime) Sun tea and flavored sparkling waters work well also if one is bored with alternatives and want a non-alcohol beverage.
8. Sleep Well
Resist the urge to stay up later during long summer days. Instead pay attention to good sleep hygiene by keeping the same bedtime and wake-up schedule and not drinking alcohol within three hours of bedtime.
Gracious Father, author of all health and salvation, inspire in us a willingness to be intentional towards improving our health and wellness during these next months. We pray also, that in our feeble attempts to see health anew, that our efforts will be acceptable in your sight. Restore us to health and wholeness according to your will as we ask these things in Jesus Christ name. AMEN
– The Rev. Dn Stephanie Ulrich, RN, SD, Minister of Health All Saints Episcopal Church
THE WET SIDE OF THE OCEAN
I have a friend, who also just happens to be an Episcopal Priest in Massachusetts, who chuckles whenever he hears someone say they want to talk about the “spiritual side of AA”. To him, that would be akin to talking about the “wet side of the ocean”.
It is nearly impossible to envision AA without its spiritual foundations and language. Even if you are not familiar with the Twelve Steps, who is able to think of AA, without recalling the Serenity Prayer? So inter-connected are spirituality and Alcoholics Anonymous that one might consider spirituality the aorta of AA…….the lifeline connecting those in recovery with the source of their sobriety and serenity, God’s amazing grace!
Early pre AA groups, such as the Oxford Group, YMCA, and Christian Endeavor, understood the need to grow and nurture this aspect of a life in recovery. They intentionally set aside time for reflection and discussion of this topic. “Morning Watch” and “Quiet Time” are but two examples of that effort. These groups and the writings of 1930s and 40s authors, such as Rev. Sam Shoemaker, F.B Meyer, H.J. Rose and others, heavily influenced the spiritual language in the Twelve Steps of AA and, it is believed, led to the inclusion of Step Eleven in the Twelve Steps.
Step Eleven reads: “Sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with God as we understood Him, praying only for knowledge of His will for us and the power to carry it out”
There has been a return of these “Step Eleven” small groups recently, probably due, at least in part, to the efforts of Dick B and his “Eleventh Step Quiet Time Practices and Guide” (Dick B, copyright, 2009 Anonymous, All Rights Reserved). Deeper understanding of the motivation behind the language of the steps, undoubtedly leads to a more in depth practice of that step.
Should you be interested in forming one of these discussion groups as part of your local recovery ministry program, Nebraska Episcopal Recovery Commission is happy to help you assemble the needed material. Simply contact any member of the Commission listed on our Web Page:
“Living One Day At A Time”,
Nebraska Episcopal Recovery Commission
In the beginning, when all things came into being, they were made whole and good (Gen. 1:31) and God gave pre-eminence to man to care for all things in creation. Brokenness entered into creation with the fall of man in the Garden of Eden. In spite of man’s disobedience, God so loved the world that he sent his only begotten Son, Jesus Christ, to live and dwell as one of us and to reconcile the whole world to Him, thereby restoring wholeness to the original creation.
All health and wholeness is rooted in God. The Holy Scriptures provide us with an understanding of God’s love and healing activity as well as a paradigm for the health and wholeness of the community. The scriptures abound with narrative accounts which disclose the essence of what it means to be part of the people of God or the body of Christ.
In the Hebrew Scriptures health is portrayed as one of God’s great gifts, and responsibility is placed on people to lead lives that cherish and protect this treasure. While the cure of disease was left to the Divine Physician, the prevention of disease was very much the province of the community. The primary emphasis of the Torah is on prophylaxis. The New Testament scriptures provide us with yet another understanding of God’s love and a congruent paradigm for wholeness and healing activity. The themes of creation, brokenness, restoration to wholeness, and transfiguration revisit us in many of the New Testament stories.
All four canonical gospels cast Jesus in the role of healer and highlight his ministry of healing and exorcism. In his teaching and proclamation, Jesus interprets his acts of healing as signs of the beginning of God’s reign. Throughout Jesus’ proclamation, and healing stories, there is a fundamental conviction that God wills the wholeness of human beings in their physical, psychological, and social dimensions.
Healing was central to both Jesus’ ministry and that of the apostles. Jesus as the Messiah was the bringer of ‘health and salvation’ and he shared his power of healing with the disciples as he sent them into the world equipping them to witness to the kingdom of God by word and act. The gift of healing is not given to build up one’s self, but to enable a right relationship to occur between the individual, the healing presence, and God the Father. Healings were an operation of the ascended Lord through the Spirit and were not restricted to the local leadership. For example, one of St. Paul’s spiritual gifts is that of healing (1 Cor. 12:9, 28, 30), a gift that may to any member of a congregation.
The apostolic Church preserved this connection between salvation and healing. Throughout Acts it is implied that the power to heal was an apostolic gift. To be sure, the apostolic ministry of healing was a normal and natural part of the historic Church and within the early Christian communities; healings never occurred alone but were bound with the community in prayer.
Christians have a unique role in participating as agents of healing and health, for it is God who heals and as vessels of God we are commanded and empowered by our Lord Jesus Christ to do so. As followers of Jesus, we are called not only to preach but to teach and to heal.
A Prayer for Healing:
Loving and tender God, touch our heart with hope, touch our minds with clarity, touch our souls with peace, and touch our bodies with the warmth of your healing presence. Grant us courage to face the future, insight to understand life’s trials, wisdom to discern how we can touch the lives of others, and compassion that makes us instruments of your healing love in all that we think, all that we say, and all that we do. In Jesus name we pray, Amen.
The Rev. Dn Stephanie Ulrich, RN, SD, Minister of Health All Saints Episcopal Church
I recently experienced a most extraordinary presentation on Understanding Dementia by Dr. James Coggin, M.D, speaker for INR-Institute for Natural Recourses. The focus of this 8 hour seminar was on learning and understanding the variety of chronic-progressive-degenerative- neurological disorders that fall under the “umbrella term” we know as dementia. Here are some highlights from Dr. Coggin’s lecture.
Dementia is a progressive loss of cognitive function- often accompanied by disturbances of mood, behavior, and personality- that leads to significant impairment in the ability to perform normal activities of daily living (ADL’s). Dementia is not a specific disease (like Alzheimer’s); rather it is a term for a group of symptoms caused by different progressive neurological disorders resulting in brain cell death (91% of the dementia’s under this “umbrella” are irreversible). Nine primary neurodegenerative dementias were discussed with the focus on Alzheimer’s disease. This neurological disease constitutes (>65 – 85%) of our population in which only 30% have pure Alzheimer’s. The disease currently affects over 5.4 million people in the US and with a rapidly aging baby boomer population that figure is expected to rise to 7.7 million in 2030 without significant treatment for cure. Because of increasing human life expectancy and the fact that age is the biggest risk factor, dementias are becoming more prominent and found in 14% of Americans age 71 and older. The risk doubles every 5 yrs after the age of 65: only 1% of 60 years olds have dementia but 30-50% of those who are age 85 and older, have dementia. And interestingly enough, history of caregiving for a family member with dementia, increases the risk of the caregiver for developing dementia by 6%.
Age is not the only risk factor. Independent-living centurions do not have dementia. Both lifestyle factors and genetic predispositions play a role in the risk of developing dementia. Stress plays a key role in dementia and while memory loss is common in dementia- in and of itself- does not constitute dementia. Memory is a skill. If we work our brains, they need not decline.
There are many signs and symptoms of dementia. They vary within /with every individual.
- disorientation to time or place
- inability to concentrate
- loss of initiative
- trouble with executive functions such as planning
- language disturbances (aphasia)
- impaired motor performance (apraxia)
- problems with spatial reasoning
- failure to recognize common objects (agnosia)
- personality and mood changes
- neglect of personal hygiene and safety
- asking same questions over and over
- inability to do complex tasks like cooking a meal
- becoming lost in once-failiar places
- forgetting names of familiar people
- forgetting regular appointments
- neglecting personal hygiene
- showing signs of mental confusion
- experiencing mood symptoms of anxiety, irritability, anger and depression.
See your physician early if you or any family member elicit any of these signs and symptoms because, 55% of mild cognitive impairment progress to Alzheimer’s.
Studies have shown that pathological changes in the brain actually can begin as early as 20 years prior to diagnosis and so by the time the diagnosis is made; the disease has already been progressing for years, and signs and symptoms become progressively worse over time. Alzheimer’s disease risk factors include: genetics and family history, age and sex (more women than men), high blood pressure, cardiovascular disease, insulin resistance, metabolic syndrome and diabetes, traumatic brain injury, poor diet (Mediterranean diet has some hopeful benefits), other toxins, lack of exercise, smoking and alcohol consumption, chronic inflammation, poor dental hygiene, hearing loss, low social support, low mental stimulation, and lower educational levels all add to the mix of risk factors.
Stages of Progression of Alzheimer’s
Stage 1: Mild Confusional State (2-7 years)- usually diagnosed at this stage- independent living and work become gradually affected, memory problems develop for recent events, word recall, organizational planning, mislaying things, reading and recalling information. Procedural function intact (automatic repetitive learning- learned encrypted memory (i.e. riding a bike)
Stage 2: Mild to Moderate impairment (2 years)-significant decrease in memory for recent events, numbers, checkbooks, handling bills, sequential tasks like preparing a meal (procedural function), may deny there is a problem and become defensive, withdraws from conversations, social situations, or mentally challenging situations. The degree of procedural memory loss is at best, borderline at this point. Persons are also at risk for developing depression and anxiety.
Stage 3: Moderate Impairment (18 months) – this person cannot live independently and requires moderate assistance with ADL’s: impaired memory for personal history, day and time, confusion about location and difficulty following conversation, sleep disturbances begin. Declarative memory (cognitive functioning) begins progressively to be compromised.
Stage 4: Severe Impairment (2 1/2 years) – this person is unaware of present and recent experiences and the memory for person history is impaired. Often incontinent, severe sleep disturbances and agitated behavior late in the day and night “sundowning”, wonders off and gets lost, repetitive compulsive behavior, repeats self, requires safe and supervised care with ADL’s. Declarative memory (cognitive function) and procedural memory now are acutely compromised.
Stage 5: Very Severe Impairment (1-2 1/2 years) resulting in death. Death usually occurs as a result of other health conditions associated with complications of the chronic disease process. This person now requires 24maximum assistance, is often bedridden and loses the ability to respond to environment, communicate, and control movements. Often has severe impairment in visual, language, mobility functions as well as diminished swallowing reflexes, rigid muscles, and lack of awareness. Seizures are not uncommon as organ failure ensues. Both cognitive and procedural memories are gone. Survival now is dependent on the quality of care received.
Although there are no disease-modifying or curative treatments for Alzheimer’s or any of the major degenerative dementias, there is hope on the horizon. Research and medical breakthroughs in medications, vaccines, DNA testing (that may identify biomarkers for Alzheimer’s) and other diagnostic techniques have an 80% accuracy in identifying the disease from 2 to 5 years before symptoms begin. For more information, check out the website: FamilyDoctor.org, where you can find health information and resources about illnesses, diseases and conditions provided by the organization of American Academy of Family Physicians.
It is extremely frustrating and frightening not to be able to find a word to express one’s thoughts, lose one’s memories and familiar relationships with loved ones close to us. Sometimes, more than not prayer is our only option for us and others in this situation. Prayer is a sign of our care and concern for one another. Prayer works through God as God works through us and can change lives. It is part of our relationship with God and in God and through God.
Prayer for Those with Dementia
Hear the Words of Our Lord who truly turn to him; Come unto me, all ye that travail and are heavy laden, and I will refresh you. (Matthew 11:28)
Father in Heaven, God of mercy and compassion; Pour out your grace upon all who suffer from Alzheimer’s or any other forms of dementia. Bless them and those who care for them with your patience and loving kindness as they struggle through their journeys in this wilderness we know as dementia. In the face of daily struggles and frustrations, help them to do what they can with the time they have left together and may the peace of your presence each day bring a blessing, hope and greater love for one another. We ask these things, in the Spirit of Our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Amen.
The Rev. Dn Stephanie Ulrich, RN, SD, Minister of Health All Saints Episcopal Church
God’s richest blessings on your summer! I hope you were able to spend some down time enjoying your loved ones, and the beauties that remind us…it is summer! Family picnics…vacation outings and play time… cook-outs with neighbors and friends. This article focuses on the role of the family in self-esteem.
The family plays a significant… if not critical role… in the development of self-esteem. Much of our self-esteem can be traced back to how we were treated as children in our families. Children are not born with self-esteem; rather self-esteem is really a reflection of other’s opinion of us.
A healthy sense of self is a very important gift we can give to all/our children. As adults, we may need to forgive our parents if they were not able to help us feel lovable, capable, and valued. The only healthy source of self-esteem comes from our relationship with our loving heavenly Father. As children of God…our Father is the only divine being who can love us with the unconditional love that never fails.
So how can families help children develop self-esteem? Well there are several things Christian families can do to foster self-esteem.
First: We can provide our children with an abundance of unconditional love. This is the love that we learn best from God. It is easiest for adults to share this with their children if they can enjoy God’s love for themselves (see Rom. Ch. 5 and 1 Jn. Ch. 3 & 4). Unconditional love speaks loudly to children that they are valuable because of who they are… not what they do! Each person is a precious and irreplaceable child of our loving Father…of such worth…that Jesus died to redeem him or her!
Second: We can provide the structure and guidance that children need. Love without guidance really…is not love! Children need discipline and I am not talking about physical discipline here. It is the discipline that our loving Father offers every one of his children so that we can learn to understand our roles and position in the world that is logical and predictable. In God’s loving hands… it helps us all to feel safe and to focus on our real work and purpose in this world.
Third: We can provide a positive environment that affirms one another. Children learn a great deal from watching their parents interact! “Love is patient, love is kind…it is not rude…it is not easily angered…it always protects…always trusts, hopes and perseveres” (1 Cor. 13: 4-7).
Family Esteem: Is the belief that our family is valuable and worthwhile. It identifies the strengths that the family has and values how the family works together to assist each other in growth. Most of all…it appreciates each family member and the family as a whole. How is your family esteem?
May he who is faithful help us to experience wholeness and love in our families’ lives.
Have a Healthy and Blessed Day!
The Rev. Dn Stephanie Ulrich, RN, SD, Minister of Health All Saints Episcopal Church