Wednesday, October 23, 2013
Live with Strength. That phrase has become a mantra for some United Methodist Clergy in South Carolina including several ministers here in the Lowcountry. Rev. Kelli Taylor, pastor at Boone Hill United Methodist Church in Summerville and Rev. Wayne Major, pastor at the Ruffin Circuit in the Walterboro district are among 14 pastors who are practicing what they preach and Living with Strength as a result of their participation in the Clergy Health Institute sponsored by Pfeiffer University and Agape Senior Center.
Since beginning the program in July, Rev. Taylor has lost 50 pounds. Rev. Major no longer needs blood pressure medications and has consistently lost 1 pound per week. These are not alone. All across South Carolina clergy and laity in United Methodist congregations are losing weight and gaining strength. Rev. David Anderson, of Columbia, reports that he is “down 86 pounds and loving life!” Another pastor in Chapin took a trip to Wal-Mart recently to pick up a 45 pound bag of dog food as a reality check for how much extra weight he’d been carrying around on his frame.
So what is their secret? You may be surprised. They aren’t spending long hours in the gyms or depriving themselves of their favorite foods. According to these pastors, living with strength goes beyond just losing weight or getting physically stronger. It is living with confidence, accomplishing goals, reducing stress and living life in balance – all lessons they are learning through the Clergy Health Institute.
One key instructor in the program is Jason Rhymer, a Level IV Z-health Trainer whose personal fitness background and training experience coupled with an outstanding level of motivation and spirituality made quite an impression on these men and women in the Institute. His early background as a director of children’s’ theater and professional actor who toured throughout Europe and the U.S. is not the typical foundation for the health and fitness gurus of this day. But Rhymer’s refreshing approach to health is just what the doctor ordered for people in high-stress, demanding roles. Drawing on science, faith, creativity and his personal fitness background, Jason addresses the physical, spiritual and social needs of his students. His methods and winning strategies empower athletes and all he trains to get started, stay motivated and balance working out with living the best life possible
For Taylor, the most unexpected outcome of this healthier life has been her motivation to help other people who feel “stuck” in an unhealthy life to get moving and get healthy. “So many people stay on the couch or eat the thousand-calorie fast food meal with 1500 mg of sodium because they don’t know that they can start where they are and take small steps that really make a difference. Jason gave us the tools to live with strength. I want to pass on those tools to others.”
On Thursday, Oct. 24 from 9:30 a.m. until 4:30 p.m. Boone Hill will be hosting “Live with Strength, Lead with Strength,” a one-day Z-health fitness event with Jason Rhymer. Participants (anyone age 16 and up) will learn joint and flexibility movements to gain strength and improve overall health. A healthy lunch will be served and diabetes educators will be one hand to answer food and nutrition questions. Interested? Contact Boone Hill UMC @843-873-7461 or by email firstname.lastname@example.org.