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I am very grateful and relieved to have been involved in the Clergy Health Initiative pilot program. The Duke Endowment has been wonderful and prudent to focus on clergy health and wellness.

If the Clergy Health Initiative program had not been offered, I may have not been able to avoid a future heart issue/attack. While participating in the program, my physical revealed my need for cholesterol medication. I am thankful to have gotten help before something happened.

I would highly recommend all pastors get into the program when given the opportunity to do so. There are many other benefits to receive as well. Go for it!

  • The Rev. Bob Hagerty
  • Warsaw United Methodist Church, Warsaw, N.C.
  • Participant in the Clergy Health Initiative Pilot Program

The Duke Clergy Health Initiative could not have come at a better time for me. My weight had been increasing for a number of years with the beginnings of problems with both my blood pressure and cholesterol. I was sinking lower into depression. I could not muster up enough energy or determination to either diet or exercise.

This program and health coaching made all the difference. The combination of addressing physical, mental and spiritual problems with the combined financial assistance and accountability gave me the needed push.

I have lost 44 pounds during the last 6 months; both blood pressure and cholesterol levels have improved; because of regular workouts and diet, I feel much better; and I have started taking pride in my appearance and know that I look much better in my clothes.

I am pleased with my progress, but realize that I have a long way to go to achieve my desired health status.

Thank you for this program.

  • The Rev. LaNell Johnson
  • Kistler's Chapel United Methodist Church, Rutherfordton, N.C.
  • Participant in the Clergy Health Initiative Pilot Program

I appreciate the opportunity I have had to be a part of the pilot program for the Clergy Health Initiative. I have been an ordained minister in the United Methodist Church (and its predecessor body) for 51 years. I have always valued health and fitness. I believe that we clergy make a powerful witness through the way in which we care for our bodies as the temple of the Holy Spirit. In addition to having more energy to do the work God has called us to do, physical fitness and good health saves us money, which is good stewardship. I believe that I am in excellent health, and I appreciate this program that promotes clergy health.

I appreciated the holistic nature of the Clergy Health Initiative—spiritual, medical, nutritional, and physical fitness (exercise). The health coach component of the program has been a plus for me. I have had a very good relationship with my coach.

  • The Rev. Reginald W. Ponder
  • Elevation United Methodist Church, Raleigh, N.C.
  • Participant in the Clergy Health Initiative Pilot Program

Clergy are always taking care of someone else, be it a child, spouse, parishioner, friend, parent, but the Clergy Health Initiative allowed me to take care of me, and I feel so much better.

I was directed to excellent resources for my continued growth physically, mentally, socially, emotionally, and spiritually. How many clergy can do this? The Clergy Health Initiative is a discipline of self-care for clergy.

  • The Rev. Dale Peele Sneed
  • Hartzell Memorial and McQueen's Chapel United Methodist Churches, Hickory, N.C.
  • Participant in the Clergy Health Initiative Pilot Program

I have enjoyed my experience with the Clergy Health Initiative. The more I learned about the program, the more I wondered, "How could this be a bad thing?"

Since my experience, I have become more aware of issues related to stress and setting boundaries, and I have obtained tools to use in combating their effects. I realize that this is a lifelong journey, but I feel better equipped after participating in the program. What worked for me may not work for others, but it is well worth the try. I encourage all clergy to consider participating.

Thank you for the hard work that the Clergy Health Initiative group has put into the program. It has made a difference for me.

  • The Rev. Sue Anne Morris
  • Eden First United Methodist Church, Eden, N.C.
  • Participant in the Clergy Health Initiative Pilot Program