August 30, 2008

Clergy Health

Dr. Scott Morris is founder and executive director of the Church Health Center in Memphis, Tenn., and associate minister at St. John’s United Methodist Church. In a recent article he reports: Fifty years ago, clergy were in the top five healthiest professions; now we’re closer to the bottom of the list.

Morris goes on to add: In the midst of the obesity epidemic in our country, for example, even after adjusting for age, sex and race, clergy remain 20 percent heavier than the rest of the population. When you examine stress-related diseases, clergy are considerably less healthy than the people in the pews. (read more here)

What I most appreciated in the article, however, is the section borrowed from Gary Gunderson's book The Leading Causes of Life. Gunderson has identified five categories that lead us all to abundant living: (

Connectivity: our ability to be connected to other people and other life-enhancing elements of the world;

Agency: our ability to control and direct our own lives;

Coherence: our ability to feel the elements of our lives united and moving in the same direction;

Blessing: the gifts we are given from our parents and those who love us;

Hope: our belief that the future will be better than today.