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NY13 Begins Health Outreach with Let's Move Day
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By Katia Reinert, NAD HM Director

The best evangelists and ministers know that that the most successful way to reach souls for Christ is not only to preach to them but rather to follow what has become known as “Christ’s Method”, delineated in the book Ministry of Healing, p. 143: “Christ’s method alone will give true success in reaching the people. The Savior mingled with men as one who desired their good. He showed His sympathy for them, ministered to their needs, and won their confidence. Then He bade them, ‘Follow Me’” [emphasis added].

Following His method means that before any preaching we must sincerely meet the needs of the people who are hurting and thirsty to find answers for their physical, mental, social and emotional problems. This is what Jesus did as inspiration tells us He spent more time healing than preaching.

In light of that, for NY13 the leadership has decided to take hold of Christ’s method and truly “mingle” with the community, find their needs and provide hope for common health problems. One health need seen as a priority by New York City (NYC) health officials is the epidemic of obesity. Policies to make healthy eating and physical activity become easy choices for kids and families in NYC have been a primary focus of the Mayor and his health officials.

In response to this major need, the very first health outreach event in NYC is a community event called Let’s Move Day (September 23), which will take place after the NY13 prayer rally that will be held on September 21-22.  

Let’s Move Day is a Division wide event, part of the Adventist InStep for Life initiative, where churches, schools, and healthcare institutions are encouraged to host 5K run/walks or other active events for kids, youth and families on that day, while inviting the community to participate. In NYC, the event will bring together many city health officials, as well as White House representatives who will show support for Adventists health outreach in the urban cities.

The NY13 Let’s Move Day will take place at the Flushing Meadows Park, in Queens, NY from 8-12 noon. General Conference, North American Division, and local Union and Conference administrators will participate, along with officials from the NYC Department of Health of Human Services and Department of Health. A new special issue of the Vibrant Life magazine focusing on Childhood Obesity and the Let’s Move Initiative will be handed out to all community participants in the park in a massive outreach. 

A press release has been sent out and a press briefing will give opportunity for the local media to bring  exposure to the health outreach of the SDA church in NYC. Additionally, booths with health information and health screenings will be conducted. During registration, people will be asked if they would like to be contacted for other health programs and receive more educational materials. 

Additionally, Let’s Move Week (Sept 23-29) will follow Let’s Move Day, where churches and schools will plan for a week long health emphasis inviting the community to attend cooking classes, health expos and  a final health program on Sabbath, at the end of Let’s Move week. For example, Pr Todd Stout and his team at the Advent Hope SDA Church in Manhattan will be launching the Go Veggie Week campaign during Let’s Move Week, encouraging New Yorkers to try going vegetarian for 7 days. Cooking classes will be available for those interested. Under Pr Tony Romeo, the Manhattan SDA Church has already established a weekly cooking class with dozens of people attending on a regular basis. They will take the opportunity to make these classes known to others attending Let’s Move Day. Many other churches in the region will also be hosting Let’s Move Day in their own community, says Pr Leroy Daley, Personal Ministries and Health Ministries director for the Northeastern Conference. 

The ultimate goal of Let’s Move Day in NYC around the NAD? To mingle with people, extending to them “disinterested kindness” as we make friends and share a message of health, hope, and wholeness. As inspiration says, many people, including New Yorkers, “can be reached only through acts of disinterested kindness… As they see the evidence of your unselfish love, it will be easier for them to believe in the love of Christ”  {COL 387.1} 

Please pray for this very first NY13 community health outreach. We ask for God’s guidance so that we may be able to reach many in the community through personal contact on Let’s Move Day and through the media coverage, so God’s name may be honored and His love may be felt through each smile and handshake of the people involved. May this open the way for further opportunities to share the gospel inviting people to “Follow” Him. 

For more information on how your church can participate on Let’s Move Day wherever you are please go to www.AdventistsInStepforLife.org and register to attend our free Let’s Move Day webinar on August 27th at 8pm EDT.  

Katia Reinert

NAD HM Director