Moving in Faith: Endurance

This is a perfect week for me to write the blog.  The theme is endurance – something I have not been familiar with for over 30 years when it comes to exercising.  When the pandemic hit, I was immediately in isolation.  Except for my blood type, I could check off every box for not surviving if I contracted the virus.  Anxiety, fear, and depression quickly took over my life.  The feelings I had were very unfamiliar.  I spoke to God, and he listened.  Exercise, virtual church service, and bible study all showed up.  Within several days, my life began to change.  My exercise journey started with a call from my sister, Connie Cruthirds.  She knew I was vulnerable, and she knew how scared I was.  She suggested that we dance together every afternoon through FaceTime.  It was a great idea and I was excited because we both love to dance! The first afternoon, I lasted 5 minutes and hated it because my arthritis and bursitis immediately began to hurt.  The pain made me sadder.  My sister did not give up on me.  Through research, we found videos of chair exercises (free through YouTube).  We began exercising daily.  In the beginning, I could exercise no more than 10 minutes.  Within a matter of weeks, I was exercising 30 minutes, 5 days/week and it was giving me so much joy.  Soon after, the challenge of Moving in Faith presented itself.  Yes!  That is exactly what I was doing!  For the first time in my life, I entered a physical health challenge.  By joining the group, I was now part of a team working toward a common goal to get healthy, even during the most challenging of times.  The team is encouraging and to know that I can contribute keeps me “moving in faith”. 

One of my most important reasons for continuing to move in faith – grandson.

Marilyn Williamson

Posted by Julie Fike at Monday, July 6, 2020

Moving in Faith: Cava's Journey

I am a bicyclist.  It is my stress reliever. I am also a good cook, which may also be part of the reason why I bike 18.5 miles almost every day. 

There are a lot of positives to biking.  First and foremost: when you bike, you make your own breeze.  In the heat and humidity that we have here in Memphis, this is important!  Secondly, biking gets you away from your phone and computer. No distractions. No interruptions.  

I bike the Green Line into Shelby Farms.  It is a straight paved trail that allows you the opportunity to “think about what you think you know.” My husband and children think I use this time to plan out their lives.  They are partially right.  I do think of great ideas for them to implement into their lives. Fortunately for them, by the time I have finished my ride I have forgotten all the great ideas and plans I wanted to tell them.  It is amazing they have not thought to give me a mini recorder to attach to my bike helmet.

There is something about the joy that comes from riding a bike. It can be from just being able to get on it without falling down to the absolute joy of feeling the wind breeze by as you pedal through God’s great gift of nature seeing each season arrive with their own distinctive colors.

One of the best parts of my ride are the smiles I receive back from the people I pass. Big smiles. People looking to have that connection with another person. The affirmation that a smile and a hello convey brings us together and helps us to move forward.

Holy Communion is known for our friendliness and hospitality. The masks we must wear hide our smiles and our hellos. Here is one of those great ideas I had while biking today. Sometime during the service, let’s all turn around and wave to each other and the cameras broadcasting our service. Be more vocal with a strong Hey!!!  That probably is not in the Episcopal Playbook, but that kind of joy is sure needed right now.

 I always have that joyous feeling of accomplishment as I turn on to my street at the end of my ride. I am thankful that I am home safely, happy and thankful that I can still do this every day, happy, thankful and relieved that I saw no snakes.

I know there is more…if only I had that mini recorder!

Cava

Posted by Julie Fike at Sunday, June 28, 2020

Moving In Faith: Emily's Journey

Posted by Emily Austin at Monday, June 22, 2020

Moving in Faith: Robert Propst

Why I chose to participate:

I’m a full-on introvert.  I always max out that category on personality tests.  I need an adequate amount of “alone time” to function well.  So, you would think a forced period of isolation would be a great gift to me.  Well, you can get too much of a good thing.  I like cake but I don’t want to eat a whole cake.  What I’ve learned these past three months of confinement is that, while I do cherish my solitary time, I also draw energy from being with others, much more than I realized.  Not just the people I know and love, but also the everyday contact with my fellow human beings in the ordinary rhythms of life. I miss it.  Taking part in the Moving In Faith challenge is a way of having a connection with others in some small way, working together in a worthwhile endeavor. 

 

What’s been your health journey?

I’ve been physically active my whole life.  Daily exercise is something that is as ingrained in me as brushing my teeth.  It keeps me mentally and physically centered.  Over the last 30 years, running has been my movement of choice.  However, one of the blessings of this recent “shutdown” has been the amount of time my wife, Kendra, and I have had together.  We have taken many, many long walks together, something we would never have had the opportunity to do in ordinary times.  It has been good for our souls.  And aren’t we all so blessed by the trails and green spaces we now have access to in our community?  Twenty years ago it was Shelby Farms or Overton Park.  That was it.  But now…WOW!

 

What do you tell yourself when things get tough?

“I better go for a run.”  It’s true.  In good times and bad, nothing keeps me as emotionally healthy as being able to take a run.  I’ve worked through a lot of my own and the world’s problems out on a run. It’s prayer time, meditation time, time to ponder and think.  Physical activity and good mental health go hand-in-hand.  Google it sometime and you’ll read for days. In life, there are so many things we don’t have control over.  That has been especially true recently when numerous freedoms have been taken away.  One thing I do have control of though is the ability to go out and put one foot in front of the other.  It’s the best medicine I know.

These last months have been filled with uncertainty and anxiety for most of us.  For myself it has been a test of my faith.  When I can’t control things, how much am I able to let go and trust in God’s providence?  The passage below by Thomas Merton has been a helpful daily prayer for me.

“You do not need to know precisely what is happening, or exactly where it is all going.  What you need is to recognize the possibilities and challenges offered by the present moment, and to embrace them with courage, faith and hope.”  Amen.

God bless and keep on movin’.

 

 

Posted by Julie Fike at Sunday, June 14, 2020

Moving in Faith: Julie Fike

This is the second week of our Moving In Faith journey.   Holy Communion has 50 team members so far and we welcome anyone else that wants to join in.   Holy Communion, Grace-St. Luke’s, Saint Johns Episcopal, Second Baptist, Christ UMC, St. George’s Episcopal and Germantown UMC are competing with one another for the most points earned through any type of exercise.   

Reason for the challenge?

To motivate us all to get moving and stay as healthy as possible, to connect with others through the team concept and to include a spiritual element by offering weekly prayers and scripture readings. 

 

What’s the benefit of being in community and being part of a team?

I’ve always enjoyed being part of a team. I like the comradarie of a team.  I like working with others and I tend to work harder when I know someone is counting on me.  For health challenges, being part of a team gives me extra motivation and keeps me accountable.

 

Favorite form of exercise?   

Running is my favorite.  An early morning run gives me more energy and makes me feel good mentally and physically for the rest of the day.  It gives me quiet time to reflect, to think about what I’m thankful for, to pray and to listen.  When I’ve been feeling anxious, sad or angry about something, it helps me process those feelings into more positive ones. It’s a time I can plan my day, problem solve or think about new ideas.  During some runs, I don’t think about anything.  I just enjoy the movement and take in the sights and sounds of being outdoors, especially when I’m on the greenline or greenway.  Then I’m thankful for the beauty of nature and the ability to be out in it.  I also enjoy working my lungs, especially when I finish.  It’s not always easy getting motivated to go run, but once I get going, I’m so glad I did.

 

This week our theme is hope.  My hope is that we all take time to move each day, to take care of ourselves and to care for others.  My hope is that we all have God’s peace in our heart.

 

 

Posted by Julie Fike at Monday, June 8, 2020

Moving in Faith: Connie Cruthirds

Today, Holy Communion and five Memphis congregations begin a six-week journey called “Moving in Faith”. The hope is “that we nurture our faith as we energize one another to work towards a healthier body, mind and spirit”. Each week, a team member will share a bit of their story and why they chose to participate.

Here’s my why:

Two years ago, thanks to the encouragement of our ministers, I went to the West Virginia Institute for Spirituality for a week of spiritual direction. Old habits and fears had moved into the driver’s seat of my life contributing to pre-diabetes, anemia, aching joints, osteopenia, obesity, and hopelessness. Dr. (Sister) Carole Riley compassionately listened. Each day was filled with hours of silence, prayer, and discernment. I began to see how out of balance my life had become. She helped me connect more deeply to God and design a way of living that invites continual growth for my mind, body, and spirit. Today, I weigh a lot less and feel relief that the medical issues are all gone except for my finicky knees.The real difference is that the changed in my life have happened from the inside out. My focus shifted to tethering tight to God throughout the day.

My overall goal…

keep growing in mind, body, and spirit. During this time of COVID-19, a doctor said, “This is the time to get as healthy as possible.” Our body needs us.

My short-term goal…

Increase flexibility through stretching and yoga. Helps me so much with aging.

The benefit of being in community…

Communities offer so much more fun and energy. This friendly competition between congregations is about movement. Anyone can participate. My sister, Marilyn, is on the team. She became shut in in Chicago because of Covid-19. She’d never enjoyed regular exercise, but we both knew sitting at home worrying would hurt us more. Now, 10 weeks later, for the first time in her life, she exercises 5 days a week using free chair aerobics for seniors videos on YouTube. I meet her on FaceTime 4 of those days. At first it was challenging for her to exercise 10 mins. Now 30 mins. has become her norm! She says “if she can find a way to get movement almost anyone can.”

Mostly, I want to say that with our world full of so many tough situations right now, our bodies weren’t made to be under this much stress for so long. Our body, mind, and spirit can get worn out. I hope many others join this journey. The timing of it is a gift. Movement can be as simple as lifting water bottles or cans up and down a few minutes a day, walking to the mailbox twice, walking the dog, dancing in your kitchen to favorite songs, etc. When prayer, gratitude, scripture, the energy of community, fun, and the Holy Spirit get together anything is possible. I’m so thankful that my hopelessness led me to health and happiness with a whole lot of growing in between. I pray that same grace finds its way to others during the next 6 weeks.

To join “Moving in Faith” email Julie at juliefike.holycommunion.org

Posted by Julie Fike at Monday, June 1, 2020

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