Who We Are Our mission is to inspire and cultivate spiritual, physical and mental health and wholeness within ourselves, in our congregation, in our communities and in our relationship with God's beloved creation.
What We Do
Announcements & Upcoming Events
The Health Advisory Team is happy to announce that we have a new addition to our congregation- an AED! This "automated external defibrillator" is located in the alcove in the stairway down to Fellowship Hall. You'll notice new AED signs in strategic places to let people know where to find this potentially lifesaving equipment.
Please do not open the AED cabinet unless it is a true emergency; the cabinet has an alarm that is activated when the cabinet is opened.
As we move into school and colleges restarting and fivemore weeks of Phase 2 in NC, I’ve been getting a number of questions about masks.Research has shown that masks work and are one of the simplest ways to slow down the spread of the virus in our communities especially when they are worn by everyone.As part of the “three W’s” (Wear a mask, Wash hands with soap and water frequently, and Wait 6 feet apart from others), masks are integral in our everyday response to COVID-19.And it is working!Although our rates of COVID-19 and hospitalizations in NC are higher than we’d like them to be, we have so far avoided large sudden spikes of cases, which is great news. There are a lot of mask types available now, and not all masks are equal in their ability to stop viral droplet spread. When you wear a mask, you are wearing it for yourself (to avoid breathing in others’ droplets) and for others (so they don’t breathe in your droplets).
A new study from Duke University’s physics department shows that all masks are not equally effective in blocking virus droplets.Using a laser, they tested a variety of masks, all the way from the “gold standard” N95 which is worn by healthcare providers, to cotton bandanas and neck gaiters (those stretchy polyester fleece ones).
What a difference!Neck gaiters have more porous fabric (which makes it easier to breathe) but were no better at blocking virus droplets than wearingno face covering at all.Also, the porous neck gaiter fabric actually broke up bigger particles into many smaller ones, which are more likely to remain aerosolized and linger in the air longer.Bandanas and knitted masks had the same problem.
Masks with the plastic exhalation valves on them are no better at blocking virus droplets than wearingno face covering at all.The exhalation of unfiltered droplets through the valve is a big risk for COVID-19 spread. See the picture below.The exhalation valve on these masks do not provide any droplet protection for others around this person- the exhaled air goes straight out the plastic port without any filtering. The CDC does not recommend these types of masks and notes that if there is no other optionand only a mask with an exhalation valve is available, then the exhalation valve needs to becovered by another maskthat does not interfere with the fit of the mask.
Here’s the good news- we have a lot of effective mask options. Cotton cloth masks with at least 3 layers of cloth performed similarly to surgical masks when it came to blocking virus droplets.Ideallyanymask worn should have 3 layers.One favorite is the two layer cotton masks with a removable filter- WNC Masks of Love are making these-www.masksoflove.org-see their fitted mask design especially. Take a look at the Duke report (with some amazing pictures of droplet spread…):Low-cost measurement of facemask efficacy for filtering expelled droplets during speech -https://advances.sciencemag.org/content/early/2020/08/07/sciadv.abd3083
Benefits of Exercise
One of the six areas of Lifestyle Medicine is increasing physical activity. Also, known as exercise, it can include many types of physical activity, including swimming, walking, jogging, biking and dancing. And generally, aim for at least 30 minutes of physical activity each day (if you want to lose weight or meet specific fitness goals, exercise longer).
Exercise has many healthy benefits, both physically and mentally. Regular exercise can help protect you from heart disease and stroke, high blood pressure, noninsulin-dependent diabetes, obesity, back pain and osteoporosis; exercise has the mental benefit of improving your mood and helps you to manage stress. And for woman, weight bearing exercises such a walking, running and strength training help ward off bone loss. If you have arthritis, exercise helps protect joints by easing swelling, pain and fatigue and by keeping cartilage healthy (motion is lotion!).
Want more vitamin C in your diet for the immune boosting benefits? Try incorporating more of the tomatoes that are becoming abundant this time of year! Here’s a recipe for Vegan Ratatouille Spaghetti- can easily use chopped fresh tomatoes instead of the cherry tomatoes depending on what’s in the garden or supermarket.
Pumpkin Spice Chocolate Chip Bites: ½ cup pumpkin puree 4 medjool dates – pitted ¼ cup pumpkin seeds 1 cup rolled oats ¼ cup hemp seeds 1 Tbs almond butter 1/3 cup chocolate chips 1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
Combine dates, almond butter, ½ of the oats in a food processor. Process until finely chopped. Transfer the mixture into a large bowl, add the remaining ingredients and mix together. Refrigerate for 1 hour, roll into balls. Store in the refrigerator. ENJOY!
Baked Oatmeal Cups
1 ½ cups of rolled oats 2 Tbs of oat flour 1 tsp of oat flour 1 Tbs of ground chia seeds ½ tsp ground cinnamon ¼ tsp baking soda dash of sea salt ½ cup of pumpkin puree ¼ cup of pure maple syrup 1 tsp molasses 1 ½ Tbs grain-sweetened chocolate chips 1 Tbs raw pumpkin seeds Also needed: Muffin pan Muffin pan paper liners
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line eight 2 1/2 -inch muffin cup with paper bake cups or use nonstick muffin cups.
In a larger bowl stir together the first 7 ingredients (through salt). In a small bowl, combine the pumpkin puree, maple syrup and molasses. Add pumpkin mixture to flour mixture. Mix well. Add chocolate pieces and pumpkin seeds. Spoon about 1/3 of cup batter into each lined muffin cup. Use a spatula to lightly pack batter.
Bake 20 minutes. Transfer pan to a wire rack; cool 5 minutes. Remove oatmeal cups from pan; cool completely on wire rack. Serve warm or at room temperature.
Quinoa & Bean Salad Ingredients
1 20 ounce can kidney beans
2 cups cooked and cooled quinoa (3/4 cup raw)
1 red onion, finely chopped
2 bunches basil, stems discarded and leaves chopped
Juice of 2 lemons
Preparation In a large bowl, mix together the kidney beans, quinoa, onion and basil. In a small bowl, whisk together the lemon juice and 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil; season with salt and pepper. Pour the dressing over the quinoa salad and toss to coat evenly.
Spring Minestrone Soup In this soup, the various green hues of spring and summer vegetables shine through the clear broth. To add a delicious tang, serve each portion with a wedge of lemon. Serve a big bowl of Spring Minestrone with a crusty bread and an exquisite salad for an attractive light meal.