Reflections on Health and Healing for Churches on Commemorative World Health Days

This booklet includes 15 reflections on international commemorative health days from Dr Mwai Makoka WCC Programme Executive for Health and Healing, who emphasises that he is not a theologian, but “ a lay Christian who is a medical professional and keen to promote health and healing from a Christian perspective.

The World Council of Churches (WCC) defines health as a dynamic state of wellbeing of the individual and society. It is a state of physical, mental, spiritual, economic, political, and social wellbeing. And it is a state of humans being in harmony with each other, with the material world, and with God.
In June 2018 the WCC central committee approved the Ecumenical Global Health Strategy, whose purpose is to support churches as healing communities. The reflections in this handbook contribute to that goal by giving churches starting points for conversations and action on different health topics chosen from the World Health Organization calendar.
What does this book aim to achieve?
These reflections are expected to support the healing ministry of local congregations to ensure that:
  • The church is a place of health education.
  • The church is a place of practical action.
  • The church is a place for advocacy and care for creation.
  • The church is a place of empowerment for public witness.

These reflections have been prepared primarily for Christian congregations whose churches are members of the WCC. Christians from other church denominations and all people of good will are nevertheless welcome to use them. Churches have a mix of people at various academic, professional, and occupational levels, and in different personal and family circumstances – we trust that everyone will find something that speaks to them in their situation.

The reflections are short enough to be read during a church service on the Sunday closest to the commemorative day. Ideally, they should be used in this way. They can also be read and discussed in small groups: for example, during midweek prayers, Bible study, or youth groups.

In churches that have a health committee, the committee can guide the congregation with the different proposed points of action, including those that emerge from the discussions. The committee can also help to adapt the issues to the local context.

Read the handbook in Spanish

Read the handbook in French

View the handbook in the World Council of Churches webpage

Click here for Health Promoting Churches – Volume II

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