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WV Healthy Bodies Healthy Spirits * November 2 2018 * Info below

tight logoWe had a wonderful conference in 2017! See photos below.

Now we’re going to do it again on November 2, 2018. Click here for 2018 registration information.


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 closer view_

2017: a wonderful, inspiring day!  Thanks to all who attended, everyone who shared their stories and the people who helped organize the day. 

Our state network is launched! 

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 Info on the conference and network below …


Faith-based Genesis Running will offer a “how-to-create-a-Couch-to-5K program”. Just one of your choices.









healthy faith-2

“I’ll be there to find new ways to help people live healthier, longer lives. I’ll be there because, as a pastor, I’m tired of burying people who died before their time. I’ll be there because I know that this is God’s work.”   –  Pastor Steve Willis,  speaker, First Baptist Church of Kenova, Cabell County, author of Winning the Food Fight  


In October 2014, the idea was born at the West Virginia Council of Churches meeting. After a year of planning, on October 3, West Virginians from many denominations joined hands with Try This West Virginia, the American Heart Association, the Arthritis Foundation and others to launch the network.


 The network is about saving and improving lives.


Parkersburg bicyclers

We talked about creating new ways for people in our communities to be active and get healthier food. We’re talking about it as important spiritual work. We talked about ways to offer classes on healthy cooking, chronic disease self-management nd running for beginners, and ways to put all of those in a spiritual context.

We talked about ways to make it easier for like-minded people of faith to get and trade ideas, inspire each other, start programs and find funding.

We heard from inspiring West Virginians who are already making it happen an talke about ways to spread those examples via video and other ways. See hundreds of examples at

We set up a steering committee with representatives from various denominations: Methodist, Presbyterian, Catholic, American Baptist, Disciples of Christ, and will be adding others.



It’s time to take action!

Charleston fitness program

  • One in four of our 11-year-olds already have high blood pressure, according to WVU’s CARDIAC program
  • West Virginians have some of the highest early-death rates in the nation.
  • We spend seven in ten of our health dollars treating diseases that could have been prevented.

 We can help change that!


  Jeff Allen“I’ll be there because I want to meet other people of faith who want to help create a healthier future for West Virginia. We can make a big difference if we work together. This is important, lifesaving work.”

  • Rev. Jeff Allen, director, WV Council of Churches




What will the Healthy Bodies Healthy Spirits network do after October 3rd


  • Jefferson County community garden for food pantry

    Develop a statewide list of like-minded faith organizations and individuals and help them learn from each other.

  • Videotape great things WV churches are doing and post them where the whole network can see. They’ll be 5 – 10 minutes in length, great for showing in your church discussion group. You can watch and say, “Look what they’re doing in Grafton! We could do that here.”
  • Acquire a traveling library of healthy faith programs and offer regional workshops where people can become familiar with them.
  • Offer workshops  on healthy, tasty affordable church cooking and help churches find ways to gradually make it happen.
  • Let people know about funding opportunities.


On November 2 …

you’ll meet wonderful new friends, trade ideas with like-minded people, hear about practical, affordable resources and programs, and strategize about ways to make them happen at home. Inspiring West Virginians will tell their stories. We’ll do some good singing, and have fun planning the future. We’ll plan for a heathier future.  First Baptist Church of Kenova in Kenova365 Church in Martinsburg, Pierpont Church of the Nazarene in Morgantown, Emmanuel Baptist in Parkersburg, and First Baptist Princeton in PrincetonWest Virgina are the five host locations for 2018.

Click here for the schedule.


At the conference, we chose from “how-to” workshop:




 Help us spread the word!

Buckhannon commun garden (1 of 1)

Buckhannon’s beautiful community garden, just blocks from the Oct. 3 conference.


Let people know about the main Web page for the Healthy Bodies Healthy Spirits network.



Downloadable flier about the conference. Download it and send it around!

* Church bulletin inserts (coming soon).  Pick two Sundays to put them in the bulletins. Let them know about the October Gathering.

* Overview of the West Virginia Healthy Bodies Healthy Spirits network.


Get in the loop!



  1. I am so excited to be a part of this group. I believe that it is God’s timing and His timing is always perfect!

  2. Would it be unreasonable to invite displays from tobacco, alcohol,and drug avoidance programs to complement food and exercise plans, with the idea that the faith based group can be a catalyst for all of these factors?

    I would be glad to discuss my idea further if you consider it a possible approach.

    • Like it! I’d like to talk with you about it. There’s a growing body of research that says physical activity and healthy eating can be valuable tools for people who want to avoid drugs, alcohol and tobacco. We can all probably think of at least one example. And a lot of teens who start on drugs will say that they do it because “there’s nothing to do in this town.” Let’s give them other choices!

      • Dear Kate:

        Whenever you are involved in a specific project, you do it with the most amount of passion and commitment.

        Although I am no longer the franchisee for Weight Watchers, my passion for helping people make important changes in their eating habits and overall lifestyle is as strong and committed as ever. I would like to be a speaker to the United Methodist Churches, the Presbytery of West Virginia, Catholic Charities, the American Baptist Churches, and all those who have partnered with Try This! I am an inspirational and charismatic speaker and am passionate about the message to eat better, live longer and improve your health every step along the way. The obesity epidemic is growing stronger every day. I agree that churches play a very important and pivotal role in so many people’s lives while offering the right environment to help people begin taking a look at the many outreach activities that can begin to combat obesity.

        As a cookbook author of Lean and Luscious, a collection of 375 easy to use recipes that are healthy and available at affordable cost. Plus, Lean and Luscious Meatless will appeal to vegetarians and the many wanting a healthy way to put a meatless meal on the table for all to enjoy.

        Speaking to church groups to learn better eating habits is an opportunity I would welcome.

        I look forward to hearing from you.


        Millie Snyder

  3. I am ashamed that WV people are so caught up in the consumerism of fast food, and unwilling to learn how to be responsible for their health and learning how to be more healthy. No pride in their life or motivation to better themselves. After being a third world country dependent on coal business for so long, now we are left in the lurch, with our spirits broken as another native people is used for the capitalistic consumer mill, and what do we have left? Mountains with the tops taken off, many buried miners, pollution in streams, unemployment, bad health, and broken spirits. How can we have pride in being dumped on hillbillies at the brunt of jokes?

  4. I hope to be there with another nurse friend of mine from the congregation of Gassaway UMC.

  5. Can’t wait to network and build new partnerships.

  6. Wish I could be there. I have a prior commitment to Women On Wellness the same day.
    However it does fit in with health and wellness for WV.
    As an RN I can see a change in the environment here over the last few years. I believe
    Try This has a lot to do with it!

  7. I host a regional talk radio show on The AJR News Network called The Mike Queen Show. The AJR News Network is a three FM-station network that covers 14 entire counties and parts of six others here in Central West Virginia.

    I would like to invite one of the organizers of this event to call into my Show next week to tell us about the Healthy Bodies, Healthy Spirits conference.

    Please have someone to call or email me before Friday to schedule a time to call in next week.



    • Will do!

  8. I got involved during the UM Women Mission U at WVWC in July and am still interested in this effort but can’t attend Oct. 3. I’m in Western Maryland (Allegany Co) and would like to know if anyone from Garrett Co MD (in WV United Methodist Conference) would like to work together on this project in Western MD.

  9. I’m in Western MD (Allegany Co.) but would like for our community to connect with the WV effort. One UM charge in our community is split MD/WV though not in WV UM Conference, and some of our church members live in WV. I would like to find out if others on the MD/WV border (including Garrett Co, in the WV UM Conference) would like to work together to connect our part of MD with what’s going on in WV. I will not be there Oct 3, but please contact me if you’re involved and are in Mineral Co, Allegany Co or Garrett Co. Thanks!

  10. Look forward to being there with another member of our Dunmore UMC in Pocahontas County!!!!

  11. We attended the conference it gave us new insite and was very motivating. Thanks for all your hard work.

    • Thank you, Gerry. So glad you were there!

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