Faith, Science, & Healthful Lifestyle Enhancement Program
The GoodNEWS Program is a faith, science and health program that combines the knowledge of scientific research, specifically as it relates to genes and the influence of gene expression on our health, and partners it with faith communities’ beliefs about the body and God as Creator. The program aims to decrease risk factors for heart disease by equipping participants with an understanding of the internal workings of our genes and spirit so that they can make an impact on their external bodies through changes in lifestyle.
Since 2005, over 75 people have been trained as lay health promoters (LHPs) through the GoodNEWS Program. These LHPs have taken the knowledge they have learned and shared it with their congregations through establishing or supporting a health ministry. Activities in congregations include Health Sundays; establishing fruit stands, exercise programs, and church gardens; annual health fairs, and more. The program has given people a supportive environment to learn about health and has helped many to start living a more healthy, positive and loving lifestyle.
Although in the last couple centuries religion and science have been estranged, historically this has not been the case. Through examining scientific research of the gene, participants increase their understanding of how we are made to work, contributing to stronger faith in God as Creator and spiritual growth practices (like prayer and meditation) that lead to better health outcomes. This holistic approach that includes a focus on 7 dimensions of health and well-being provides a foundation for communities of faith to learn and practice behaviors that will nurture, educate, promote and support individuals and church communities to practice healthy living and prevent cardiovascular disease.