The Discovery Centre has launched Living Well, described as “the best health correspondence course in the Adventist Church”.
The free 13-part course covers nutrition, weight loss, cancer prevention and other aspects of wholistic health, all carefully checked by researchers for accuracy.
Discovery Centre director, Pastor Lyle Southwell, is enthusiastic about the appeal of Living Well, saying that a one-month trial of the letterbox cards produced 360 requests for the course; more than double the number of responses for all the rest of the Discovery Centre’s courses combined. “We build relationships with people so they can build a relationship with Jesus,” he said, citing the statistic that 44 per cent of students who complete a Discovery health or lifestyle course go on to enrol in a Bible course as well.
Paul Rankin, coordinator for the Complete Health Improvement Program (CHIP) for the South Pacific Division (SPD), rejected the suggestion that Living Well is a competitor for CHIP. “This is based on the same principles as CHIP but it’s put in an accessible format for the community,” he said. Whereas CHIP is a paid program, involving medical checks and the positive motivation of a group atmosphere, Living Well is a free course that individuals can work through at their own pace, in the privacy of their home.
“As community interest in health has increased, Adventist interest has decreased,” Mr Rankin said. “Our aim is to get as many Adventists as possible signed up to the Living Well course.”
Living Well was developed by the Discovery Centre in collaboration with health experts from Sanitarium, Avondale College, the Sydney Adventist Hospital’s Australasian Research Institute and SPD. Representatives from each of these entities were present at the May 7 launch, held at the Adventist Media Network building in Wahroonga, as well as senior church leaders from the General Conference and across the region.
“The Adventist Church should be a leading provider of health solutions for the community,” said Sanitarium Health & Wellbeing CEO Kevin Jackson, who expressed a desire to collaborate on similar projects in the future. “We forget how well we know some of these basic health principles—we take it for granted. Others aren’t so aware.”
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