Hulapalooza celebrates Abundant Health around the world

“Focusing on our health benefits us in many different ways,” says Marie C. King, of St. John’s United Methodist Church, Nashville, Tennessee. “If we’re not healthy enough to get out and walk, we’re not healthy enough to come to worship … or to be involved in the community and socialize with each other.”

Health and wholeness are spiritual matters. The United Methodist Church launched a global health initiative called Abundant Health as part of God’s calling to be in the ministry of healing. Not bound to one dimension or facet, this program involves health initiatives encompassing mind, body, and spirit.

On World Health Day, all over the world, United Methodists will pick up their hula-hoops and jump into Hulapalooza. This is a multifaceted campaign aimed at encouraging healthy living. Centered on a hula-hoop theme, Hulapalooza celebrates healthy living in an easily adaptable way to fit the needs or focus of any local church.

On March 17, Global Ministries joined in partnership with the North Georgia Annual Conference for a UMC Day of Health. United Methodists got a sneak peek at Hulapalooza. Participants made their own hula-hoops, engaged in “hula-hoop-a-thons” and played games centered around hula-hoops.

Participants at UMC Day of Health make their own hoops at UMCOM’s hoop-making station using PVC piping, connectors, and decorative tape. PHOTO: ANTHONY TRUEHEART

Hula-hooping and the circle of life

Churches can boost awareness of health-related needs in the community by hosting a Hulapalooza event. They can also promote Abundant Health through inviting congregants and their local community to improve health and wholeness. Churches are encouraged to use Hulapalooza to celebrate current health programs or to start new ones centered on the passions of the congregation.

“Hulapalooza is a fun way to get people moving and talking about health and wholeness,” notes Dr. Olusimbo Ige, executive director of Global Ministries’ Global Health unit. “Hulapalooza will get us moving, laughing and coming together, all in line with our emphasis on mind, body, spirit. We are also using this to spread the word about the United Methodist movement to promote Abundant Health for all.”

Using their hand-made hula-hoops, participants joined in on a friendly competition to see who could hula-hoop the longest. PHOTO: ANTHONY TRUEHEART

Hula-hoops around the world

Hula-hoops are recognized around the world as a symbol for fun and games. People everywhere, no matter their age, can participate in hula-hoop fun. To help launch this new campaign, United Methodist churches in different countries are hosting Hulapalooza.

Get moving for Abundant Health

You can celebrate health and wholeness. Why not host a Hulapalooza event at your church? Hula-hooping doesn’t require special skills and requires no previous experience.

Learn more about hosting a Hulapalooza event for your church and community by going to Abundant Health’s website: www.umcabundanthealth.org/hulapalooza

There you’ll find many resources to plan your church’s Hulapalooza event – how-to guides, games, and activities as well as downloadable artwork and graphics.

Share your Hulapalooza fun with us. Send photos, videos and stories to Global Ministries’ health education specialist, Ashley Jester.

Learn more about the United Methodist Church’s Abundant Health initiative: www.UMCAbundantHealth.org

*Bella Simonetti is communication specialist from Mission Engagement for Global Ministries.