Live Healthy Georgia


Promising Practices Across Georgia

Movements Across the U.S.

Community Tools

Healthy Congregations

Healthy Community Projects

Resources for

Resources for
Faith-based Communities


Healthy Congregations

As integral and vital elements of every community, institutions of faith are a fundamental part of the lives of millions of Georgians. They are the places we go first for guidance, the people we seek first for support. And they make up the very core of many Georgians� systems of belief � and behavior. It comes as no surprise that the World Health Organization (1998) defines health not merely as the absence of disease or infirmity, but as a dynamic state of complete physical, mental, social � and spiritual � wellbeing.

Many factors contribute to health and social problems in our communities. Where you live affects how you live. Major health problems will not be solved solely by individual actions and choices. Personal choices are made in context of the larger environment surrounding an individual, family, congregation and community.

The policies, systems, and environments around us, including our communities, worksites, schools, faith-based organizations, and health care settings shape the pattern of our lives and our health. For example, the design and walkability of communities, the availability of low-cost fruits and vegetables, and the smoking policies in our workplaces have a direct impact on whether we exercise, consume healthy foods and drinks, or are exposed to second-hand smoke.

Changing policies, systems, and the environment in your congregation to help make healthy choices easy, safe, and affordable can improve your member and community health. Given the clear importance of lifestyle behaviors on our health and wellbeing, and the fundamental influence of faith and faith-based relationships in providing the benchmark for many Georgians� lives, it is apparent that faith communities can play a compelling role in encouraging and supporting their members in making the healthy lifestyle choices that will keep them well and whole � and enjoying the abundant life into a ripe old age.


Additional Resources

Interfaith Health Program (IHP)

Walk by Faith

Center for Faith-Based & Community Initiatives (CFBCI)

Everyday Health
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Live Healthy Georgia is an initiative sponsored by the Georgia Department of Public Health