Rev. Eric McIntosh (Courtesy Photo)

I once heard a pastor proclaim that a community of faith at its heart is “One beggar showing the other beggars where to find bread.”

To put it another way, communities of faith are places where people gather to be nourished spiritually and are often fed by the kindness and direction of those with whom they have built community. It is in our communities of faith that we support one another and we provide active compassion—whether it’s offering a needed hand to hold or preparing a meal for someone in the midst of crisis. Therefore, it is no surprise that people often look to their faith community to help keep them healthy and living well.

In recent years, congregations have begun wellness groups, added a parish nurse to the staff, or offered free blood pressure screenings.  These efforts, and many others, show faith communities that care for the whole person—mind, body and soul. On any given day diverse faith communities may offer a meeting place for AA Groups, a food distribution program, Little League and Softball sign-ups, polling places, and meeting spaces for Cub Scouts and Girl Scouts.

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