Union Members Join Race for Health
Story by Taashi Rowe
Photos by Kelly Butler Coe
Several Columbia Union Conference members were among the more than 200 Seventh-day Adventists and community members from around Atlanta who took off running on Sunday. They were participating in the Adventists Race for Health 5k/10k in Centennial Park. The race is a partnership between churches, hospitals, conferences and Atlanta-area organizations. The Columbia Union Conference was one of the sponsors.
DeWitt Williams, EdD, retiring director of Health Ministries for the North American Division, worked with the Georgia-Cumberland Conference to organize the race. He noted that it is based on a similar race done at the 1990 General Conference Session in Indianapolis.
“We wanted to let members know that exercise is a medicine,” he said. “It is a continuation of the InStep for Life program, which encourages members to get a pedometer and aim to walk 10,000 steps per day. A lot of Adventists are into healthy food but don’t exercise, but Mrs. [Ellen] White says every person should walk every day.”
Gina Kim, a member of the Capital Chinese church in Silver Spring, Md., who participated in her first 10K has already found a benefit to running. “I was planning to walk but ended up running. I think I’m addicted now,” she says.
Rick Remmers, executive secretary for the Chesapeake Conference, was accompanied by his wife, Shayne, and their children, Andrew and Kari. While Remmers ran the 10K, his family alternated between running and walking a 5K. His advice? “Do it. Move. Get exercise. It is well worth it,” he said.
The children had fun, Shayne reported. “We talked about it beforehand, and they realized that they would make an impact as one of the many Adventists running through Atlanta.”
Dave Weigley, president of the Columbia Union Conference, greatly appreciates the benefits of exercise. He stopped running after an injury in 2007, but his son John’s participation in the Boston Marathon really inspired him to take up running again. “My experience is that a consistent running program positively affects my life. Nothing raises your self-esteem more than being close to Jesus and exercising. I encourage all Columbia Union members to start an exercise program of their own.”