Posted by Johanna Rehbaum

“Do You Want to Be Made Well?
Setting wellness goals for Lent

            Jesus asks a man who was ill for 38 years if he wants to be made well (John 5). Well, what would you say? And if the answer is yes, then what are you going to do about it?

During Lent, choose one area of wellness that you’d like to focus on, one area where you’d like to “be made well,” and let Jesus make you well. The following will help you choose an area, reflect, and set some goals. There are some ideas – or choose your own!


Whatever you choose to do, incorporate prayer into it. Ask God for help, thank God after, or reflect regularly on how what you choose to do is bringing you into a closer relationship with God. Talk to a friend about it, or Pastor Johanna, or journal about it.


Spiritual Health: Living a centered life focused on God affects each aspect of our well-being. Turn to God for strength as you seek to live well in Christ. Nurture your relationship with God through prayer, devotions, worship, nature, art, and music. Explore who you are and know whose you are.

  • Attend Midweek Session on Feb 28 @StM: Contemplative prayer.
  • At the end of each day, think over the highs and lows of the day. Ask about each, “Where was God in this?” Do this alone, or with a friend.
  • Keep a gratitude journal. Write down five things each day that you are grateful for (try for different and specific things each day!).


Social/Interpersonal Health: We are created by God to be social beings, living in community and instructed to help and love each other. We maintain social well-being through interaction, play and forgiveness. Take time to nurture your relationships with family, friends, congregation and co-workers.

  • Attend Midweek Session on Mar. 7 @BLC: Non-violent communication
  • Attend Midweek Session on Mar. 21 @BLC: Forgiveness, with Bishop Macholz
  • Having trouble forgiving someone? Ask God daily to help you want to forgive.
  • Be more intentional about thanking people you encounter at work and home.


Emotional Health: Being emotionally well means feeling the full range of human emotions and expressing them appropriately. Self-awareness is the first step. Recognizing and honoring your own feelings and those of others — stress, contentment, anger, love, sadness, joy, resentment — will help you live life abundantly.

  • Attend Midweek Session on Mar. 7 @BLC: Non-violent communication
  • Attend Midweek Session on Mar. 21 @BLC: Forgiveness, with Bishop Macholz
  • Try to boil down the emotion you feel to: mad, glad, sad, or afraid. Name it aloud: “I feel _____.” Don’t confuse “feel” with “think,” and speak for yourself, not someone else.
  • Practice deep breathing for five minutes each day.


Physical Health: While we are not all born perfectly healthy or able to live life without injury or illness, we can live well by tending and nurturing our body as a gift from God. Feed it healthy foods, keep it hydrated, build physical endurance through regular exercise, and respect your body’s need for rest.

  • Choose one unhealthy eating habit, and change it (drink more water, drink less soda, don’t eat after 6pm, “strive for 5” fruits/vegetables, avoid high fructose corn syrup, try “meatless Mondays”…).
  • Give your body what it needs: an extra hour of sleep, a daily walk, rest…
  • Get rid of some of the chemicals in your life (toxic cleaning supplies, artificial fragrance, personal hygiene) and replace them with something “green” and natural.


Financial Health: Being financially well involves making decisions based on our values, as reflected in the way we save, spend, and share. Tending to one’s financial well-being in this way requires us to be resilient, generous, and focused on sustainability.

  • Attend Midweek Session on Mar. 24 @BLC: Financial wellness (Financial Peace University)
  • Complete a “Money Autobiography” (Google it, or ask Pr. Johanna for a copy)
  • Try a Buy-Nothing Lent: don’t buy anything except food, essential items (gas, toilet paper…), and experiences that will enhance your relationship with God or neighbor.


Vocational Health: We all have a calling — a vocation — to follow Christ’s example by living a life of meaning, purpose and service to our neighbor. Our vocations make up our life’s work and passions — they are the everyday roles through which God calls us to help make this world a better place. Those who are well vocationally are faithful stewards of their talents and abilities, and find opportunities to build and use them.

  • Attend Midweek Session on Feb. 21 @St.M: Vocational wellness (living into our call)
  • Each evening, write down something you did well that day, and something that brought you joy. At the end of each week, notice any patterns – what comes up frequently?


Intellectual Health: Using our minds keeps us alert and active. Stay curious, ask questions, and seek answers. Explore new responsibilities, experience new things and keep an open mind. And remember, knowing when and how to let your mind rest is as important as keeping active.

  • Choose two activities during Lent that you have never done. Do them!
  • Attend any of our Wednesday midweek sessions, either Bible study at lunch, or soup, study and prayer in the evening (beginning at 5:30pm)
  • Be intentional about taking a sabbath, even just an hour a week. Instead of thinking or learning – pray, breathe, color, or something else to rest your mind.



Schedule of Midweek Topics:

Feb. 21 @StM – Vocational Wellness (Living Into Our Call) with the Rev. Mary Johnson, assistant to the bishop for candidacy (for ministry)

Feb. 28 @StM – Spiritual Wellness (Contemplative Prayer/Examen) with spiritual director, Bonnie Matthaidess

Mar. 7 @BLC – Interpersonal/Social Wellness (Non-Violent Communication) with Kit Miller, director of the Ghandi Institute for Non-Violence in Rochester

Mar. 14 @BLC – Financial Wellness (Financial Peace) with Kerri Donahue, teacher of Financial Peace University courses

Mar. 21 @BLC – Emotional Wellness (Forgiveness) with Bishop John Macholz

For detailed descriptions, see February Newsletter, or church website.

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