By Jessica Brodie
ROCK HILL—South Carolina is jumping through a huge hoop for health this month as one United Methodist church gears up for an Abundant Health Hulapalooza.
Held at St. John’s UMC, Rock Hill, April 7 from 10 a.m. to noon, the Abundant Health Hulapalooza is a morning dedicated to embracing health and wellness and is the kickoff for the Abundant Health Initiative in South Carolina. South Carolina Resident Bishop Jonathan Holston has called on United Methodists across the nation to join him in the denomination’s Abundant Health Initiative “Hulapalooza,” an effort to help the UMC embrace physical fitness in any way, whether that is hula hooping, running, walking, biking or other activity that gets a person moving. Holston chose hula hooping because he said it’s a fun activity for children in many different countries, and people of all ages and ability levels can try it.
Jenifer Crawford, director of Christian education at St. John’s who is helping to organize the event with member and dietician Lacey Ngo, said the event is like a big health party. All are welcome, and it is entirely free.
“It’s a healthy living celebration,” Crawford said. “We want to embrace all the fun that can mean for each of us in our lives, and the name ‘Hulapalooza’ certainly communicates that.”
St. John’s Hulapalooza event is one of four global events occurring April 7 to launch Global Health’s Abundant Health initiative. Abundant Health is one of the denomination’s Four Areas of Focus, intended to engage churches and communities in improving health and wholeness for all people around the world. Similar events are scheduled in New York, Berlin and in numerous locations throughout Zimbabwe. The date also coincides with the United Nations Day of Health.
Among the healthy fun will be hula-hoop games; a hula-hoop contest; health and wellness booths; dental screenings; blood pressure checks; a balance check station; a dietitian booth; a kids nutrition booth led by York County’s Eat Smart Move More; a Palmetto Peace Project table; and a mental illness information table.
“We are super excited about how well it is coming together,” Crawford said.
Ngo, who is also St. John’s FAN (Faith, Activity, Nutrition) coordinator, has lined up a full health fair inside the gym. The hula-hoop fun and two bounce-house-type obstacle courses— one for older children and one for younger children—will be held on the church lawn.
The first 200 attendees will get a free hula-hoop and a T-shirt.