Particularly poignant. That's how the Reverend Andrew Taylor-Troutman, pastor of Chapel in the Pines in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, describes the Call to Health challenge to practice forgiveness.
"As a pastor, I found this challenge particularly poignant, not only to actively forgive others but also to ask people in my congregation for forgiveness," Rev. Taylor-Troutman says. "We are encouraged to model a loving community."
Practicing forgiveness is just one of the spiritual challenges in Call to Health, a wellness initiative by The Board of Pensions of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) that encourages members and their spouses to earn points while improving their well-being in the four dimensions of wholeness: spiritual, health, financial, and vocational.
The spiritual discipline of practicing forgiveness helps manage anxiety, Rev. Taylor-Troutman says. "The Greek New Testament word for anxiety is comprised of the prefix part of and the verb to remember. To be anxious is to remember only part of the larger story of God's love."
Whether we hold onto a grievance or let it go is a personal choice. When we give and receive forgiveness, we release resentment and dwell in God's love. "We recall the bigger picture of a merciful God, in whom we live and move and have our being," Rev. Taylor-Troutman says.
Partly inspired by Call to Health, Rev. Taylor-Troutman and Chapel in the Pines' session have initiated a challenge of their own: To pray daily at noon, no matter what they're doing. "By the end of the 10 minutes or so, I turn to the work before me in a better frame of mind and spirit," the pastor says.
Rev. Taylor-Troutman is grateful for Call to Health's helpful reminders and challenges, especially when they prompt him to remember the larger story. "It is a grace to know the Board of Pensions cares about my overall well-being, ministry, and quality of life."
Through Call to Health, active Medical Plan members and their spouses covered by the Highmark PPO or EPO may participate in challenges that promote wholeness. Members earn points toward lower deductibles while enjoying all aspects of well-being.