Brevard Church Chosen For Blue Zones Community Project
As soon as the news was announced that Brevard, NC was chosen to be the next community Blue Zone project, Pastor Ralph and Joni Henderson and Kathy Brannan met with the project leaders to let them know that the local Seventh-day Adventist Church would love to become involved as the representatives for the Seventh-day Adventists in Loma Linda, California,
one of the original, and only North American Blue Zone. We shared the Creation Health seminar materials and showed them how closely those eight lifestyle principles paralleled
the Blue Zone Power 9 principles. We were asked to run the Loma Linda booth for the kickoff event in August.
This event was held outdoors due to Covid, but the weather was beautiful, and we had a very successful booth lined with Creation Health banners. We gave away samples of a beautiful
salad in individual recyclable containers and drinks of watermelon infused water, along with a packet of materials which included the Creation Health self-assessment, Amazing Facts Health magazine, “Your Friends, the Adventists,” and information regarding the Creation
Health seminar we offered to present at any location (churches, work places) free of charge. When the Blue Zones staff offered cooking demonstrations done by the owner of a local bakery via Zoom, we knew we could be a help in that area as well. We were finally taken up on our offer, and were asked to do one cooking class via Zoom per month from December until June, 2021. We are absolutely thrilled beyond words with this opportunity to witness to
healthy eating as well as bring a positive impression of our church to this community!
The first cooking class was held in our fellowship kitchen, using our recently purchased overhead demo mirror, on Thursday evening, December 10. We were not expecting the wonderful introduction the hostess from Blue Zones gave to the Zoom participants before we began. She read from Dan Buettner’s Blue Zones book why Seventh-day Adventists in Loma Linda live from 6-10 years longer than the average American. With special Christmas meals in mind, Brevard church cooks demonstrated a Christmas kale salad, vegetarian and vegan options of meatballs and loaf, and apple pie made with no added sugar. The presentation seemed to be very well received by the Blue Zone staff. After it was over and their staff were gone, we commented on how exciting it is to see so many becoming convinced of the benefits of a vegetarian/vegan diet, information our church has had the privilege of knowing for so many years. We are thanking God for this opening wedge to our county where we have only about eight Seventh-day Adventists who actually live in the county.
—by Kathy Brannan.
Photos by Tammy Hopkins and Kathy Brannan.