And then there were two: St. Augustine’s Episcopal Church becomes second Blue Zones Project Approved faith-based organization in North Hawaii
KOHALA — Earlier this month, St. Augustine’s Episcopal Church in Kapaau became the second faith-based organization in North Hawaii to become Blue Zones Project Approved.
The church will be recognized at an award celebration at 5 p.m. June 21 at St. Augustine’s James Walker Hall.
With the persistence of Wellness Committee Chair Kathy Matsuda, Lani Bowman and fellow church members, St. Augustine’s achieved their status after completing the Blue Zones Project faith-based organization pledge, a free tool that provides research-backed guidance that can strengthen members’ involvement and support their well-being.
The pledge process includes adopting and supporting best practices such as incorporating stretching at their group meetings and activities; organizing a book club discussion on “The Blue Zones Thrive” by Dan Buettner; and hosting fun family activities. The church hosted bingo night for their members and community, started a walking moai group on Sundays after service and fellowship, and hosted a plant-based potluck for the entire congregation.
Saint Augustine’s Episcopal Church has embraced the Blue Zones Project and are helping members support a healthy lifestyle. They are learning to put “Family First,” use a “Plant Slant” diet, and on Sundays practice “Moving Naturally” to promote well-being.
“Live healthy, be happy, be positive. Your life will be brighter,” said Kathy Matsuda. “By working on the project, our church members are more well-being conscience. Our fellowship potlucks are more plant slant and we started a walking moai.”
“St. Augustine’s was one of the first organizations to register toward approval. With Lani Bowman and Kathy Matsuda on the Kohala Blue Zones Engagement Team, it was easy to get St. Augustine’s involve with the project,” said Sue Dela Cruz, engagement lead for Blue Zones Project — North Hawaii.
Bowman added, “We are very pleased St. Augustine’s has been certified as a Blue Zones House of Faith. We are thankful for this opportunity to spread the word about longevity, healthy living, right connections and joy. All of this and more make so much difference.”