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Youth Leadership gets United Church of Christ Moving

Sometimes all it takes is a 14-year old girl with a big vision to get people across the country up and moving! Eboni Imani Joy Rowe, a member of the United Church of Christ (UCC), inspired parishioners young and old to move together during a UCC youth-sponsored spontaneous flash mob dance at their General Synod in Tampa, Florida. At the request of Barbara Baylor, UCC’s Minister for Health Care Justice and leader of UCC’s Let’s Move programs, Eboni and her mom orchestrated a large dance event that got everyone off their feet.

After choreographing dances with easily learned steps to popular songs like “I Like to Move it” and Katy Perry’s “Firework,” the pair videotaped a short instructional video, uploaded it to YouTube and emailed the link to UCC churches across the country. Young people were asked to learn the dance and be ready to perform it spontaneously at different moments throughout the Tampa Synod gathering of over 4,000 people – and to invite any and all nearby to join in! As Eboni said, “I created the choreography to involve youth in our church and to give them something fun! This was a great experience and I hope to continue to lead youth in fun dance and exercise classes in the future to fight obesity.”

Beyond the flash mob initiative, UCC parishioners are taking many steps to actively engage with Let’s Move on a regular basis in order to instill long-term positive health and wellness habits. Through its national leadership, UCC vacation bible schools across the country initiated a program called “The Best Me is a Fit Me,” in which children are given an opportunity to participate in physical activities and learn about healthful eating in a curriculum informed and shaped by the scriptural passages they are studying. “The Best Me is a Fit Me” is an exciting and creative way to encourage children to adopt healthy habits and inspire them to make sustainable lifestyle changes. To learn more about this and other health and wellness programs initiated by the United Church of Christ, visit their Health Ministries website.

If you would like to join Let’s Move Faith and Communities, share your success story, or learn more about the initiative, please visit the Let’s Move Faith and Communitieswebsite.