Health and Wellness subcommittee

wholenesswheel_print_2009Mission: The mission of the Health and Wellness Sub-Committee is to encourage rostered leaders to identify their current health status and to motivate them to move toward improved wholeness.

We look to the Wholeness Wheel which reflects our call to care for our whole self. By balancing the interconnected dimensions of well-being, we are able to live well in Christ and pass on our faith.

For more information or if you wish to be part of this important ministry, please contact Deaconess Cheryl Erdmann at or at 815-964-9934.

More information on the Wholeness Wheel

Health & Wellness News

    2017 Live Well Challenge

    Caring for Your Whole Self

    Thousands of leaders across this church have made it an annual habit to take stock of their well-being, work to strengthen it, and earn wellness dollars. In 2017, Portico invites you to participate in our Live Well Challenge.

    This year, we encourage you take an even more holistic view. Consider the ways your physical, financial, and emotional health contribute to your overall well-being, then take steps to improve and create meaningful change in your life.

    Complete the Live Well Challenge and you can earn up to $400 wellness dollars — and a healthier lifestyle.

    Learn how to complete this year’s challenge

    What Are Wellness Dollars?

    Wellness dollars help you pay for eligible out-of-pocket medical, mental health, and dental costs, including doctor bills, glasses or contact lenses, and prescription drugs. Wellness dollars are credited to your personal wellness account or health savings account (HSA) within two weeks of earning them.

    Learn about wellness dollars

    How to Complete This Year’s Challenge

    If you have ELCA-Primary health coverage, follow these three steps to earn up to $400 wellness dollars by completing Portico’s Live Well Challenge. Find everything you need to get started at

    Register & Complete Your Health Assessment by Sept. 30: Earn $100

    First, you’ll need to complete a quick, one-time registration to begin this year’s Healthyroads health assessment, which replaces the Mayo Clinic assessment offered in the past. Then, you’ll enter your numbers — height, weight, waist circumference, cholesterol, blood pressure, blood sugar — and answer some questions about your health and lifestyle habits. Upon completion, you’ll see a scorecard summarizing your health strengths and risks. As always, your individual information and results are confidential.

    Save or Implement a Retirement Plan With Your Spouse by Nov. 30: Earn $200 Each

    Creating a retirement savings plan and putting it into action are essential to living well in retirement. As part of this church, you have unique retirement planning considerations. Our Retirement Planning Tool uses the information we already have about you — and information you enter — to create a retirement plan recommendation that you can customize.

    • Plan members and spouses with ELCA-Primary health benefits can earn $200 wellness each, but you must create your plan together using the sponsored member’s myPortico account
    • Before you begin, gather basic financial information, including retirement accounts you hold outside the ELCA Retirement Plan
    • Use the tool to get a recommended plan or customize a plan
    • When you’ve finished, save or implement your plan to earn your wellness dollars

    Learn about the Retirement Planning Tool

    Report Your Healthy Change by Nov. 30: Earn $100

    Work to create a healthy, durable lifestyle change that’s right for you. You decide what to work on — anything that strengthens your physical, financial, or emotional health. Report completion to earn $100 wellness dollars.

    Wellness Resources

    The Wholeness Wheel reflects our call to care for our whole self. By balancing the interconnected dimensions of well-being, we are able to live well in Christ and pass on our faith.

    Use the Wholeness Wheel to improve your well-being


Online Health Assessment

take-it-now-e1452553527897The Health and Wellness subcommittee encourages all rostered leaders and their spouses to complete the Mayo Clinic Health Assessment annually. This will provide you with a better understanding of your health status, as well as how you can improve it.

After completing the survey, you will be eligible for funds through your Personal Wellness Account to offset out-of-pocket medical costs.

If you need computer assistance with the online form, please contact one of the subcommittee members.

ELCA congregations and organizations that have at least 65% of their ELCA-primary plan member employees and spouses take the Mayo Clinic Health Assessment by April 30, receive a 1% discount.

ELCA-primary members, make the most of your health benefits.

The Challenge of Living Well

As people of faith, we’re called to steward all our gifts, including our bodies, relationships, money, and more. That means living well and caring for ourselves fully in mind, body, and spirit. Click on each of the tabs below to find out more.

Making Positive Changes

Caring for ourselves may involve making some positive changes in our lives. So try to pinpoint what will motivate you to make those changes. The reasons below may help.

10 Reasons to Live Well in the ELCA

  1. To be a more effective leader for the sake of the world
  2. To model healthy behaviors for our children
  3. To have a healthier relationship with God
  4. To endure hardship with resilience and grace
  5. To feel better in mind and body
  6. To avoid lifestyle-related illness
  7. To better steward gifts given by God
  8. To age with strength and dignity
  9. To lead my congregation toward wellness
  10. To help decrease overall health care costs thereby increasing mission dollars

Overcoming Distractions – An Easier Way to Live Well

Stewarding our gifts wisely can be harder than it sounds. We get pulled in so many directions every day, and may have limited time, resources, and discipline. When we’re faced with multiple responsibilities, it’s easy to get distracted and lose our focus.

 When We Don’t Live Well
As imperfect human beings, we often react from a place of insecurity when faced with multiple responsibilities:
  • We overreact.
  • We lose focus and discipline.
  • We listen poorly, distracted by our own concerns.
  • We tend to act as though we, alone, are in control.
  • We compare ourselves to those around us, worried that we don’t measure up.
  • We unfairly blame others.
 When We Do Live Well
If we’re centered daily in faith and stewarding our gifts wisely, we’re better able to manage life’s challenges. Then we can:
  • Work from our values, strengths, and interests.
  • Accept our limitations.
  • Seek and accept help.
  • Forgive ourselves and others.
  • Focus on improving the way we do our job as a way to enhance the lives of others.

Using our faith is a good way to help overcome the challenges to living well. Intentional, daily practice can help us calm our thinking, clarify our relationship with God, and restore our sense of self. Less encumbered by fear and anxiety, we’re better able to trust our abilities, accept our limitations, and steward our gifts. As better stewards, we’re more likely to enhance the lives of others each day.

We offer several faith-based wellness-related activities to help you and the people you care about live a centered life.

Slow Down is a wellness activity we created to help you add a spiritual practice to your life.


Subcommittee Members:

What We Do

HLEL_wTagline_webOn a practical level, we encourage those in our churches on the ELCA’s insurance plan to complete the Health Assessment by April 30 which allows the plan members to receive their $150 reward of wellness dollars and their congregations to receive a 1% discount on their health insurance costs. Members also may receive up to $250 additional wellness dollars for following the Go! Challenge.

We also provide opportunities to explore various avenues of wellness at Synod events such as the Congregational Resourcing Event, Professional Leadership Conference, and Synod Assembly.


Balance Your Life


Find out more about
the Wholeness Wheel

Click here for ideas about balancing your life with the Wellness Wheel birthed at the 2007 Professional Leaders Conference.

Wellness site index: