Friday, December 1, 2023

Worship with Others Leads to Longer Life, Studies Show


Being part of a faith based based community and attending services four times a month has been found to increase longevity. Above is a photo of Saint Coloman Church in Schwangau, Germany. The church is named after the Irish monk, Coloman. I think it fits this subject of my post today.

In my AARP bulletin a while ago an article lists 99 tips for longer life. Tip number 99 states: "Pray for longer life. A 2016 study followed 74,534 women for 20 years; those who attended religious services more than once a week enjoyed a 33 percent lower mortality rate than those who skipped church."
That  lower mortality rate of 33 percent is huge!

The AARP list was written by Mike Zimmerman who has written a dozen books on health. Though the title of the tip says "pray" the tip itself says attend religious services.

Dan Buettner's new book "The Blue Zones: Secrets for Living Longer from the Healthiest Places on Earth" lists in his Power of 9 "Belong. Being part of some type of faith-based community and attending services four times a month adds to the longevity of the Blue Zones populations."

The above photo is a synagogue in Romania.

I am also in what we call a "small group" in my church, where the 25 members meet once a week in fellowship and I agree with the leader who says we are family. We help each other in every way needed. We are supporting a refugee family from the Ukraine and found them housing here. Then a wildfire here forced them to move and we found them another home. Imagine the anguish of worry about the war, and having to move repeated times. At church we create families.

"For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them." Matthew 18:20.

Above is a photo of the Cathedral of Notre Dame, my beautiful lady. Yes, I do feel she is mine and of course she belongs to the world. I visited her a dozen times when I lived in Paris for two summers, listened to several free organ recitals and felt uplifted whenever I entered this Cathedral. My husband and I were also in Paris for one Christmas and he went to a midnight service in the vaults below the church. He told me it was very dark and cold and he sipped from a small bottle of Grand Marnier to keep him warm. I hope Notre Dame will be beautifully restored to its original design.

Remember, gather together in church, temple or synagogue, the rewards are great in this life and the next.


Salty Pumpkin Studio said...

Great post,thankyou.
Words I hope many take to heart.
Being around positive people is a health choice as healthy as the food we eat.
Happy December!

Emma Springfield said...

Two of the women in my life who were devout Catholics received so much comfort from their faith. I admired them for it and in a strange way it comforted me. I enjoyed your post.

Pamela M. Steiner said...

What a beautiful post, and I totally agree with this. Having fellowship with others of like mind/beliefs is encouraging and helpful on so many different levels. Growing together spiritually is probably the most important. People of faith have a better attitude toward life and health and even toward death, which is a natural event for all. We are meant to be together in this life. That's why God created us to have fellowship with one another, and also to worship Him, our Great Creator God. What a wonderful post. Thank you.

Wanda said...

Lovely pictues, thoughts and memories. Church has been a part of my life since I was three years old, when I parents gave their lives to Jesus Christ and became Christians. We attended a small Baptist church all my growing years, until I went away to Bible College at 18.
Then a Life of ministry with my Pastor huband. Prayer and Bible Study and small groups are such a way of life for the believer.

Thanks for sharing your journey!

Kathy G said...

Fascinating facts.

I agree that worshiping in person is important. During COVID I participated online, but it was very unsatisfying.

Betsy said...

I agree wholeheartedly. We belong to a relatively small congregation of about 100. It is the church we met in while attending the same Sunday School class. I was 15! We were baptized, married and our three children were baptized there. Then we moved to Spokane for 30 years and found a very similar size church. We moved back home to Omaha 2 1/2 years ago and are back in our original church. I attend a small group Bible study of women here on Wednesday mornings while Dennis meets with a group of men. On Thursday nights, we still meet over ZOOM with a small group in Spokane that Dennis has led for 29 years! We were already meeting over ZOOM because of covid and when we had to move back home to care for Mom, everyone unanimously decided to continue to meet this way so we can keep our small group together. This way we can stay a part of our church family in Spokane.
How do people without the support system of a church family survive. I don't think I could. I love my two church families. We go back to Spokane every summer for several weeks and join in church activities as if we've never been gone because we talk to everyone every week! It's wonderful. I believe God is pleased when the church family unites like this.
Blessings and hugs,

Margaret D said...

Lovely post.

Liz Hinds said...


Lynn and Precious said...

Thank you for dropping in on us. I do enjoy seeing Lorraine when she posts her garden. And of course her words from Scripture for encouragement. How lovely it must have been to see
Paris! I've never traveled abroad, so arm chair travel with your lovely photos is great. Have a happy Christmas season. Christ is my reason to celeabrate not shopping.

Sam said...

I can easily believe that this study is correct. I can't claim to attend church regularly, but I've found that older people who have some kind of social group they meet with regularly, even if it's just for coffee or breakfast once or twice a week, seem to be much happier and healthier than those who don't. Church services would be particularly inspirational and calming, I imagine. So much of ill health begins in a mind that sees no reason to go on, or in a mind that feels tremendous stress but has no outlet for openly expressing the feeling. Thanks for the reminder.

Back2OurSmallCorner said...

It is wonderful to have a church family, so that we can be nurtured and care for each other and for those in our wider community.