Body and soul get a workout at area church

April 15, 2002|BY MARLO BARNHART

When Ann Ashbaugh heard that Body & Soul Ministries was coming to her church, she thought it was perfect - she could get her body in shape while giving her soul a workout at the same time.

Recently diagnosed with diabetes, Ashbaugh said she knew she needed to get moving to improve her health. Every Monday and Wednesday evening, she joins about 20 other women and two instructors at St. Mark's Episcopal Church in Lappans.

"It's good exercise and good fellowship," said Sue Ann Nogle, who is also excited about the new offering at her church.


Nogle pointed out that St. Mark's is becoming a very athletic congregation. Not only is there an aerobics program twice a week, but a six-week yoga session every Tuesday at 6:30 p.m. began April 9.

"We also have a softball team," Nogle said as she cooled off after her workout on Wednesday.

The exercise programs are open for anyone but are specifically being offered for St. Mark's members and residents of southern Washington County, according to Anne Weatherholt, rector of the congregation.

Started in 1981, Body & Soul is a nonprofit, nondenominational ministry that provides aerobics and strength-training exercise while also promoting emotional and spiritual well-being.

The latter is achieved through the use of inspirational contemporary Christian music and via the infectious spirit of the two Body & Soul instructors, Connie Burley and Lisa Ridenour.

Both Boonsboro residents, Burley and Ridenour are involved with Body & Soul because they enjoy the exercise and the inspiration they gain with every class.

Burley incorporates movements that parlay into the themes of the religious music as it accompanies her strenuous workouts. Always smiling and often with eyes closed, Burley's fervor is catching.

Ridenour announced the songs and echoed her companion's reverence. She also led the group in prayer at the end of the workout.

Participating in her second session, Dee Mayberry said she came because her career as a writer means she leads a rather sedentary life.

"I love dancing but I am having a little trouble with this rhythm," Mayberry said. "I'll get it eventually."

For Mayberry, the emphasis is on the body.

"My faith takes place in the sanctuary, not here," Mayberry said.

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