Red Dress Sunday at Union Chapel AME Church
Like many other churches on February 12, 2017, Union Chapel AME Church, located in Cambridge, Maryland, participated in Red Dress Sunday, the Sunday designated to bring more awareness to the seriousness and challenges of heart disease in African American women. For Union Chapel, however, it was more than just wearing a red dress. Sister Robin Sample, Lead Community Health Outreach Worker for Associated Black Charities (ABC), Cambridge, and a member of Union Chapel, spoke to the congregation during the morning worship service about heart health and responded to questions from the congregation. The Rev. Dana Porter Ashton, the church’s pastor, stated, “It’s important for the congregation to ask questions at that moment while the information is still fresh in our minds. In no way are we trying to diagnose members; however, if we can start the conversation in a safe place, then possibly someone will make the decision to seek medical help when something feels a little off in their bodies”.
After service, Sister Sample and her co-worker Ms. Joyce Opher, Program Assistant for ABC, Cambridge, provided free blood pressure checks and additional information regarding heart health. Red Dress Sunday was also Souper Sunday, a fundraiser for the Senior Usher Board, where soup is provided to warm the stomachs of the congregation. In conjunction with the theme of having good heart health, the Culinary Arts Ministry, headed by Brother Keith Chester, provided homemade vegetable beef soup that proved to be a hit with the congregation.