El Buen Pastor United Methodist Church in Edinburg has started a non-denominational walking program called “Christian Steppers” that meets at Edinburg North High School on Tuesdays and Thursdays at 7 p.m.

The effort is part of a fitness program that the local church has begun to help the community improve their health through healthy daily habits.

The General Conference of the United Methodist Church, the legislative body of the denomination that meets every four years, at their 2008 conference approved four Focus Areas of Ministry that UM churches are focusing on for the next four years.

One of the four focus areas is global health, which at the local church level can include programs to improve the health of local church members as well as the community around the church.

The effort to promote a walking program for improving health began at the General Conference held in Fort Worth in April-May 2008. Conference delegates were invited to participate in daily walking programs before the conference sessions began.