Central Southland Presbyterian Parish Kicks Out Tai Chi Seniors

By on 04/27/2015
parish kicks out tai chi senior

Parish Kicks Out Tai Chi Seniors


I find this jaw-dropping ignorance on the part of this church.

A woman identified by The Southland Times only as a “Winton Woman” who had been attending Central Southland Presbyterian Parish for many years (since her age of 13 yrs old) tells this amazing story:

For the past 5 years, this Winton Woman has been holding tai chi classes for seniors and folks suffering from arthritis at the parish hall.  The classes are well attended and enjoyed by the group, and everyone appreciates the venue of the church hall, as it is the best location for everyone to access.   This year (2015) they booked the hall for the entire year for class attendance.

Last month, out of the blue, she was approached by a representative of the parish council, and told that their group could no longer use the parish hall for classes, since tai chi has religious origins.  Essentially, the Parish Kicks Out Tai Chi Seniors.  BOOM!

Now understand, they were not teaching taoist philosophy or advanced martial arts skills, unless you consider the concept of increasing and moving one’s energy  as owned exclusively by Taoists.  Could it be that she was explaining a mind – body – spirit connection?  Well, step aside, since modern medicine and psychologist are also embracing this understanding (about time, right?).  Or worse yet, did she use the forbidden word that must not be spoken, “CHI ENERGY?”   If learning the definition of chi is a threat to this church’s religious foundations, then perhaps it’s best for the group to move, as they are shallow beyond belief.

I admire this “Winton Woman” and thank her for her compassion and service to those who can benefit from the healing and health aspects of tai chi practice.  Even though they were not focusing on any “religious” aspect of tai chi, and even though the parish council member admitted the group attendees were showing improved health benefits, they were booted out from practicing at the parish hall.   I hope they understand they are victims of a lack of understanding and education, and perhaps fear on the part of the council, and continue to meet at another venue.

Parishes across the country open their doors and encourage tai chi for seniors, arthritics, and everyone!  Maybe they just need to look to another church.




Seniors' MinistrySeniors’ Ministry


Senior Tai ChiSenior Tai Chi
Seniors participate in a tai chi class at the Raritan Township senior center.





One Comment

  1. skng88

    04/28/2015 at 1:19 pm

    The Winston woman should simply move to another hall, preferably not a religious organisation except Tai Chi. Cause no inconvenience or problems or fear for others – perceived or otherwise.

I welcome your thoughts, insights or questions

%d bloggers like this: