Gulf Coast Village pastor gives seminar on Faith & Fitness to Volunteers of America ministers at Duke University retreat

The Rev. Tom Hafer, director of spiritual services for Gulf Coast Village, recently presented on “Faith & Fitness” to fellow Volunteers of America ministers from around the country during a week-long retreat at Duke University. The message of the “Faith & Fitness” presentation, which is also the title of a book written by Rev. Hafer, focuses on helping ministers take better care of themselves so that they can better care for those they serve.

“Studies have shown that ministers have some of the most stressful jobs, and it’s easy for us to burn out and lose our ability to help others if we don’t take care of ourselves,” Rev. Hafer said. “Our motto at Volunteers of America is ‘caring for yourself to better care for others,’ and with the Faith & Fitness book and presentation, I help people do just that.”

In the book, Rev. Hafer discusses the need to integrate the physical, spiritual and environmental aspects of life by improving diet and exercise. “Today’s health crisis is not the fault of the individual, but is a manifestation of our community forgetting our blessings of real, whole, natural foods; simple, life-giving fresh water; and of course the gift of exercise,” he writes.

In addition to writing “Faith & Fitness,” Rev. Hafer has written “Well Planet: Fitness as a Spiritual Discipline” and “Aging Grace: The Journey to a Healthy 100.” For the past six years, Rev. Hafer has been traveling and speaking to groups and workshops across the country.

Hafer received his Bachelor’s degree from Florida A & M University in Physical Therapy and has been a licensed Physical Therapist in Florida for over 25 years. He attended the Lutheran Theological Seminary of Philadelphia and received a Masters’ degree in Religion in 2006. His weekly interdenominational worship service is streamed live from Gulf Coast Village every Sunday at 11 a.m at

Founded more than 25 years ago, Gulf Coast Village is the premier Continuing Care Retirement Community (CCRC) in Cape Coral, Florida. Residents enjoy active independent living in an unparalleled lifestyle of comfort and convenience with a rich array of services and amenities that are focused on living well. The community also offers the security of knowing there is the full continuum of care when needed including: assisted living, skilled nursing, specialized memory support, home health and outpatient services. Gulf Coast Village is located at 1333 Santa Barbara Blvd., Cape Coral, FL 33991. For more information call 239-772-1333 or visit

Gulf Coast Village is sponsored by Volunteers of America, a national non-profit faith-based organization dedicated to helping those in need rebuild their lives and reach their full potential. Volunteers of America was founded in 1896 and is one of the nation’s largest nonprofit providers of quality, affordable housing for seniors and a provider of professional long-term care including assisted living, home health care and nursing home care.