"I'd go back in a heartbeat!": Participants Reflect on Congregational Wellness Advocate Training

“It was just wonderful. I’d go back in a heartbeat. We’re going to send more of our parishioners there in the future. Four of us went from Christ Church this time. It was a small group of 10 people, which was one of the things I really liked about it. There was a lot of time for personal interaction and getting to know each other. Holly and Scott were just wonderful. The group just bonded. And the Nicolas Center space was wonderful; it felt really monastic to me.

“This is my seventh year as an EFM mentor at Graterford Prison—we’re the only EFM program at a men’s maximum security prison in the United States—and I plan to use the Living Compass materials with my new group, which will have 15 guys.

“We plan on using the Living Compass materials in the adult forum at Christ Church for the next year and using the youth component of it for the confirmation class. I’m president of the Daughters of the King for the Diocese of Pennsylvania, and I plan on using the materials with them. So we are going to make good use of this program! It is just such solid material.”

Ginny Slichter, a registered nurse and lay leader at Christ Church, Pottstown, PA

“It’s such a great program. I’m so grateful to have had the opportunity to attend. I was working at an event for Faith Forward when I came across the Living Compass table.  I’m convinced that the Lord sent me to Faith Forward so I would find Living Compass.  

“I would recommend the training to pastors, to lay leaders, to someone who is considering leadership in a congregational setting, but also to someone who isn’t. It’s a really wonderful way to bring the concept and conversation about wellness into the congregation.

“I would take as many more courses as I could. I do hope to go back and get more training. There are so many ways that Living Compass applies to congregational life and to the lives of faith based communities as well as communities that don’t profess any faith.

“I have talked about it to the pastors where I work. We’ll end up using many of the tools that I got there, for sure.”

Ebony Grisom, a resident pastor at two American Baptist churches in Rhode Island

“I was in Salt Lake City for General Convention this summer; I was there with my mother (the Rev. Nancy Frausto). And for some reason the Living Compass table caught my attention. They were offering a free trip to attend the training workshop and I got it.

“I think it’s a great program, and if people get a chance to attend, they should do it. You have fun, you meet new people, and you learn a lot about yourself. It helped me see what I need to work on about myself.”

Yecci Frausto, a nursing home receptionist and member of Trinity Episcopal Church in Los Angeles; one of 22 people at General Convention who worked on behalf of the Episcopal Church’s Latino/Hispanic Ministries Office to promote the work of the Latino community and share information about General Convention to Hispanic people throughout the church.

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