Frequently asked questions (FAQs)
HOW CAN ALL OF THESE RESOURCES BE USED IN YOUR COMMUNITY?
It is important to understand your congregation and community to know what programs you might want to use, but we can guarantee that if you have people, you have people who are going through some kind of change. All of the resources are meant to help promote conversation, build self-awareness, create community and make the connection between a person’s life and their faith.
WHAT TRAINING IS NEEDED TO LEAD AN ADULT, PARENT, AND/OR TEEN WELLNESS CIRCLE?
It is advised that you attend a Community Wellness Advocate (CWA) training to be best prepared to facilitate any of the three types of wellness circles; adult, parent or teen. It is highly recommended that you attend a training, however, it is not required, as the facilitator manuals are thorough enough that people with experience with coaching individuals in groups can use the materials without further training.
ADULT Frequently asked questions
HOW CAN THE TOPICAL WELLNESS CLASSES BE USED IN YOUR CHURCH?
These classes can be used in adult education settings, in a retreat format and can be the skeleton for an expanded series on any of the topics. They can also be used to reach out to your surrounding community. You are welcome (and encouraged) to add your own wisdom, along with the wisdom of others in your community, to enrich the content of these topical wellness classes.
Who Can Become An Adult Faith & Wellness Circle Facilitator?
Anyone who is comfortable running groups can be a facilitator. A wellness circle facilitator will be involved in helping to support folks as they seek to create a life of greater wellness. Anyone who can offer compassionate listening with sincere and gentle encouragement can fulfill this role. Wellness circles are designed to provide a safe space for folks to decipher what changes they want to make, and then provide time and space for them to discover how to make those changes. At the core, the wellness circle facilitator will help to create a space for participants to become the experts on their own lives and to help them take concrete steps to make greater wellness a reality for them.
Often they recruit circle members, take care of all communication and all other responsibilities required to run the group start to finish.
Teen Frequently Asked Questions
WHAT IS THE TEEN COMPASS FAITH & WELLNESS NOTEBOOK AND HOW COULD IT BE USED?
The Teen Compass Faith & Wellness Notebook is a tool to help teens see the interconnectedness between eight areas of wellness, learn healthy ways of living in each area, make more life-giving choices and see the connection between the world they live in and the wisdom of the Bible, and also build meaningful community within their church.
It is used to help teens:
- Make healthy choices in their life; caring for their heart, soul, strength, and mind.
- See their church and faith as a resource for them when they are in need of help.
- Reflect on whether they are comfortable with the choices they are making in their lives.
- Prepare for and better handle the many stresses that occur at this “coming of age” period of life.
- Have authentic conversations with trusted others about the challenges and joys in their daily life.
- See the Bible as a guide for life.
With the guidance of an adult, the students go through each of the eight areas of wellness, each in a three-part unit, looking at their own well-being in each area, learning about what choices help to produce health in each area, examining what the Bible teaches us about each area, and committing to and working on making more healthy daily choices.
This curriculum is grounded in the belief that all of our lives are gifts from God. Yet creating an abundant life takes commitment and intentionality on our part, and there is no better time to start that journey than when one is young.
You are free to use the entire book as a whole or to pick and choose sections of the book to enrich your current offerings to teens.
WHO CAN LEAD A GROUP USING THE TEEN FAITH AND WELLNESS NOTEBOOK?
Anyone who is comfortable running groups, who connects with teens, and can offer compassionate listening with sincere and gentle encouragement can fulfill this role. With that said, a leader’s guide is beneficial no matter how much experience you have or how you plan on using the materials, as it gives ideas for expanding the conversations, ideas for use and contains other valuable information.
WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THE TEEN COMPASS FAITH & WELLNESS NOTEBOOK AND THE TEEN WELLNESS CIRCLE PROGRAM?
The difference is that the Teen Compass Faith and Wellness Notebook is meant for already existing groups, camps, or classroom settings; places where teens are already gathering or meeting. It is intended to serve an in-depth look at each of the eight areas of wellness and to help young people see how they are interconnected. Using this resource, teens begin to look at their own lives and begin, many for the first time, the process of self-reflection. Group discussion is encouraged, but sharing is not required. This resource is intended for Christian teens, however, it has been used with youth of other faiths, as their leaders open with prayers and use texts from their tradition in the group discussions. Any teacher can easily use this resource.
The Teen Wellness Circle Program is, on the other hand, not meant for an already formed group such as a class or youth group but with that said, it could be used that way if the facilitator felt confident doing so. Instead, it is intended for a group of teens who, wanting to reduce stress in their lives and to be empowered in their lives, are willing to join a wellness circle for six sessions. In the wellness circle teens take an assessment that covers all eight areas of wellness, then over six weeks work on paying more attention to one of those areas. Each week there is a group discussion related to some truth about change and reducing stress, and group members share the progress or challenges they are experiencing as they strive to create greater wellness for themselves. This program is not overtly Christian so that it can be used with a diverse group of young people. However, if a group is gathering within a faith community, it can be personalized by adding prayers and scriptures from that tradition. It is highly recommended, but not required that the person facilitating this group attend a training.
PArent Frequently Asked Questions
WHAT IS THE PARENT WELLNESS COMPASS: OUTFITTING FOR THE JOURNEY AND HOW COULD IT BE USED?
The Parent Wellness Compass: Outfitting For The Journey is a beautiful colored book of thirty-two reflections, four for each area of wellness, meant for reflection and discussion. Each reflection is followed by several questions for discussion or consideration. It can be used by a group of parents, between co-parents, and by individual parents. This tool helps parents see the interconnectedness between eight areas of wellness, helps them take a look at their own parenting values and daily behaviors and, when used in a group setting, builds a community of support.
This book is not Christian in nature so that it can be used with a wide variety of parents, in a church community or out in the community. Parent discussions are great ways to include friends and neighbors of your church or place of worship.
WHO CAN LEAD A GROUP USING THE PARENT WELLNESS COMPASS: OUTFITTING FOR THE JOURNEY?
Anyone who is comfortable running groups, who connects with parents, and can offer compassionate listening with sincere and gentle encouragement can fulfill this role.
WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THE PARENT WELLNESS COMPASS: OUTFITTING FOR THE JOURNEY AND THE PARENT WELLNESS CIRCLE PROGRAM?
The difference is that the The Parent Wellness Compass: Outfitting For The Journey book is meant for informal groups of parents who would like a chance to discuss specific challenges to parenting in today’s world Parents take a look at and review each of the eight areas of wellness and consider the way they are leading their families in each area. Parents consider whether they would like to continue what they are currently doing or make changes in thought, word, or deed to create more wellness for their families. Group discussion is encouraged, but sharing is not required. This resource is not Christian in nature, however when used within faith communities leaders often open with prayer and use texts from their tradition to support the group discussions.
The Parent Wellness Circle Program is, on the other hand, intended for a committed group of parents who, wanting to increase the overall well-being in their family’s lives, the support of other parents, and reduce stress at home, are willing to join a wellness circle. In the program parents take an assessment that covers all eight areas of parent wellness, then over six weeks work on paying more attention to one of those areas. Each week there is a group discussion related to some truth about healthy parenting, and group members share the progress or challenges they are experiencing as they strive to create greater wellness for themselves and their families. This program is not Christian in nature so that it can be used with a diverse group of parents. However, if a group is gathering within a faith community it can be personalized by adding prayers from that tradition. It is highly recommended, but not required that the person facilitating this group attend a training. See this website for training opportunities.
WHO CAN BECOME A PARENT WELLNESS CIRCLE FACILITATOR?
Anyone who is comfortable running groups can become a trained a facilitator; you do not need to be a parenting expert as some assume. A Parent Wellness Circle facilitator will be involved in helping to support parents as they seek to create a life of greater wellness, so must be a nonjudgmental person who enjoys offering support, but not advise. Anyone who can provide compassionate listening with sincere and gentle encouragement can fulfill this role. At the core, the facilitator needs to have the ability to help create a safe space for parents to relax, feel free from judgment, and supported by the group as they take steps towards greater wellness for themselves and their families.
CONGREGATION FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
HOW MIGHT THE LIVING COMPASS MINISTRY BENEFIT YOUR CHURCH?
A wellness ministry in general and Living Compass, in particular, can impact your parish in many positive ways. It helps parishes broaden their understanding of wellness, and to see that many of the things they are already doing are, in fact, wellness ministries. It also helps people connect their all-around wellness to their faith and begin to think about themselves as the intentional caregivers of their life and body, both gifts from God. The conversations that occur during Living Compass groups strengthen already existing relationships, build a more close-knit community, and provide an excellent opportunity to reach out to those who live in the neighborhood.
This ministry can be led by lay people and/or clergy, so Living Compass presents a new creative opportunity for many people with a wide array of talent and wisdom, some that usually don’t get shared at church, to play a vital part in the wellness ministries that happen in their community.
WHAT KIND OF SUPPORT WILL THIS MINISTRY NEED IN YOUR PARISH?
It is advised that your church create a wellness committee that will oversee this ministry parish-wide. This committee would be responsible for deciding which programs and/or materials would be most beneficial to your parish, identifying niche groups who would desire wellness offerings, planning dates, recruiting facilitators, ordering materials, and providing support to all who are using Living Compass within the parish. This ministry is usually an ongoing ministry in a parish, and such a group will oversee and coordinate all of the details needed to keep it going. It is advised that a core group of the committee come to a CWA training, as well as a member of the clergy team, if possible.
WHAT TRAINING IS NEEDED TO LEAD A WELLNESS CIRCLE?
It is advised that you attend a Community Wellness Advocate (CWA) training to be best prepared to facilitate any of the three types of wellness circles; adult, parent or teen. It is highly recommend that you attend a training, however no training is required, as the facilitator manuals are thorough enough that people with experience with coaching individuals in groups can use the materials without further training.
WHAT HAPPENS AT A LIVING COMPASS CWA TRAINING?
A Living Compass training is both a training and a wellness retreat experience. The best way to learn how to facilitate and use the Living Compass tools and programs is to experience some of them for yourself. You will be introduced to and learn how to use a variety of wellness tools for adults, parents, and teens. Each tool can be adapted and customized to fit your local context, and you will consider the possibilities at the training. At the training you will also take time to assess the wellness needs and the wellness ministry opportunities both within your faith community and in the wider community as well. You will be enriched by spending several days in community with others who are also passionate about integrating faith and wellness. To learn more about our trainings click here.
WHAT IS THE LIVING COMPASS WEEKLY WORDS OF WELLNESS?
Each week Living Compass sends via email a one-page reflection which connects current happenings in the world to wellness. It is written by Rev. Dr. Scott Stoner, Executive Director and the creator of Living Compass. He draws on his thirty-five plus years as an Episcopal priest and family therapist to make faith and wellness come alive in the everyday happenings of today’s world. Currently, this email reflection is received and enjoyed by thousands of people across the globe.
Click here to see samples of past copies and/or to sign up to receive this FREE offering.