Living Compass

Parenting and Emotional Wellness During Social Distancing

Family Resource: Parent Wellness Compass: A resource for parents of all ages – Parent Wellness Compass is a freely available resource for anyone – particularly of interest to those with families and children, but useful, too, to anyone who cares about families.  Click here for a PDF of the book and click here for the companion workbook, which is electronically fillable.

“In some ways, raising a family is like an extended journey in the wilderness. We never know exactly what we will encounter. There are always unpredictable challenges in life that can throw us off course, and some of them can be quite dangerous. There is unspeakable beauty and joy around every corner of the journey, as well. For those of us honored to be on this journey of raising a family, there is no greater delight in life….(We) wrote the Parent Wellness Compass (to) offer you: A compass for parents and families, along with a good set of maps to help you navigate the joys and challenges of family life. – From the Parent Wellness Compass by Holly and Scott Stoner

Resource for anyone during this time of social distancing:
Emotional Wellness
Here are some practical tips for keeping your spirits up and maintaining a healthy emotional life from Living Compass Wellness Points: Emotions: Soul.  To download the full pamphlet, click here

“Your emotions are not something to be hidden or afraid of – they are meant to be felt and received as indicators to what is happening in your life.

  1. Pausing to deal with difficult emotions is helpful. There are spiritual practices that teach the practice of pausing, taking a deep breath, and centering yourself before engaging in any discussion about a difficult emotion.
  2. Journaling can help you work out your emotions. If you need to work through something, sit down and write uninterrupted for several minutes, writing whatever comes to mind. Doing this kind of writing will allow some of the jumbled thoughts in your mind to be worked out on paper.
  3. Praying in the midst of emotional upheaval is a helpful way to center yourself.
  4. Thanking God for positive things each day can help you focus on what is happening in your life that is good, joyful, and life-giving. You may want to keep a gratitude journal.”


Living Compass is a wellness program grounded in Scripture. “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your strength, and with all your mind.” Luke 10:2-7 and Deuteronomy 6:5. Because the Living Compass model is one of wholeness and wellness, it can be adapted to individuals, groups, congregations and communities. It can also be adapted to intensive programs, complex topics, or the timely presentation of short topical pieces of information.  St. Peter’s began its involvement with this program in the fall of 2016.

At its core is the belief that if we want to be better, we should first pause and check our bearings, taking stock of what is going on in and around us.  The Living Compass self-assessment tool helps us to take stock, to see and appreciate ourselves, our Heart, Soul, Strength and Mind by looking at how we are now and how we would like to be.  Then, in a small, facilitated and supportive coaching group, participants develop and achieve small goals in their area of choice.  The goals or FAITH steps (Faith, Action-oriented, Inspired, Time-specific and Honest) are works in progress designed to move participants toward the person they envision as their best selves. St. Peter’s offered its first Wellness Circle in the fall of 2018.  Eight people and two facilitators participated in a very successful six week engagement, each participant working on their own area of concern. 

Advent and Lent resources and programs have been shared with the St. Peter’s Community from Living Compass.  A number of Adult Forum offerings were shared during 2017 and 2018. A Living Compass-based Lenten Program was offered in 2017.  Supporting personal and community wellness, “Difficult conversations, how to talk face to face when you don’t see eye to eye,” was a program offering at the parish’s 2018 retreat at Shrine Mont. 

The parish’s efforts in this area are supported by the clergy and vestry and guided by its Wellness Council, comprised of Ward LeHardy, Jim Pomeroy, Jonathan Sullivan, and Lynn Wilson.  Kathi O’Neill and Meta Phillips, both Community Wellness Advocates, serve as advisors to the Council.

COMMUNITY RESOURCES

Understanding that we may not know what is already available in our community, the Wellness Council at St. Peter’s has compiled a resource guide of community organizations and programs.  They are listed as they pertain to the four areas of personal wellness targeted by Living Compass:  Heart, Soul, Strength and Mind. It is the Council’s intent that this list be easily available online and in print and that it be updated and revised on an ongoing basis.  All are encouraged to share resources and reactions to them, so that this resource will be useful to our parish and to the community.

Love God with all your Heart (Relationships and Emotions)

+ St. Peter’s EARS Group.  Meeting every Thursday at 10:30 am in the Educational Wing, members of the parish gather to discuss short stories and share fellowship. Contact St. Peter’s office.

+ St. Peter’s Men’s (and Women’s) Breakfast.  A monthly gathering with invited speakers. “In by 7, out by 9.”  All are welcome to attend. 

+ St. Peter’s Family ministry hosts regular events and offerings for families with children of different ages.  Contact the Rev. Dan Spores.

Parent Encouragement Program (PEP) is a nonprofit, educational organization offering a wide variety of classes, events and other educational resources to parents and all who care for children, toddlers through teens. Based in Kensington, MD, they offer on line and in person classes in Northern Virginia and the DC metro area.  Contact pepparent.org.

Center for Pastoral Counseling. This organization offers a wide range of services to individuals, couples and families in locations throughout Northern Virginia. Contact: Pastoralcounseling.com or call (703) 903-9696

Arlington County offers many services such as classes and summer camps. Contact: Arlingtonva.us or call 703-228-3000.

Arlington Forest Moms, Northern Virginia Moms, and other local parenting groups.  Browse at:  https://www.our-kids.com/activities-resources-parenting-parent-groups/arlington-forest-moms.

All your Soul (Spirit and Rest and Play)

+ St. Peter’s Worship Services.  Sundays at 8 AM, 9 AM, and 11 AM.  A children’s sermon occurs once a month at the 9 AM service.  Godly Play, a learning experience for young children, occurs XXXX.  The service schedule changes in the summer, June – August. Contact 703-536-6606 or www.saint-peters.org.

+ St. Peter’s Adult Education, Sunday School and Ten Spot.  Weekly at 10 AM.  www.Saint-Peters.org.

+ St. Peter’s Lay Eucharistic Ministers program.  Contact the Rector, Rev. Dr. Craig Phillips, at [email protected] for more information.

+ St. Peter’s Prayer Group. Contact 703-536-6606 for requests and meeting times.

Northern Virginia Hiking Club, https://www.meetup.com/NVHC-Hiking/

St. Peter’s Peddlers an occasional group of road bikers. Once a year the group makes a two-day ride from St. Peter’s to the parish retreat at Shrine Mont in Orkney Springs, VA. Call 703-536-6606 for dates and more information.

Shrine Mont Retreat is St. Peter’s annual church gathering in Orkney Springs, VA.  Usually in late April, families and friends new and old gather for a two-day fun filled weekend.  Contact 703-536-6606 for dates and information.

YMCA:  Many programs for adults and children.  Go to https://www.ymcadc.org/ to find the Y nearest you.

All your Strength (Care for the Body and Resilience)

+Yoga at St. Peter’s.  Contact Karin Caffi at [email protected].

+Tai Chi at St. Peter’s. Contact  XXX

Immanuel Presbyterian Church in McLean has a unique program called the Healthcare Navigation Team that helps people deal with our complex healthcare system.

The Fairfax-Falls Church Community Services Board (CSB), [email protected],  provides services for people of all ages who have mental illness, substance use disorders, and/or developmental disabilities. The CSB also provides early intervention services for infants and toddlers who have developmental delays.

Strength in Our Voices, strengthinourvoices.org, seeks to eliminate mental health stigma in our community by providing open dialogue, education, empowerment, and positive change.

WSTG – We Support The Girls, an organization supporting victims & empowering survivors of child sexual abuse. Contact: http://www.wesupportthegirls.org/

And all Your Mind (Vocation and Organization)

The Episcopal Diocese of Virginia offers discernment programs for those who may be considering a call to the priesthood, deaconate or a lay role in the Church. Look at the “Vocation and Call” details on the Diocese website, www.thediocese.net.

Arlington Employment Center: For jobs and career counseling.  https://aec.arlingtonva.us/

International Coaching Federation:  To find an executive or personal coach.  For those who want to grow their careers or their teams, coaches can help you get “unstuck” and provide a framework for getting to your goals. To find a variety of coaches, go to https://apps.coachfederation.org.

National Federation for Credit Counseling:  A non-profit organized for financial education and debt counseling.  Go to https://www.nfcc.org/