From May 11-15, IGE’s Center for Women, Faith & Leadership (CWFL) hosted its first Virtual Prayer & Self-care Summit. As the world struggles with a global pandemic, CWFL’s Fellows are asking: “How can we continue to serve, lead, and thrive in the midst of turmoil, stress, and trauma?

The Summit offered current and past Fellows the opportunity to gain knowledge and develop skills to address fatigue, trauma, stress, and anxiety during turbulent times. 36 CWFL Fellows and Alumna gathered together every morning for Prayer and Spiritual Encouragement sessions, where all were invited to share their prayers and supplications. Afterwards, the Fellows and Alumna engaged in sessions led by CWFL Program Director Kristen Lundquist. Session topics included: Compassion Fatigue & Vicarious Trauma, Art Therapy, Mindfulness & Grounding, Trauma-informed Yoga, and Helping Skills & Boundary Setting. As the Fellows and Alumna minister to vulnerable and marginalized populations, learning and applying self-care practices will be vital to support the sustainability of their leadership and longevity of their work. Along with the virtual sessions and prayer gatherings, participants also engaged in journaling prayers, reflection questions, and a daily personal awareness activity.

The Summit was the first time that current CWFL fellowship cohorts have gathered with Alumna. The Center for Women, Faith & Leadership strives to create an on-going global network of women of faith and this was a natural next step in that mission. Following the Summit, CWFL launched its first Alumna Mentorship program, which provides an opportunity for current Distance Learning Fellows to be mentored by CWFL Alumna. As the Alumna network grows, IGE hopes to provide more mentorship opportunities.