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Wholeness for the Long Haul: Advocate Edition
Jessica Stokes, Shannon Axtell Martin, Ellen Sizemore

Friday, 12:00pm | Landing

As advocates for peace and justice, we are in this for the long haul, and burnout is a real possibility. In the divisive climate of our country we want to provide tools, resources, and space for those involved in advocacy to care for themselves. Partners in Health and Wholeness is a program of the NC Council of Churches which works alongside congregations to create healthy communities in mind, body, and spirit. For our congregations, this may look like community gardening, destigmatizing mental illness, checking blood pressures after worship, or promoting self-care for clergy and volunteers. Our ultimate vision is one of shalom, where everyone has the ability to thrive. How can we remain engaged and active in our ministry and advocacy and care for ourselves in the process? We value practical tools for prevention, resiliency, reflection, and encouragement to refocus and continue the good work of justice.
Jessica Stokes, Shannon Axtell Martin, Ellen Sizemore

Jessica Stokes

Jessica Stokes enjoys living in Eastern NC, where she is the Regional Coordinator for Partners in Health and Wholeness, an initiative of the North Carolina Council of Churches. She has a deep love for North Carolina, returning home after directing an interfaith nonprofit in Washington State. Jessica earned her Master of Divinity from Wake Forest University and BS in Clinical Psychology from Averett University.

She is an ordained Baptist minister and finds community within the Alliance of Baptists. Jessica’s background includes non-profit work, hospital chaplaincy, higher education, and the local church. Jessica cares deeply about mental health and working with churches to destigmatize mental illness. For her own self-care, she enjoys being outdoors and celebrating with friends.

Shannon Axtell Martin

It has been almost five years since Shannon Axtell Martin started working for the NC Council of Churches as a PHW Regional Coordinator. She previously worked as a hospital chaplain at Wake Forest Baptist Health, received her M.Div from Wake Forest University School of Divinity, and her BA from Catawba College. Shannon feeds her soul through outdoor adventures, art, music, cooking, time with her sisters and friends, and a weekly self-care tradition of walking with her family (her husband, daughter, and two dogs) to a local ice cream shop.

Ellen Sizemore
Ellen graduated from Furman University in 2008 with a double major in Music and Religion. She completed a Master of Divinity and a Master of Arts in Counseling from Wake Forest University in 2012. During this program, Ellen interned as a hospital chaplain, completed practicum work with a pastoral counseling agency, CareNet, and served as the counseling intern at the North Carolina School of the Arts.
After graduation, Ellen worked as a counselor and supervisor at Meridian Behavioral Health Services based in rural western North Carolina. As of June 2017, Ellen works as a Primary Therapist at The Willows, a women’s recovery program with Red Oak Recovery on the outskirts of Asheville. The Willows provides long-term, trauma-informed, and holistic care to women ages 18-30.
Ellen lives in Asheville with her husband, Joe. She loves running, yard work, and eating at all the eclectic restaurants in Asheville.

Session ID [354]
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