About FaithBridge Portland
FaithBridge is an organization that exists to provide opportunities for women emerging from trauma and/or life transition to reconnect in a deep and life transforming way with their faith. These women could be emerging from an abusive relationship, recovering from divorce or abandonment, transitioning from incarceration or recovery, or becoming an empty nester. Through hosted workshops and retreats, FaithBridge seeks to create and hold space for women who want to heal in a way that honors their faith. Additionally FaithBridge expressly holds space for Black women and women of color who desire to heal in ways that are culturally as well as faith affirming. It was founded in 2019 by Lisa Saunders.
About Lisa Saunders
Lisa Saunders, Executive Director of FaithBridge, LLC, has been ministering to women in the Portland area for almost 20 years. She uses her own personal journey of recovery from an abusive and toxic relationship that left her emotionally depleted with two children to raise on her own to inspire women to reclaim their life and heal. Lisa is a Certified Peer Support Specialist in Adult Mental Health and Pastor who deeply loves her community. For 20 years, Lisa worked at Self Enhancement, Inc., an African American youth development organization as the CEO’s Project Manager. She’s a community advocate who is passionate about race equity and the effects of gentrification on African-Americans in the Portland metropolitan area.
About our Model
Our workshops acknowledge and honor trauma-informed practices, and extend that work using the framework of Healing Centered Engagement pioneered by Dr. Shawn Ginwright. Healing Centered Engagement (HCE) focuses on agency, identity, and healing. This work goes beyond just the reducing of symptoms to healing and aspiration.
At FaithBridge we believe in HEALING beyond just being "trauma-informed". Two of the main HCE principles for program work are 1) culturally grounded programming that views healing as restoration of identity, and 2) asset driven programming that focuses on the well being we want to foster rather than symptoms we want to suppress. It’s believed that just because an agency or program is “trauma informed” it meets the holistic needs of Black people and people of color. While providing services through a trauma informed lens is important, it stops short of acknowledging the aspiration of clients and their need to heal. An unintended byproduct, therefore, is that trauma informed care’s focus on ways to cope with trauma keeps clients defined by that trauma.
Our series of local workshops and well-retreats afford women of Christian faith opportunities to learn practical ways to heal emotionally, spiritually, and physically while simultaneously creating a supportive sisterhood that extends beyond the workshops and retreats.
Workshop and retreat content are inclusive of prayer, biblical and spirit inspired teaching, as well as practical information on ways to access healing for chronic stressors and lingering trauma. These spaces are safe and judgement free. Strict rules regarding confidentiality will be in place.
Some topics we explore: emotionally healthy living practices for caregivers/single moms/those in ministry, healing from abuse and trauma, rebuilding post-divorce or post-abandonment, finding your faith center again, reclaiming your value, and feeding your spiritual hunger.
Our goal is for women to heal and live well, not just experience wellness. We believe that wellness is a term that has been overused and has varied and ambiguous meaning. We believe that an emphasis on healing and living well encourages women to be intentional about each area of their life, and endeavor to live well in each of those areas. We believe in restoring agency to women, and walking with them through the journey of:
-Releasing and reconciling trauma and harm
-Reclaiming their voice and their life story, and
-Recovery of a whole and healthy identity
Together we change the conversation women have about their own life's journey.