Franklin Park fitness ministry marks first year of operation
A Franklin Park fitness ministry is reaching out in its second year.
Body & Soul Wellness at Heritage Presbyterian Church plans to link up with other groups, including one that helps single mothers.
“We've offered these single moms (a) special workout night, a little self-care while we watch their children,” Body & Soul team leader Wendy Cibula said.
Such a program would have been inconceivable a year ago.
“The first year, we were just trying to figure out what we were doing and to be supportive to the ladies who found their way to our doors,” Cibula said.
Body and Soul started in an unused wing of the church in March 2016. Women of all ages and denominations are invited to join. Members pay monthly dues and guest passes are available.
No one is turned away.
Members can sign up for classes taught by certified instructors, or work out on their own on exercise equipment six days a week. About 80 people belong.
Cibula said staff members Susan Hall and Susan Payne and lead volunteer Anne Mallampalli come up with ideas, including a machine-of-the-week event that highlights the benefits of one piece of equipment.
“It simply has been amazing to see the ways God is working through this ministry,” said the Rev. Brian Janssen, church pastor. “People are being opened up to new relationships with one another and the community.
“It is truly a blessing to us and our surroundings.”
Betty Perry, 71, of Franklin Park enjoys PraiseMoves classes, a Christian alternative to yoga.
“Who stops in the middle of the week to honor God and offer our bodies to him?” she asked.
Judy Venditto, of McCandless, said the ministry has been a godsend after she moved back home to take care of her elderly mother. Not only has she dropped inches, she said she has made friends.
“It's a kindness from a group of people I haven't seen for awhile,” she said.
The ministry celebrates its one-year anniversary this month.
Events, mostly free, will include a wellness discussion and demonstration by TV personality Jennifer Antkowiak and a self-defense class taught by Franklin Park police officer Jason Venturella.
For details, call the ministry at 412-366-1356 or visit firstname.lastname@example.org.
Karen Kadilak is a Tribune-Review contributor.