Treasure Chest Legacy Workshops Bring Healing and Spiritual Growth

July 01, 2011 | Mary McIntosh

Journaling has been known to unlock the secrets of the heart, and that is exactly what it did for the members of Riverside Church in Washougal, Wash., who participated in the Treasure Chest Legacy Workshops conducted by Joanne Valiando, Mary McIntosh, and Kaarsten Furman in November 2010 and January 2011.

Joanne Valiando, leader of the workshop and author of the Treasure Chest Legacy Journal, has conducted workshops in Beaverton, Ore., and California. A pediatric nurse and writer, Joanne was co-founder and president of Foothills Christian Writers in Auburn, Calif., and has written a monthly column for the Placer Herald in Rocklin, Calif., called "Faith and Family." Mary McIntosh is women's ministries leader at Riverside and a creative writing instructor. Kaarsten Furman, a social worker in Vancouver, continues to hold monthly writing sessions in which participants write and share their personal faith journey.

Journaling can help develop a fruitful prayer and devotional life, and it can also bring healing and spiritual growth. The purpose of the journaling workshop is to review one's life and write about it from a spiritual perspective, to reveal how God has helped us become victorious followers of Him. Our stories, a spiritual legacy, give family members and friends courage for their individual trials and as a result, win hearts for God.

The Treasure Chest Legacy Workshop, entitled "A Spiritual Treasure Hunt: Writing Your Way into New Beginnings," includes three guided sessions: "The Mirror," "Healing for Your Woundedness," and "A Cherished Gift." Each participant receives a Treasure Chest Legacy Journal binder to use as a guide for writing his or her own stories. Church leaders interested in bringing the workshop to their church may contact Joanne Valiando at or Mary McIntosh at