CVEM’s Shedding Our Secrets members were reading Reawakening Rebekah: The Gift of the Clamor Girls as part of a book study in 2014.

The story, which is about six women working to “sort through the ravages of sexual abuse,” was a good fit for Shedding Our Secrets, CVEM’s program which provides support to victims and survivors of incest. 

And it was during this study that one member, Agnes Shelton, declared that she envisioned the Reawakening Rebekah story on stage.  This was the catalyst that helped form a collaboration between author Diedre deLaughter and Columbus State University’s Department of Theatre Chair Dr. Larry Dooley. 

“Agnes Shelton suggested I read the book, and I don’t know anyone who can deny Agnes anything. Certainly not me.,” Dooley said. “Once I read the book, she invited me to a meeting at the CVEM house to meet Deidre (Dede) with a group of people. The group had very strong feelings and connections to the book. Turning it into a play seemed like a very good idea. Since that time, Dede and I have been passing versions of the play back and forth, and we have ‘workshopped’ it with students several times.”

The play will be performed by CSU Theatre on Feb. 12, 13, 14 and 18, 19 and 20. Reawakening Rebekah is deLaughter’s first novel, and this performance led her to write her first play, which she did with mentoring from Dooley and the CSU Theatre Department. 

Shedding Our Secrets and CVEM will host a reception following the opening night performance.  On Sunday, Feb. 14 at the 2 p.m. performance, deLaughter will have an author “Talk Back” with the audience following the play. deLaughter will be available to sign books following each performance. Copies are $20 and proceeds benefit CVEM. 

Larry Dooley, Shedding Our Secrets member Sandra Hunley and deLaughter will be on the Dee Armstrong show Monday, Feb. 8 at 11 a.m.

Representatives from Shedding Our Secrets and service providers for victims of sexual molestation will be available at every performance. Agnecies include Domestic Violence Roundtable, Inc.,The Family Center, the Pastoral Instutute, CSU Counseling Office and more.
Dooley says attendees can expect a good story that inspires hope. 

“The fact that it is a story that connects to many, many people is even better. Knowing that there will be people in the audience who have experienced similar issues, either themselves or those they know, makes us want to take great care with the story and the performance.”
First of all, thank you! Thank you for your unwavering support in 2015 of CVEM’s programs and those we serve. 
That support was espectially evident toward the end of 2015, where we had several opportunities for giving to the ministry. 
While we didn’t intend for all of them to happen back-to-back, we were extremely grateful for each and every one of you--without whom none of CVEM’s work would be possible. So we must kick 2016 off with a giant THANK YOU! 
Here’s a roundup of our three fundraisers and how your gifts will be used to serve this year: 
Perhaps one of the greatest highlights of the year was the Celebration of 20 Years of the Thompson-Pound Art Program (TAP),  a CVEM program for children that teaches tolerance and peace-making through a variety of art activities. The evening included “Bluegrass Served Up Family Style,” by TAP Director Debbie Anderson with family and friends, followed by a reception at St. Thomas Episcopal’s Parish Hall. We unveiled a TAP video (which you can watch on our Website at The event raised $4,136 for TAP & CVEM. 
Annually, CVEM’s major fundraiser for Direct Service is a Christmas Card campaign. In 2015, you generously gave $7,326, which will be used exclusively for those in need in the Chattahoochee Valley region. The campaign helps both during the holiday season and throughout 2016. Pictured left is the card image. a weaving from 2015’s TAP activities. 

CVEM also took part in Georgia Gives Day, a state-wide day of Online giving to nonprofits, and were overwhelmed with your generous support. $1,560 was raised to assist those in need in our community through our Direct Service program. 
Infusion students had a busy end to 2015. Below, students hosted a Christmas party for children in the Boxwood Community, where the group mentors children. Bottom left,teens lead team-building activities at CSU’s Servant Leadership Conference; right,teens serve breakfast at Trinity’s Prayer Breakfast for the homeless Next month, teens will go on their annual service trip to Holy Trinity in Decatur, where they will work with the homeless. They will volunteer with the Atlanta Community Food Bank and Threads, which provides clothing for children from birth to fifth grade. They will also serve lunch to people at the Church of the Common Ground, a church community including people who live on the streets of Atlanta. 
We have a new “Around the Chattahoochee Valley” calendar on our Website that is a place for you to easily find out what’s happening in all our regional parishes. Our hope is that it can serve as a “one-stop shop” for you to find extra opportunities for worship, fellowship and outreach. Visit our calendar HERE. We want to keep you up-to-date with parish happenings and would love for you to submit events and opportunities to us by e-mailing 
CVEM joined St. Thomas at the city’s Martin Luther King Jr. Day Processional. Pictured are Katherine Van Kley, John Partin, Anna, Dan and Linda Van Kley, CVEM Director Martha Robert, Board President Malinda Schamburger and the Rev. Grace Burton-Edwards. 

By: Diane Hinnant

The holidays found our Direct Service program busy as usual, and we are especially thankful for the kindness and generosity of those with whom CVEM partners in helping make this time of year special for others. 

Again this year, two local churches (Trinity Episcopal and St. Mary Magdalene Episcopal) provided a total of eleven families with bountiful baskets of wonderful food items for preparation of their Thanksgiving meal. One of our Direct Service volunteers, Vivia Waterman, heads up the drive sponsored by St. Mary Magdalene, her home church, and Trinity’s youth group facilitates their program. 

Fourteen families were invited to join us in celebration of the season at our annual Christmas party on December 14. The Ministry House was filled with fellowship, song, the smells of delicious food and big smiles as we distributed gifts to the 14 adults and 23 children who attended. The children and youth at St. Thomas, along with many other parishioners, graciously provided the gifts and we were blessed with food, time and talents from so many other volunteers. Without each and every one of them, our party could not have been the success it was. 

Families who participate in these events are chosen from among those seen during the year at CVEM, which gives us an opportunity to continue building upon the relationships we have established throughout the year. It’s always a blessing to see them again and learn what has transpired in their lives since we last met. 

In 2015, 348 families were assisted with $34,752. Categories for assistance include Rent/Mortgage, Medical, Transportation, Furniture, Scholarships & more. 
The CVEM team serves five times a year at Trinity Episcopal’s Prayer Breakfast, which is held predominately for the homeless in Columbus. Come join us and help serve and visit with the homeless on April 3, June 5, August 21 and/or November 6. Of course, you can volunteer with this ministry any Sunday. In conjunction with the breakfast, Trinity also has a Clothes Closet ministry that is open Sunday mornings and can always use volunteers. and donations. Call Trinity at 706.322.5569 for more information. 
On Saturday, March 5, there will be a Dismantling Racism training held at St. Nicholas Episcopal Church in Hamilton. The training, is put on by the Diocese of Atlanta’s Beloved Community: Commission on Dismantling Racism. According to Resolution R15-2 “Dismantling Racism” presented at the Diocesan Council in 2015, it is now required of all clergy and lay leaders in the Diocese to attend this training.  Further details coming soon.
Back Snacks began as the senior project of Katelyn Flynn, a Harris County High School senior. During the 2015-2016 school year, Katelyn has served 10-15 students at Park Elementary. Each Friday, Katelyn delivers a Back Pack to each student so that Harris County children will have 3 meals for Saturday and Sunday. Katelyn shops for the groceries, fund raises, coordinates the logistics and works with the school administration to make this happen. She obtains funds through monetary donations and donations in kind from churches in the area. St Nicholas has recently worked with the Rotary Club and has installed cabinets to establish a food pantry at St. Nicholas to support the Back Snacks ministry.  St. Nicholas is currently working with Katelyn to continue the ministry and have a succession plan in place to continue to feed kids in Harris County. Donations for this exciting project are welcomed and appreciated. 
Planning is about to start for TAP 2016, and we need your help! TAP is CVEM’s program for children ages 6-12 teaching tolerance and peace-making; it is held for a week each June. Co-Planners from many different religious communities in Columbus join efforts to plan the summer’s event. The first meeting is scheduled for Monday, Feb. 22 at 5 p.m. at CVEM. We’d love for you to come! If you’d like more information, contact Debbie Anderson at or call 706.327.0400. Be a TAP Co-Planner!
Malinda Shamburger, President
Mitch Grossman, President Elect
Twila Kirkland, Treasurer
Jennifer Gray, Secretary
Peggy Augustine
The Rev. Jane Dorman
Diane Hinnant
The Rev. Nick Hull
June Ingram
Mandy Ochoa
Ginia McPhearson
Rita Mullenix
Lucy Sheftall
Mollie Smith
The Rev. Jeff Jackson, Spiritual Director
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