1120 Lockwood Avenue
P.O. Box 5811
Columbus, GA 31906
Registration open for 'Hearts to Serve'
Representatives of outreach ministries in the Convocation are invited to attend the “Hearts to Serve” conference Saturday, Sept. 13. The one-day event is a Diocesan Community Ministry Conference featuring conversations on effective ways for 
Christians to serve the underserved.
The gathering will be at St. Bede’s Episcopal Church in 
northeast Atlanta and is unusual because it zeros in on one of the most important aspects of living the life of a Christian. Hearts to Serve is hosted by the Diocese of Atlanta Community Ministries Collaborative, a year-old group of ministry leaders that has been examining ways churches and agencies in middle and north Georgia can best address the needs of the hungry, the poor and the infirm through advocacy, fundraising and careful reflection. 
CVEM Lay Missioner Vicky Partin is chairing the event.
Bishop Bob Wright is expected to set the tone for the day by talking about “the power of shared purpose.” And the Rev. Mark Stevenson, domestic poverty missioner for The Episcopal Church who organized assistance in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, will talk about outreach throughout the church and 
espeicially through the Jubilee Ministries Network. 
“This day will be important for clergy and laity alike,” Vicky said. “This is for vestry members, deacons, youth leaders and teens, and for outreach ministry directors and volunteers.” According to Deacon Arthur Villarreal of Macon, “You’ll hear from outstanding speakers and also be able to inspire and inform others with what you do.”
To register, click here. The registration fee is $20 and covers snacks and lunch. 
Participants are requested to bring a treasure for a Yard Sale and Silent Auction to support St. Bede’s October fundraiser.
For more information, contact Vicky at

Infusion seeks director

Chattahoochee Valley Episcopal Ministry seeks a part-time Director for the Infusion youth leadership program.  The Director develops the year-round program and service activities, interviews and selects fifteen diverse high school teens, and works with a team of advisors in focusing on the Servant Leadership model.
An ideal candidate will hold a college degree, have experience and a passion for working with teenagers, and have experience in community service and social justice issues.
For a complete profile of all the responsibilities and requirements of the position, click here.
Position is available August 1.
Send letter of interest and resume to CVEM Infusion, P. O. Box 5811, Columbus, GA 31906 OR call Vicky Partin at 706-327-0400.
We are looking for pictures of CVEM events through the years. Any years! If you have any you’d like to share, please e-mail to If they are physical copies we need to scan, feel free to mail to: P.O. Box 5811, Columbus, GA 31906. We will make sure they make it back to you safe!


Ismael is everywhere

(The following is a meditation from Bishop Bob Wright published weekly, “For Faith.” This meditation was published in February 2014.)
The world gives and we accept its titles: disabled, racial minority, elderly, immigrant, widow, poor, rich, retired, liberal and conservative, just to name a few. Such titles can’t possibly describe what God wants to accomplish with us. 
If we’re not careful, accepting these titles will limit what we think of ourselves and others and diminish what we think God can do through us. Consider the titles God offers: watered garden, repairer of the breach, salt, light, a city on a hill, spiritually wise, friend, conquerer and great. 
God’s titles remind us that when we put ourselves at God’s disposal by partnering with Jesus, abundance will flow through us. We are divinely designated to be flavor amidst the bland, candles never to be covered over, bright billboards on display in public places. You are light. So shine!

Direct Service: Tiara's Story

This month we have to brag on Tiara.  We have known this single mom with three children since 2010. At that time she had a GED and needed uniforms to become an allied health assistant.  She was working part-time in home health.  Next she needed books for CVCC’s medical assistant certification.  The next year, she asked for assistance with books.  One year we helped with rent and invited her family to our Christmas party.  Last year, Tiara came for tuition when her student aid expired.  Then she was in her last semester.  In May 2013, Tiara graduated with an RN degree at CVCC!  This month CVEM paid $60 for her license for the State of Georgia.  We are all rejoicing for Tiara and her family.  She is one determined lady to move forward in her career and to become independent.  She will be a smart and compassionate nurse. We’re glad that she stuck it out and that CVEM could encourage her along the way.


CVEM offers resources for fall planning

If you are planning Christian Education or Adult Formation or youth programs, or even a book club selection, you may want to check out CVEM’s vast library of resources, from books to DVD’s to study guides.  A few are listed below. Call to take a look!
Money and Faith – The search for Enough – Michael Schut
See Poverty…Be the Difference – Dr. Donna M. Beegle
From Mammon to Manna:  Sabbath Economics and Community Investing
Waging a Living – Opportunities for Action with Study Guide and Video
Ubuntu – I in You and You in Me – The Rev. Michael Battle
What Every Church Member Should Know About Poverty – Ruby Payne, Ph.D
Toxic Charity – Robert Lupton
Let Your Life Speak – Parker Palmer
When Helping HurtsHow to Alleviate Poverty without Hurting the Poor…and Yourself – Steve Corbett and Brian Fikkert

CVEM Executive Director Search Committee:

Mollie Smith, Co-Chair
Lucy Sheftall, Co-Chair
Jim Sholtis
Becca Nicolson
Lou Baker
Kimberly Worthy-Call
Rev. Donna Gafford
Twila Kirkland
Agnes Shelton, Ex-officio

In Focus: A farewell tribute to Meg Olive

By: Holli Melancon

CVEM will say farewell—sort of—to Infusion Director Meg Olive this month.
Meg, who has led Infusion for the last three years, is stepping down from her role, but she won’t go too far.
Not only does she plan to remain involved with the high school servant leadership program as an adviser, but Meg also is the coordinator of Circles of Columbus, a CVEM partner. 
“The National Circles Initiative is a high-impact community strategy to end poverty one family at a time by building intentional personal relationships across economic classes and races.  Circles is a unique transformational strategy that partners participant families wanting to make the transition out of poverty with volunteers and community leaders who are willing to offer much needed 
friendship and support,” she said. 
Vicky Partin, CVEM Lay Missioner, is one of those volunteers (Allies) who work with Circles to eliminate poverty. 
In her work with Circles in Columbus, Meg had first learned of CVEM as a direct aid organization. When a friend referred her to the Infusion job, she started to learn how much more there is to this organization.
“I have enjoyed my time getting to know the ministries of CVEM and also the wonderful youth who have been in three groups of students,” she said. 
Meg said the teens she has gotten to know through Infusion have been the greatest part of leading the program. 
“They are so bright and engaged in things that matter that it gives me hope! I know they will go on to do great and wonderful things and be leaders in our community and world” she said. 
Meg has decided to step down to have more time with her family. She and Susie Allison, who co-directed Infusion with her this year, are foster parents to a 16-month old and a 2-month old. 
“I also want to give someone else a turn at knowing and leading these 
fantastic youth,” Meg said.
Both Meg and Susie have been wonderful leaders for Infusion and assets to CVEM. 
“Meg has brought to Infusion a passion for teenagers and their potential for becoming community leaders.  She has encouraged them to seek the truth and be willing to speak out for social justice.  She has encouraged them to develop their own gifts as Servant Leaders,” Vicky said. “Co-Director Susie Allison has brought delightfully creative teaching moments, wit, and wisdom to the program.  She coordinated this year’s service trip on the treacherous civil rights path across Alabama.  The two 
exemplary youth leaders will not be forgotten!”


Talbot County explores Brown Bag

Lay Missioner Vicky Partin and volunteer Barbara Brandenberg took a visit this month to the Brown Bag of Columbus, a local program that donates food bags to low-income seniors 62 years and older.
Barbara and Vicky are members of the new Talbot Cares in Talbot County, which was declared the unhealthiest county in the state. As Talbot County is a food desert with no grocery stores, Talbot Cares 
partnered with Feeding the Valley to increase the number of families being served throughout the county.
The Cares group now wants to focus on the needs of the seniors, and Brown Bag seems like a likely new partner.
Brown Bag started in 1987, and CVEM has been a partner since its beginning.  CVEM, through the 
generosity of donors like you, is able to support this wonderful program. 
In 2013, CVEM donated $500, sponsoring 5 seniors. The program assisted 450 people each month. Below is a thank you note we received from a Brown Bag 
I’m 90 years old. Every can or loaf of bread helps me to be able to eat better. 


Breaking the Cycle of Violence

By: Vicky Partin
I don’t know about you but I am distressed daily by the surge of violence making bold headlines in the paper.  It seems to be getting worse with sexual assault, domestic violence, hate crimes, burglaries, shootings, bullying.  Each year, an average 237,868 persons in the U.S. are victims of rape or sexual violence while over 3.2 million young people suffer from bullying. The statistics are overwhelming. We seem to have more here than our share.    It’s difficult to know how to address such a monumental 
When our son was five or six, we watched TV with him.  We had purposefully chosen not to have cable, so we only had three channels.  One day we were watching one of those hour-long westerns when a man was shot off his horse.  As the show moved on Shane asked, “Who’s going to take care of the hurt man?  He has a Mom and Dad, too”. At that moment I realized that this show was real to him.  It wasn’t a “play-like”.  At that moment teaching non-violence became a real effort for us.  Even the cartoons and Atari games were violent.  Guns were not toys.  Most movies were prohibited.
We concluded that if we feed violence into our souls and everyday lives, we might not distinguish it from peaceful behavior.  It becomes a natural recourse.  We accept it; eventually we expect it.
“Breaking the cycle of violence” must begin in our homes, churches, and 
communities.  We can monitor the movies, TV shows and video games.  Do these media lift up peaceful values or do they glorify the culture of violence?  We must recognize the violence and have that conversation even when we cannot protect our children and ourselves from all the violent acts we encounter.
We at CVEM have many opportunities to display peaceful values through TAP and Infusion.  There have been times in our meetings with parents needing financial 
assistance or at Christmas parties when we have invited non-violent responses to frisky children.
In our community we can build relationships and raise awareness and communicate very carefully with people who exhibit violent behavior.  They may be ex-offenders, battered, scared, homeless, bullied, or just used to it.  We can be that safe place.  I think of TAP,  Trinity’s community breakfast, Beallwood and Boxwood children, FOCUS, our Sunday schools, our food pantries, Shedding our Secrets, Circles, Phillips House. ….all places where we are “breaking the cycle of violence”, one relationship at a time.




Circles of Columbus, a program designed to empower people in bridging out of poverty, seeks Allies for training in partnering with the Leaders.  To learn more about becoming an Ally and ways you can serve, ask Vicky to share her experience as an Ally.


On the Episcopal national front, three independent networks have formed a collaborative and will set up a joint office in Washington, D. C.  CVEM has a long history with the Episcopal Network for Economic Justice, which joins Union of Black Episcopalians and the Episcopal Ecological Network.  Together these groups can be more effective on advocacy issues, such as the recent living wage debate.  This move places the networks close to the Episcopal Church’s Office of Government Relations neat Capitol Hill.  The joint venture is located at the Bishop John T. Walker National Learning Center at the Church of Holy Comforter.


Please Save the Date for a celebration/fundraiser to honor Vicky Partin, who is retiring at the end of this year. The event will take place on Sunday, December 7. More details to follow!


We are also looking for pictures from CVEM events through the years for the celebration. If you have any to contribute, please e-mail to or mail to: 
P.O. Box 5811
Columbus, GA 31906
We will return them!


Need pine straw? CVEM reccomends Lisa Rynevich, who we met through Direct Service. She brings the straw and spreads it. Call her at 706.286.2156.

A response to a Letter to the Editor

TAP Director Debbie Anderson writes a response to a Letter to the Editor in the Ledger-Enquirer. The letter addressed the Peace Pylon Unity Piece located on Broadway.
“For nineteen years, the Thompson-Pound Art Program has promoted tolerance and understanding among children of different races, cultures and faiths. Every summer, it brings together children and leaders of all faiths, to learn about each other and create a piece of art work that shows a commitment to peaceful existence. 
When the children in TAP created the Peace Pylon in the summer of 2010, they chose symbols that they felt represented their efforts to create peace in the world: Yin and Yang from Buddhism, the Common Cup from Christianity, Ohm from Hinduism, the moon and star from Islam; the Star of David from Judaism, the Medicine Wheel from Native American culture, and peace symbols from cultures around the world. All the faiths represented on the Peace Pylon are a part of Columbus today­—vibrant faith communities that make our city rich and diverse. I am not sure what symbol was mistaken for marijuana leaves—perhaps a six-year-old’s painting on an Easter Egg, another symbol that, to the Christian children at TAP, represented their faith.
TAP is not a misguided effort to promote interfaith harmony. Through its mission, TAP actually creates it through teaching respect and understanding of the six major religions of the world, including Christianity. TAP does not encourange anyone to change their faith—just to understand the faith of others. 
Jesus said, “Blessed are the peacemakers for they will be called the children of God” (Matthew 5:9)/ The children who have attended TAP and the people who have supported TAP have been blessed on this 19-year journey. These rich and diverse children of God have made visual signs of their commitment to be peacemakers. May others—of all faiths—join us in our journey.”
St. Stephen’s held it’s annual Christmas in July Tea Saturday, July 26. Pictured above, Judith Rothschild and Doug McLeod enjoy the event. 
Copyright © 2014 Chattahoochee Valley Episcopal Ministry, All rights reserved.

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