1120 Lockwood Avenue
P.O. Box 5811
Columbus, GA 31906


By: Holli Melancon
Are you or someone you know a high school student interested in servant leadership? Are you ready to make a difference in your community, develop your leadership skills and engage with a diverse group of peers? 

Then Infusion may be the program for you! 
Infusion is a servant leadership-based program in which students from diverse backgrounds engage community by study, reflection, and direct interaction around issues of social justice.

As the students interact with the community on various levels, they are led in processing their insights; they decide each year’s theme, plan and implement strategies.
Students also learn about themselves. They explore how each person’s personality, faith and life experience can make a difference. 

Students will meet people from all walks of life-different faiths, cultures, races, and social and economic backgrounds. They will work as a team in looking for ways to bring people and communities together as they work to empower others and bring about positive changes. 

Infusion accepts 15 students in grades 9-12 each year into this nine-month program. The application process includes written references and a personal interview. 

See below for details on the Infusion program:

Time Commitment: 
-2 hour monthly meeting on second Sunday of the month from 3-5 p.m.
-5 hours of community service hours per month with Path to Shine or another service project
-Fall retreat from Friday 5 p.m. to Saturday, 3 p.m. in Columbus
-One three day/four night spring service trip out of town
-Community Service Credit: Infusion will provide service hour credits and prepare you to enter college with valuable leadership skills and experience.
Cost: Infusion is free of charge.
Information:  For more information, or if you are interested in applying, contact Program Director Monica Cobis at 706.327.0400 or 
The application is available at Website and is due back by the end of May. 


By: Diane Hinnant
In March, we saw the end result of a relationship we had been nurturing since  early January of this year.  A member of St. Thomas Episcopal Church referred Patricia, who had arrived in Columbus homeless, to our office.  

Our area was experiencing record low temperatures at the time, and we were happy to be able to refer Patricia to the “warming station” sponsored by Rose Hill Methodist Church.  After spending one night at the warming station, their staff referred her to Trinity House, a woman’s transitional housing facility that is a United Way agency and also sponsored by Trinity Episcopal Church, for which it was named.  

During our relationship, the thing that impressed us most about Patricia was her willingness to do whatever she could to help herself.  Every time she came into our office, she would have followed up on any suggestion we made or referral we gave her.  Those referrals included helping her obtain food, eyeglasses through the Lions’ “One Sight” program and a much lower car insurance premium. Patricia remained at Trinity House until the first of March, when she decided to return to her hometown of Preston, GA to be closer to family. 

 I spoke with her a few days ago and she seemed very happy with her decision.  Life had dealt her a bad hand for a while, but she persevered and was determined to get back on track.  We will miss seeing her smile when she would frequently stop by to (as she would say) “check in.”


Income: $ 869.50
Assistance Given: $1,603.14 
Families Assisted: 23

Income: $597.71
Assistance Given: $2,510.77
Families Assisted: 29

*Types of assistance given for both months includes rent and mortgage, scholarships, medical, transportation, household goods and utilities. 


Thanks to you, people of all ages and many different paths have found hope in CVEM for the last 35 years. Through our Easter Meditation Series we are asking you to help us continue that work that Vicky Partin was called to do so many years ago.

This year’s Easter Meditation Series “Called by God” features authors from many of our partnering parishes.

The meditations seek to take readers into a deeper experience of understanding God’s calling and hearing God in a new way during this sacred season. 

Will you help us continue to show God’s love to those in need and marginalized in our community? Will you help us celebrate 20 years of TAP in Columbus and “Shine On” in Troup TAP? Will you help us build a new class of young servant leaders in Infusion? Will you help us be a support for victims of incest and send the message that this horrific crime is not tolerated in the Chattahoochee Valley?

This Easter Season we are asking you to donate to CVEM because without you we cannot answer the call. To make a donation, simply send a gift in the envelope inside these Easter Meditations or you can give online at HERE.

We thank you for your continued prayers and support, and we pray this glorious season is filled with blessings. May you hear God calling this Easter. 

If you haven’t received a copy of this year’s meditations, please contact Holli Melancon at or 706.327.0400. 


Celebrating 20 Years

By: Holli Melancon

When the Thompson-Pound Art Program (TAP) started in 1995, organizers thought it would be a one-time event to celebrate the life and hope of Dr. Tom Thompson. Instead, this June, TAP will celebrate its 20th year. 

TAP, offered in both Columbus and LaGrange, is a week-long summer arts program that brings together children from diverse racial, religious and economic backgrounds  in hopes of fostering unity.

“If we can reach young children before their prejudices get too ingrained, we have hope for a more peaceful world,” said Debbie Anderson, who has been the Director of Columbus TAP for the last 13 years. 

Debbie had just moved to Columbus from Milwaukee, WI when she was approached by Michelle Waddell, the first director of TAP. She had previously been involved in an adult group working to foster unity among religions. 

“The idea of a program for children that was interested in learning about other religions was exciting. I didn’t expect to find that in Columbus, GA,”  she said. “ Teaching tolerance is not what the “South” is known for. So I would say that for TAP to survive for 20 years, speaks to the commitment and dedication of those in Columbus and surrounding areas who see the value in diversity and what it brings to our community.”

This year, TAP will build upon the themes of the past 20.
“ We will start with a more personal inward focus and gradually move to ideas that remind us of our place in the world as stewards of the earth’s resources, of our connection to God in many forms, and our motivation to be peacemakers as we live our lives. We have looked at tolerance through so many ideas over the last 20 years—such a wealth of experiences in the curriculum we have developed. I know these are big ideas and that as adults, we have a hard time wrapping our heads around them. The children who come to TAP seem to pick it up naturally and find acceptance and safety in sharing their experiences,” Debbie said. 

TAP applications are currently available for both Columbus and LaGrange. TAP in Columbus will be held on June 22-26 and in Troup TAP will take place July  20-24. 
The Troup TAP theme is “Shine On: Be the One to Stand Out from the Crowd.”

Please contact CVEM at 706.327.0400 or if you are interested in sending your child or being a part of such a monumental year for TAP. 


Vicky Partin receives national honors + an invitation to celebrate with her!

By: Holli Melancon

Lay Missioner and CVEM Co-Founder Vicky Partin has received significant recognition at the national and state level, and you’re invited to celebrate her achievements. 

On May 6, Vicky will be awarded the Small Business Humanitarian of the Year in Washington D.C. at the Thirty-Second Congressional Awards Reception. 

The SBCA’s Humanitarian of the Year Award has been given annually since 2003 to one recipient in the country who is “clearly committed to making the world a better place for people in need.” 

Vicky was nominated for the award by Mort Harris, an attorney with Hatcher Stubbs and co-founder of the Small Business Council of America. Mort first met Vicky 25 years ago, when he and his wife were looking for people to donate baskets of food and small toys for children around the holidays.  

“ Vicky would give us the list of people, the families and tell us why they were deserving,” he said.

It wasn’t until Vicky’s retirement celebration of last year that Mort realized just how much she had done in her 34 years of ministry.

 “When it came time for (nominations for the award) I thought, ‘Well, she’s perfect,’ and so I nominated her,” he said. 

Vicky was also honored with the Georgia Legislative Women’s Caucus Servant Leadership Award in March. The award is presented during March to commemorate Women’s History Month and given to women throughout the state who provide invaluable service to their communities. She was nominated by State Rep. Debbie Buckner. 

CVEM will hold an open house on Sunday May 17 from 4:30 to 6 p.m. to celebrate Vicky and her achievements. Please stop by 1120 Lockwood Avenue and congratulate her!

A Closer Look at CVEM's 2015 Board

By: Martha Robert

CVEM’s 2015 Board of Directors is hard at work and has already proven to be a dedicated group. Because of newly effective by-laws, it’s also a “leaner” board--15 members (formerly 26); and there’s a good mix of new board members and seasoned veterans. 

Four representatives are serving on the board for the first time. Two are a year or two into their first term. One board member has been actively involved in the ministry since its beginning in 1980. There are board members actively involved in each of our current programs. All board members generously volunteer their time and talents not only at CVEM but in their home parishes and communities as well. In the past three months, our volunteer board members have been putting in extra hours. In addition to performing its routine duties, the board has been working on the details of CVEM’s strategic direction.

This work specifically will inform the search for a permanent director and the future work of the ministry.

Please take the time to speak with your parish’s CVEM representative. We want you to know what’s happening at CVEM and we want to hear from you—what are the needs in your community? How can we partner to appropriately and effectively respond to those needs?

St. John’s, West Point
-Rita Mullenix
St. Mark’s, LaGrange
-Mary Lou Dabbs
St. Mary Magdalene’s, Columbus
-Agnes Shelton
-June Ingram
St. Matthew’s in-the-Pines, Seale, AL
-Ginia McPhearson
St. Nicholas, Hamilton
-Diane Hinnant
St. Stephen’s, Smiths Station
-Mandy Ochoa
-Jean Taylor
St. Thomas, Columbus
-Malinda Shamburger
-Becca Nicholson
-Jennifer Gray
-Mitch Grossman
The Rev. Grace Burton-Edwards*
Trinity, Columbus
-Peggy Augustine
-Mollie Smith
-The Rev. Nick Hull
*serves as spiritual director for the board and is a non-voting member



NeighborWorks Columbus, a local nonprofit that promotes access to fit and affordable housing, is spearheading a major revitalization project in Beallwood this summer. 
The Beallwood Community and CVEM have a long history, where CVEM helped co-found the Beallwood Area Neighborhood Development Inc. (B.AN.D.), lead initiatives to take back the streets from drugs, rezone property that had been zoned commercial without resident consent and bring life to the area. 
NeighborWorks and Columbus Area Habitat have both built several houses in the area, and CVEM is excited for such a big project to take place in this wonderful community. 
Big 4 Beallwood, as the revitalization effort is called, will involve collaboration between NeighborWorks, Habitat and TEAMeffort.
TEAMeffort is an agency that sends youth groups from around the country to complete moderate home revitalization projects; each week, around 50-75 different young people will be in Columbus for this undertaking, which will kick off June 8.
At the same time, NeighborWorks and Habitat for Humanity will be building new homes in the area. We will keep you posted of future volunteer opportunities with these projects. 



The Clothes Closet at Trinity Episcopal Church is in need of donations of men’s clothing. They are taking men’s belts, shoes, jeans and t-shirts of all sizes and ladies plus sizes (16 or 2x and higher). 
The ministry accepts clothing and shoes for men, women and children of all sizes, but men’s and plus size women are the greatest need right now. They also accept donations of toiletries and toilet paper. 
All clothing should be clean, folded and on hangers, and undergarmets must be new. All seasons of clothes are accepted at anytime of the year. Monetary donations can also be made, as they are able to shop for items that they do not have in stock. 
Donations can be delivered to Trinity during their regular business hours. For more information contact the parish office at 706.322.5569 or Sarah Riddick at 


The labyrinth, located at the entrance to St. Thomas Episcopal Church on Hilton Avenue, has been renovated and was blessed in a special Litany on March 4.  The 60-foot wide sacred path lies under a canopy of trees and provides a quiet place to meditate, walk, or just recoup.  A small box near the entrance to the path provides several prayers and meditations for the taking.  This labyrinth, the only public one in Columbus, was established by Barbara Thompson Danner in 2001, and was meant to be open for the entire community anytime during the day.  Call Vicky Partin (706-575-2154) to plan a group experience or offer suggestions.


St. Matthew’s-in-the-Pines Rector the Rev. Donna Gafford celebrated the 30th anniversary of her ordination to the priesthood on April 17. Congratulations Donna!
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