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Meet our wonderful 2017 Board of Directors:
Pictured from bottom row left to right: Ginia McPhearson, Mollie Smith (Secretary), Mitch Grossman (President), Martha Robert (CVEM Executive Director), Lucy Sheftall, Jane Dorman (Vice President). Top row left to right: Twila Kirkland (Treasurer), Peggy Augustine, Mandy Ochoa, Malinda Shamburger, Bob Hamilton. Not pictured: Rita Mullennix

 
A STRATEGIC YEAR: DISCERNING GOD'S CALL
CVEM is kicking off 2017 with a season of listening. Specifically, we are beginning the process of Strategic Planning and that starts with a listening campaign. We are going to spend the next couple months actively seeking opportunities for hearing YOU.
"At its heart, the strategic planning process is about listening to stakeholders—parishes, program clients and participants, other service providers and, most importantly, folks in the communities we are called to serve, those most impacted by poverty, racism, and other structural barriers—to learn what work is being done, where the gaps are, and how CVEM as a regional outreach ministry can best serve," said Martha Robert.
What exactly will this mean for YOU?
We will be, of course, seeking your voice--by asking for your participation in surveys, focus groups, and/or community events. On a broader level, this really is about discerning specific ways in which God is calling us, Episcopalians in the Chattahoochee Valley, to go out into the world to love like Jesus in service to our neighbors.
DIRECT SERVICE: SHAMIRA'S STORY
By Diane Hinnant
     Shamira, a single mom of two-year old and seven-year-old daughters, came to our office in January for rental assistance. She owed two months rent and was facing eviction. The girls' father had been paying child support but was recently incarcerated. Shamira had lost her job the day after Christmas and had just been hired as a waitress working a 10 p.m. to 6 a.m. shift. This, of course, pays very little money, and she has to leave her girls with a relative overnight while she works. 
     At the time she came in, Shamira was contemplating leaving her daughters with their father's family in Florida so she could attend truck driving school in Indiana. We discussed the possibility of her going to a shelter so she would not have to be apart from her daughters. Shamira left that day determined to stick to her original plan, but a couple days later sent us a message that she had changed her mind about the shelter and asked if we could help with a car payment in lieu of rent. 
     Working together with Trinity Episcopal and First Baptist Church we were able to make that car payment. Shamira and her girls are also now in the Valley Interfaith Promise (V.I.P.) Program, a unique sheltering program for homeless children and their families. While she had to quit her overnight shift work, Shamira is grateful for the opportunity to have dinner with her girls and tuck them in every night, and the opportunity to look for a better job during the day as VIP assists with childcare.
     WE are thankful for Trinity and First Baptist, as well as our generous donors, in helping us help Shamira and her family through this time. 

Here's just a few great things happening around the parishes & communities in the Chattahoochee Valley. See our Community Calendar HERE for updates throughout the month. Have something that needs to be on there? Email us HERE.

+ST. MARK'S READING GROUP, FEB. 20
The reading group will meet to discuss A Star for Mrs. Blake by April Smith. All are invited to attend! Pizza & Wine will be served. Click HERE for details.

+SAVE THE DATE FOR TRINITY'S CABERET DINNER THEATER, FEB. 22 & 23

+PUB THEOLOGY, FEB. 28
Join St. Thomas and friends at Nonic on Broadway from 7:15 to 9 p.m. Pull up a chair. Have a beer. Converse with friends and strangers -- all are welcome! Explore life and faith. For more details go HERE.
PROGRAM HIGHLIGHTS
  • VOLUNTEER OPPORTUNITY: TAP Co-Planners will begin planning this month for TAP at 4:30 p.m. on Feb. 27 at CVEM. If you'd like to take part in planning this amazing week (which will be June 26-30), e-mail us HERE or just come on Feb. 27! 
  • Infusion will participate in the Valley Interfaith Promise Bed Race on Saturday, Feb. 25 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. They are partnering with St. Matthew's Lutheran Church, who will provide all the materials for Infusion teens to decorate and race their bed. Come show your support uptown on Broadway & 14th Street!
  • VOLUNTEER OPPORTUNITY: Infusion & CVEM participate in Trinity's Community Prayer Breakfast on Sunday, Feb. 19 from 7:30 to 9 a.m. We also serve in the Clothes Closet. Please come join us! You can e-mail Martha HERE to let her know you're coming OR just see us there.
  • VOLUNTEER OPPORTUNITY: Path to Shine's local program mentors children in the Boxwood community of Columbus and is looking for a new mentor. The volunteer commitment is every Thursday during the school year from 4:45 to 6:30 p.m. The mentor will be assigned two of the elementary school aged students in the program for ongoing tutoring, reading and relationship building. Anyone interested can contact the Columbus Affiliate Leader, Lisa Venable Herring at lisa@wgherring.com or call her at (404) 394-8521. Please share with anyone who may be a good fit for this opportunity!
Do you like handmade, unique chairs and a good cause?

SAVE THE DATE FOR THE 2ND ANNUAL CHAIRity for CVEM Saturday, May 21 from Noon to 6 p.m. at Arts in the Park in Lakebottom Park.

CHAIRity features one-of-a-kind chairs created and donated by local artists and friends of CVEM.

WE NEED YOU:
To donate or create chairs, to ask your creative friends to create or donate chairs. It can be a chair you build, decorate, repurpose or just a neat chair you’ve collected. It can even be a  chair that we can give to someone to decorate. Chairs can be any size, usable or not...there really are no rules. Just have fun with it!


Can you help?
Contact Ginia McPhearson at 706.887.8080.

Throughout February, Path To Shine, a program that works to inspire underserved children, is asking you to Share the Love by donating $28 to Path To Shine ($1 per day for the month of February). Yes, $28 is a quirky amount, but PTS’s work of tutoring and mentoring under-served elementary school children is both serious and long-lasting. Share the Love will run Feb. 1 – Feb. 28, primarily on PTS’s Facebook and Twitter pages. Our Infusion students serve with PTS locally mentoring children in the Boxwood area of Columbus! You can donate to Path to Shine online below, or if you wish to donate locally, you can send a check to St. Thomas Episcopal Church and designate it to Path to Shine.

http://pathtoshine.weebly.com/share-the-love.html

Join with Georgia’s anti-sex trafficking advocates on Tuesday, February 28th for Lobby Day. Demand social justice and help people who are victims of human slavery in the State of Georgia. Lobby day is Feb. 28 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at:
The Historic Freight Depot
65 Martin Luther King, Jr. Drive S.E.
Atlanta, Georgia 30334
A luncheon will follow the event.
In addition to attending all or part of Lobby Day, you can advocate by contacting your legislators and letting them know we need: 
-minimum time in jail for offenders
-no early parole for offenders
-make human sex trafficking and 2nd instance of pandering a felony
-remove sunset on law that mandates the posting of the national human trafficking hotline in places victims are likely to be (bus stations, strip clubs, hotels, etc.)
 
To register click on the link below
 
https://www.eventbrite.com/e/georgia/as-anti-sex-trafficking-lobby-day-2017-tickets-2884193004


 
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