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



St. Mark’s Episcopal Church will celebrate 150 years. A dinner will be held with Bishop and Mrs. Wright Oct. 18 at 6 p.m. at Highland Country Club. The cost is $30 per person. A registration form can be found at


CVEM was represented at a display event at the Russell County Courthouse  thanks to St. Matthews in the Pines. They sold some of our Christmas Pins, which go to benefit Direct Service. The holidays are approaching, and Christmas pins make unique gifts! Contact us if you are interested in purchasing or selling some pins.


Most Rev. and Right Honorable George Cary of Clifton, Retired Archbishop of Canterbury will be at Trinity Sunday, Oct. 5 and will preside and preach at the 8 and 10:30 a.m. services and at 5 p.m.


•Sunday, Dec. 7 at 4 p.m.
•St. Thomas Episcopal Church    
2100 Hilton Avenue
•Music performed by Snakebite 6
•Event tickets $20
•Drink donation tickets $3
We are collecting pictures of CVEM through the years for this event! 
A Talk with Kids on the Street

By: Vicky Partin

Back in May I spoke of my concern for young black men in the streets and how so many of them fall prey to serious crimes. I praised black associates for their commitment to helping many of them back on track. In August I received an email from Don Chapman, a long-time friend and advocate for dismantling racism.  He had received an email from a friend, a black pastor in Alabama, whom Don describes as a “a very good man trying very hard to make life better for everyone.”  It goes like this:
Good morning Don,
Sad day for me.
I spoke to some African American teens, in passing yesterday regarding the murder of young Michael Brown.  I guess I should not have been surprised by their attitudes but somehow I was.  These teens appeared extremely bitter.  I asked, why, only to discover they weren’t bitter at all but filled with hatred.  I asked who are you obsessed over, the answer was white police and white people.  I ask, all white people?  The one young man, appearing to be about 15, simply said “dame straight”.  I tried to explain that hatred is a death sentence for your own health, in that it would consume you.  They didn’t care one bit about what I was talking about.
As they started to walk away, I asked about ambitions and dreams.  The oldest shocked the daylights out of me when he said the only thing he wanted was a middle eastern connect.  Wow!  I was so surprised.  I never saw that coming at all.  These kids seemed to have no fear and, according to this eye-opening encounter, are living for their hatred.  This isn’t the America I’ve always hoped for and worked for but I hate to admit, seems to be the reality that some in our political arena have created.  I’m at a complete loss now.  So all I can say is congratulations for a job well done!
Tell me, whatever happened to  America!

Giving a Voice to Domestic Violence Victims

October is Domestic Violence Awareness month, and we will be joining our partnering organization Domestic Violence Roundtable in its annual Candlelight Vigil to bring attention to the issue. Shedding Our Secrets is an active partner with the roundtable. 
The Candlelight Vigil will be held Tuesday, October 14 at 7 p.m. in 
Woodruff Riverfront Park. At 5:30 p.m. Hope Harbour will sponsor a walk from Country’s Barbeque on Broadway to the Park. 
A powerful story in “Her Magazine” written by our own board member Mandy Ochoa illustrates exactly why this is such an important cause. 
The story features Denise Taylor, a board member at United Way working to raise money to renovate the Russell County Crisis Center. The crisis center serves as a temporary shelter for women and children. 
“Denise experienced domestic violence as a young girl. She was just in high school when the boy she was dating date raped her and got her pregnant. Her grandparents tried to make her have an abortion, and she ended up marrying the abusive boyfriend because she had nowhere else to go. He joined the Navy but got kicked out for being homicidal. He was possessive and jealous and would push, shove and slap her, Denise said. 
“He would refuse to let her pick up and soothe her daughter and would threaten to leave her daughter on the side of the road. He would disable Denise’s car so she couldn’t go anywhere while he was at work. As things got progressively worse, Denise confided in a friend and found out about a women’s shelter.
“She called the shelter and left on a Monday when her husband went to work. She lost her job at a daycare when her husband came there looking for her with a loaded shotgun, endangering the children and other employees.”
Once in the shelter, she was able to file for  a protective order and divorce. She also gained the confidence to go from having only her GED to earning a master’s degree. 
A Fall Festival, Classic Car & Bike Show will be held Nov. 1 at 11:30 a.m. at 
Hollywood Connection to benefit the crisis center. Visit for details. 

Direct Service: Serving our Children

Many of our Direct Service recipients come to appointments with their children. 
We see children with dirty tattered clothing and those with bright, shining faces. There are children healthy and tugging on their mom’s dresses and running around playing and children who are sick, like a recent little girl bald from a cancer diagnosis. 
We see children from all walks of life, and we always hope they and their families feel welcome in our office. The poem, A Prayer for Children, by Marian Wright Edelman struck us as particularly fitting for the little ones we see come through our doors. Please join us in praying for children and those raising them.

We pray for the children 
who sneak popsicles before supper,
who erase holes in math workbooks, 
who can never find their shoes.
And we pray those who stare at photographers from behind
barbed wire, 
who can’t bound down the street in a new pair of sneakers, 
who never “counted potatoes,” 
who are born in places where we wouldn’t be caught dead, 
who never go to the circus, 
who live in an X-rated world.
We pray for the children 
who bring us sticky kisses and fistfuls of dandelions, 
who hug us in a hurry and forget their lunch money.
And we pray for those who never get dessert, 
who have no safe blanket to drag behind them, 
who watch their parents watch them die, 
who can’t find bread to steal, 
who don’t have rooms to clean up, 
whose pictures aren’t on anybody’s dresser, 
Whose monsters are real.
We pray for the children 
who spend their allowances before Tuesday, 
who throw tantrums in the grocery store and pick at their food, 
who like ghost stories, 
who shove dirty clothes under the bed, 
who never rinse out the tub, 
who don’t get visits from the tooth fairy, 
who don’t like to be kissed in front of the carpool, 
who squirm in church and scream in the phone, 
whose tears we sometimes laugh at and whose smiles can make
us cry.
And we pray for those 
whose nightmares come in the daytime,
who will eat anything, 
who have never seen a dentist, 
who aren’t spoiled by anybody,
who go to bed hungry and cry themselves to sleep, 
who live and move but have no being.
We pray for the children 
who want to be carried and those who must,
who we never give up on and for those who don’t get a second
We pray for those we smother and for those who will grab the hand of anybody kind enough to offer it. 

Total Assistance Given: $2,215.64
Given for rent, mortgages, work boots, transportation related needs
Donations: $74.48
Poor Box gifts: $718.50
 •St. Thomas: $479.00
 •St. Stephen’s: $11.47
 •St.. Matthew’s in the Pines: $228.03

We appreciate all the gifts. All go directly to assist others.
-Diane Hinnant, Direct Service Coordinator


Using 'passion' to make an impact

By: Holli Melancon

When it comes to volunteering, it’s important to find a cause that fits your passion. Barbara Brandenburgh has done just that in her ministry with CVEM and Talbot Cares. 
“I have a passion for food, whether I’m preparing it or giving it away,” Barbara said.
That’s why when Lay Missioner Vicky Partin approached her about working in Talbotton, she jumped at the opportunity. 
Talbot County is a food desert, meaning there are no local grocery stores. A group of concerned citizens came together to form Talbot Cares, a ministry that works to make sure its residents have enough to eat. 
Barbara serves as the CVEM representative on Talbot Cares.
Currently, Talbot Cares collaborates with Feeding the Valley, which brings food deliveries once a month. Its next goal is to establish a food co-op in Talbotton. 
“Food pantries fulfill an immediate need; co-ops serve a need long term,” Barbara said. “It’s all about maintaining one’s dignity.”
In the co-op, members pay a nominal fee, and then work together to order the food from a food bank, pick up the food, box it and distribute it.
“Usually it becomes more than a way to get food. It becomes a community,” she said, after having the opportunity to visit a co-op in Atlanta and receive training. 
In her work with Talbot Cares, Barbara said she has enjoyed most the relationships she’s made with people who care about their community and the opportunity to learn about food issues. Of course, she also loves carpooling with Vicky once a month to Talbotton. 
For those looking to volunteer, Barbara offers some good advice. 
“Treat it like you would when you are looking for a job. Look at where your passions are and where your talents are and try to match that with needs,” she said. “When you have a good match, you receive more than you can give.”
Barbara is no stranger to volunteering. In addition to her work with Talbot Cares, she is also the 
president of the local chapter of PEO (Philanthropic Educational 
Organization), an organization that raises money for scholarships for women. 
She and her husband David are originally from Tulsa, Oklahoma. They moved here 11 years ago when David transferred here with Pratt & Whitney. 
“We knew nothing about Columbus,  Georgia,  but  it  turned  out  to  be a blessing in disguise.”
She is a member of St. Thomas and also volunteers with the church. She is a former volunteer with Wynnton Neighborhood Network. She and David have two children. For anyone who may be looking to explore new volunteer opportunities, check out our new list of ways to get involved at CVEM. Visit

Infusion meets with Superintendent

By: Edward Bridgewater, Infusion member

Mr. David Lewis, the Superintendent of Muscogee County School District, came to talk and answer questions for the Infusion group last weekend. Lewis has been superintendent of Muscogee County since 2013, previously working as the associate superintendent for teaching and learning for Polk County school district in Florida. 
Listening to Mr. Lewis speak, we hear he is a remarkable man. The tone in his voice conveys his passion for education and the work that he does.
His main goals for the district are increasing the amount of advanced placement or AP courses in the high schools, increasing dual enrollment opportunities with certified teachers, aligning the curriculum and unifying the school system.
Another goal that Mr. Lewis has is increasing the literacy rates before children reach 3rd grade. He introduced the program Reading Wonders, which builds a strong reading foundation for kids. 
Concerning the graduation of African American students in the county, the rates significantly increased.
However, there is still a 15% gap between the graduation rates of black students to white students. Mr. Lewis is committed to making sure that the rates of graduates coming from Muscogee County increase. Mr. Lewis takes part in the dropout retrieval program, meaning he literally showed up at people’s houses that had dropped out, and asked them why they dropped out and to consider coming back. 
Mr. Lewis was very interested in the Infusion group and what we could do to help the community. 
Hopefully coordinating our efforts with Mr. Lewis, we can make the city of Columbus a better community and Muscogee county a more connected district of schools. 

Reflections on 'Hearts to Serve'

Mark Stevenson, Domestic Poverty Missioner for the Episcopal Church, was a speaker at Hearts to Serve. Before that, he joined CVEM staff and Direct Service volunteers for breakfast. He is pictured with Diane Hinnant, Vivia Waterman and Kristie Sholtis. 

By: Vicky Partin

St. Bede’s Episcopal Church in Atlanta welcomed over 100 people on September 13 for a first of a kind conference on outreach ministry.  The people came with great anticipation and some with determination to network and gather new tricks for outreach service and fundraising.  Most came with experience in both.
I tried to drink it all in and came away with some important insights from the awesome and yes, challenging speakers:
When we are building relationships, a must in serving others we have “feeling” stories, not just “need” stories.  We often come together already knowing the needs!
On proclaiming Jubilee, we are informed of the work of others. We break bread with people with purpose.  We are transformed by knowing the names, the desires, the vulnerabilities, and the equal opportunity with the Lord.
To become a more mature and faithful person, we must take time for reflecting in community with others.  Through prayer and discussion we are more likely to examine the impact of the service on the community and understand our own motives. It is an inward, outreach journey after all. 
(Vicky co-chaired the conference with the Community Ministries Collaborative)
The Beallwood Area Neighborhood Development Network (B.A.N.D.) held its annual reuion in August. The day was full of food, fun, games and even some horseback riding! Pictured above is Cynthia Walker, CVEM Board member and resident of Beallwood, with Mrs. Griffin.

Shedding Our Secrets updates, events

By: Holli Melancon
There are many exciting events going on with Shedding Our Secrets, our support group for victims and survivors of incest. 
First, the group will host an event on EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing) with Clinical Social Worker Richard Garrett. 
EMDR is a psychotherapy developed by Francine Shapiro that emphasizes disturbing memories as the cause of psychopathology and alleviates the symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
EMDR is used for individuals who have experienced severe trauma that remains unresolved. EMDR is an evidence-based treatment for complex trauma.
The event will be held Friday, Oct. 17 at the Columbus Public Library on Macon Road from 1-3 p.m. It is free and open to the public. Drinks will be provided, but you can bring other snacks if you wish. If you are interested in attending, please RSVP to CVEM by Oct. 15 at 706.327.0400.
Shedding Our Secrets will also begin a support group for incest survivors in 
November. The meetings will be held on the first and third Thursdays of each month from 6-7 p.m. It is free and confidential, and available to people 18 and over. 
For more details on these meetings, contact Amy Kemp at 706.489.4088.
Finally, Shedding Our Secrets will erect a billboard in October. Be on the lookout as you drive around town.

The St. Thomas Book Club met at CVEM this month. The book club members read and discussed Danielle Steel’s A Gift of Hope. CVEM loves having groups meet in our space. Contact us if you are interested in having your group meet here.
Did you know…when you recycle plastic you are supposed to remove the caps? So, what are you supposed to do with all those caps? Donate them to Easter Seals of West Georgia! They collect them, sort them and send them to Green Tree Plastics, where they will melt them down and create durable benches made of 100% recycled material. Easter Seals 
participants will enjoy them for many years to come! Pictured, Lay Missioner Vicky Partin is sitting on one of these benches. CVEM will collect your caps for Easter Seals.

Join the Challenge: Poverty Awareness Week

Poverty is a way of life for many in our community, and participating in Poverty Awareness Week is just one step we can take to better understand issues related to low-income families.
Oct. 16-23, Circles in Columbus will celebrate its second anniversary and host Poverty Awareness Week. 
Throughout the week, community members will have an opportunity to participate in a variety of activities that bring them face-to-face with the barriers so many impovershed people in our city experience daily. Below are some of the events surrounding the week:
Oct. 16-Your Mission: Should you choose to accept one of the challenges, meet us at Open Door at 6 p.m. for the kickoff event. Come learn about Circles in Columbus and its impact on our community in the last two years. Mayor Tomlinson will be there!
Oct. 17-SNAP Challenge: What can you do with $4.50 per day? Join Mayor Teresa Tomlinson in this fascinating week-long food challenge that millions of Americans experience each day.
Oct. 18-Movie Screening: Circles will host a screening of the HBO documentary American Winter at the Carmike Ritz Theater. For more information about the film visit
Oct. 20: METRA Matters Challenge: Attempt to take the bus to work, the kids to daycare or complete any task using public transportation. 
Oct. 23-Dare to Share: Come celebrate Circles in Columbus’ second anniversary at the Ministry Center at St. Luke United Methodist Church at 6 p.m. and discuss your experience with Poverty Awareness Week.
To register for any of these events, visit 
B.R.ID.G.E. held its annual golf tournament fundraiser this month to support its work with helping high school dropouts earn their GEDs. Pictured are Board President Ryland Harrelson and sponsor Tom Flowers.
Pictured are CVEM Staff and family members at St. Nicholas’s Lobsterfest. John & Vicky Partin are with BJ Landen and Larry Gammage. Photo is by Lynn Hall Photography. 
Copyright © 2014 Chattahoochee Valley Episcopal Ministry, All rights reserved.

unsubscribe from this list    update subscription preferences 

Email Marketing Powered by Mailchimp