Circles RVA is Now a Formal Chapter of Circles USA!
With the support and guidance of the national organization, Circles RVA is ready to begin building resource teams and move toward enrolling our first class of Circles Leaders in early 2018. We have more than 100 individuals signed up as volunteers who are ready to get to work. If you have committed to the Circles RVA efforts, but haven’t indicated a preference for a resource area or revisions in your preferences are necessary, please e-mail Bo Millner and he will send you a form to fill out and return. You can return the form via return email. It is very exciting that this step has been taken and it is a great example of GHTC working faithfully to fulfill the Strategic Plan. You can review the Plan by clicking here. To learn more about how Circles works, click here.
Poverty Initiative in Metro Richmond: Circles RVA
One of the three major goals of our Strategic Plan focuses on poverty in Richmond. The goal states, “Our goal is not simply to alleviate the results of poverty; we will help people move out of poverty. Our parishioners will work hand-in-hand with our brothers and sisters who live in poverty.” Structural and organization work is now underway.
A group of representatives from area congregations (GHTC, St. James, St. Paul’s, St. Peter’s, Boulevard United Methodist, Covenant Presbyterian, Sixth Mount Zion Baptist, Temple Beth Ahabah, and the Salvation Army, among others) along with representatives the City of Richmond’s Office for Community Wealth Building have been meeting and planning for the past year. The group wants to help individuals and families move out of poverty, and in a way that builds relationships and is truly transformative. By working together, we hope to achieve economic stability, one person/family at a time.
The community group looked at several models for this work and selected Circles USA. Circles USA is a national organization with an extensive track record. The Circles approach focuses on transformation through personal relationships. It is great match for the goals of the community group and it syncs perfectly with the goals of GHTC’s strategic plan. You can read more about it here.
The community group currently has three sub-committees that are working on the organization, funding, and mobilization of additional community resources. We are particularly pleased to announce that Goodwill of Central and Coastal Virginia will serve as the operational and fiscal agent for our work.
Volunteers are needed for various kinds of jobs and for varying lengths of time. For more information contact the Rev. Bo Millner and print and fill out this form (PDF). Return the form to: Circles RVA c/o Grace and Holy Trinity Church 8 North Laurel Street Richmond VA 23220. You may also return the form as an email attachment to: firstname.lastname@example.org
Look for more information in the coming months. If you have any questions or want to find how to become involved, please contact the Rev. Bo Millner.
There are a number of other GHTC members who have been involved with this effort, and Bo is happy to put you in touch with them as well. Also, you might like to visit Circles USA on the web.
How We Started: Dr. Ruby K. Payne Speaker’s Forum
Dr. Ruby K. Payne, author, speaker, and career educator, was the keynote speaker at our speaker series “What Everyone in Metro Richmond Needs to Know about Poverty” in February 2016. She discussed the different social and cultural aspects of poverty, and how those differences affect opportunities for people to successfully move out of poverty, and the resources needed for them to do so. This speaker’s forum was made possible by the Scott Foundation through a grant in honor of The Rev. Wm. Hill Brown III.
Recognized internationally for her books, A Framework for Understanding Poverty and Bridges Out of Poverty, Dr. Payne has helped students and adults of all economic backgrounds achieve academic, professional, and personal success. As an expert on the mindsets of economic classes and overcoming the hurdles of poverty, she has trained hundreds of thousands of professionals, from educators and school administrators to community, church, and business leaders.
For Saturday’s “Community Conversation” Dr. Payne was joined by Mr. Gary Eagleton, an army combat veteran who has dedicated his life to “creating a climate for change” within communities.
You can view videos of the event on our YouTube Channel.