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December 7, 2023 | Faith, Community and Non-Profit Leader Check-In Meeting

Our every other week check-in meeting is open to anyone interested in supporting compassionate community response to our most vulnerable neighbors. Meetings are held online every other Thursday from 11:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m. Email LeDayne Polaski for Zoom access code. In addition, if you would like to receive notification when these minutes are posted, please email LeDayne and ask to be added to the Thursday meetings email list.

Want to learn more about we do on our calls? Watch this short video clip!


Click HERE to Access Zoom Recording:


In this Issue:


Opening Reflection

I know I cannot enter all you feel

Nor bear with you the burden of your pain

I can but offer what my love does give --

The strength of caring

The warmth of one who seeks to understand

This I do in quiet ways —

That on your lonely path you may not walk alone.

-- Howard Thurman

1. MeckMIN Updates


These meetings are open to anyone or any group interested in promoting the common good in our shared Charlotte-Mecklenburg community.

We do not allow announcements from for-profit groups promoting their businesses or campaigning from political candidates. Beyond that, we don’t have rules for who can speak or what they can share as long as they support our commitments to respectful conversation and the dignity of all people.

Because we have a very wide array of beliefs and understandings within our membership and because we want to keep these meetings open as an open forum, we’re going to add this disclaimer to the minutes: "The views and opinions expressed here are those of the speakers/presenters and do not necessarily reflect the views or positions of the MeckMIN board or our member organizations."

OPEN TABLES December 19 | 6:30 - 8:00 PM, Friendship Missionary Baptist Church

Mark your calendars for Tuesday, December 19 as Friendship Missionary Baptist Church (3400 Beatties Ford Road, Charlotte NC 28216) will be hosting this year's last Open Tables.

At an Open Tables gathering, individuals from diverse congregations come together for fellowship and dining; with the goal of building relationships based on our shared humanity that go beyond the divides of tribalism. Register HERE


PREPARE & PACK SHOES with MeckMIN + JustServe + Samaritan's Feet Saturday, January 20 | 9 AM - 12 PM


Join MeckMIN and JustServe to Prepare and Pack Shoes with Samaritan's Feet International on Saturday, January 20, from 9:00 AM to 12:00 PM at

4808 Chesapeake Drive, Charlotte, NC, 28216.Samaritan’s Feet volunteers 8 years+ may be asked to sort shoes by style, lefts, rights, and size, or they may be asked to pair shoes together by like-grouping. These tasks are essential for helping them prepare shoes for shipment locally, nationally, and internationally. Register HERE




Next meeting is December 21.


Early 2024 meetings will be January 4 and 18 and February 1. 


We’re so pleased that our newsletter has become a go-to resource for sharing important community events and information. Sometimes, though, it becomes too much of a good thing, and we’re asked to share much more than reasonably fits even in this electronic format. Because of that, on January 1, 2024, we’re going to start enforcing a long-standing policy and limit newsletter announcements to current house of faith or affiliate members. (You are a current member if you’ve made a membership gift within the last 12 months.) Memberships are on a sliding scale based on the number of members you have (houses of faith) or your annual budget (affiliate members).



If you are not yet receiving our regular email newsletter be sure and sign up here:

CMPD/FAITH LEADERS CONVERSATION Wednesday, December 13 | 10 AM (This will be a virtual meeting)


Join CMPD and local clergy and faith leaders for an important meeting aimed at enhancing collaboration and support. Scheduled to discuss community policing and policy updates, this meeting has gained additional significance with the recent release of a video depicting a police-involved use-of-force incident in November. Clergy input is crucial as we seek ways to better support CMPD and address community concerns. Your participation is essential in fostering a safer and more inclusive community.



David Sweat, MPH  he/him

Director, COVID-19 Response Unit

Public Health | COVID-19 Response Unit

Mecklenburg County Government

Mecklenburg County Health Department is seeing a surge in COVID cases following the Thanksgiving Holiday travel and gathering activities. Anyone needing rapid test kits for distribution to their clients, congregants and members should request them by sending an email to, and we will be happy to supply you with tests and masks.


2. Non-Profit Updates

The views and opinions expressed below are those of the speakers/presenters and do not necessarily reflect the views or positions of the MeckMIN board or our member organizations.


Terri Bolotin, MDiv; MSOD

Certified Educator, Association for Clinical Pastoral Education

Director, Spiritual Care & Education | Atrium Health Mercy

The event listing includes further information and Frequently Asked Questions. 

We need your help in spreading the word of a unique conference we are hosting with a target audience of leaders of houses of worship.

The half-day symposium called Love is Stronger than Death will be held on Friday January 19th specifically for faith-based leaders to help become comfortable with end of life issues with their congregation members.  The event at the Quail Hollow Club is being sponsored by Atrium Health’s Spiritual Care and Education Team and the Ann Tarwater Foundation. As you can imagine, talking about death and dying for many can be such a sensitive and nuanced topic that it can make many uncomfortable, especially when we talk about how to plan for that when one is healthier. But if done well, it can really provide tremendous impact to individuals, families and respective communities. The hope is that participants will leave with more comfort and resources in helping others talk about end-of-life care. Clinicians will be on hand to help as well as we strive to create an inclusive and inviting environment for dialogue and discourse.


For the event, we will be hosting one of my all-time favorite speakers, Dr. Abraham Varghese, a well-known teaching physician and best-selling author from Stanford University. We are planning on having a book signing there as well with Dr. Verghese. 


The event listing includes further information and Frequently Asked Questions.


If you cannot personally attend, please feel free to pass this email along to a colleague within your organization.


If you have any questions about the registration process or about the event, please email Angela Janssen Keenan at Angela.JanssenKeenan@AtriumHealth.Org!


We look forward to seeing you on January 19th!

Seating is limited and is expected to sell out.


I also know faith leaders are not necessarily the most well-paid people and if the money is a barrier, I strongly encourage people to email and request a scholarship.  It is much more important to us that we have a diverse mix of faith leaders than that we make money.  I hope people in MeckMIN recognize their presence as an added value to the conversation!


JEMAR TISBY @ COVENANT February 10, 2024

I would like to invite the MeckMIN community to a Covenant event: on Saturday, February 10, we are hosting Dr. Jemar Tisby at Covenant. He will give a community wide lecture and we’d like to invite other communities of faith and nonprofit organizations. 




President & Chief Executive Officer | Community Link

601 East 5th Street, Suite 500, Charlotte, NC 28202

704-943-9635 [O] | 704-609-8917 [C] | 704-943-9519 [Fax]


Jennifer Roberts |


The purpose of the Faith Forward network is action within our communities. As we think about things that we could do collectively, individually, or that we are already doing, below is quite a long list of potential actions aimed at helping us to disagree well and understand better. We would love to know if any jump out at you as things you may want to engage with to put into action or if you know of existing resources.    


a.       Develop and promote a day of prayer, with a date being exactly xx months ahead of the 2024 election in which faith leaders could warn against division, encourage a peaceful process, and offer an alternative and preventive narrative; 

b.       Create a web page to collect tools; 

c.       Collect prayer resources from different faiths and denominations that speak to healing our divisions; 

d.       Collate peacebuilding tools, such as training resources on dialogue and division and / or provide connections to organizations working on community healing; 

e.       Create sermon resources; 

f.        Create or update teaching curricula to include ways to address division and polarization. 

g.       Creating faith-based statements in support of core principles of non-violence; 

h.       Develop a cohort of multi-faith peacebuilders through a study and planning visit to Belfast to examine identity-based conflict, peacebuilding, and reconciliation;  

i.         Establish an occasional webinar series; 

j.         Create a speakers guide and recruit speakers; 

k.       Intentionally engage youth groups and university students in these efforts; 

l.         Reach out to national conferences and religious academic associations as possible partners as venues to make presentations; 

m.     Increase learning for young children on how to peacefully resolve differences; 

n.       Create video training resources (we are working on one that outlines how to recognize misinformation or fake news); 

o.       Other? 

All indications in NC are that we will continue to be a swing state in 2024, and will likely have many candidates visiting various communities over the course of the year. This makes us a good target for protests and other possible political clashes. 

This effort has really taken off in Georgia and seems to be making headway. 



Meet the vending machine that dispenses hope and joy. The world-famous Light the World Giving Machines are returning to Charlotte December 14th through January 1st at the Promenade on Providence.

With the swipe of a credit card, you can give hot meals, new bedding, warm pajamas—even chickens and goats—to those in need. Options in this year’s Giving Machine start at just $5 and will include items requested by these three local charities: Baby Bundles, Beds for Kids, and The Relatives. For a full list of participating nonprofits and charitable donation options, as well as the entertainment schedule, visit

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints covers all Light the World Giving Machine operational expenses. This generosity allows 100% of every donation to bless the life of someone in need.

The world needs your light! Make visiting the Giving Machines part of your holiday festivities this year! Invite friends and family to join you in this unique and memorable giving experience!

Charlotte donations will support Baby Bundles, The Relatives and Beds for Kids.


The Reverend Deacon Emily Parker | | | 704-900-5210 x323 |

Executive Director, Galilee Ministries of East Charlotte 

3601 Central Avenue, Charlotte, NC 28205 |

Galilee will host Tai Chi 4 Health with long-time instructor Maeya Carr and her amazing team starting on Friday, January 5, 2024 from 9:30 am - 11:00 am (each session) at 3601 Central Avenue, Charlotte 28205.


What: Tai Chi 4 Health | Introductory Level Sessions 



Friday, January 5

Friday, January 12

Friday, January 19

Friday, January 26


NOTE: If you want to participate, it is critical that you attend the first session on January 5. Each session builds on the previous one, so it's important that you try to not miss more than one session.



·  Wear loose fitting, comfortable clothing. Bring an extra layer, just in case!

·  You can practice with your shoes on, barefoot (floor may be chilly!), or get socks with rubber grips on the bottom. 

·  Bring your own water.

·  Bring a yoga mat if you have one.

·  These sessions are for people 18 and over.

·  Each session will cost a minimum of $5 per person. Please consider if you can give more. Your generosity could help someone else participate!  

Please let Emily Parker ( know if you plan to attend the first session on January 5. 




Alicia Counihan |

Gen Bowden |

We are currently in need of 17 new Socialights who are willing to love on the social workers in our city. We'd love for you to consider this super easy way to get involved and make a difference.

Socialight is our "Adopt-a-social worker" program. We pair individuals (like you!) with child welfare social workers in our city. Similar to teacher appreciation, we encourage Socialights to find creative and fun ways to encourage their social workers throughout the year! This could look a lot of different ways, including: 

·  Encouraging texts or emails

·  Giving small gifts or notes sent to their office (gifts are not required)

·  A quick phone call to let them know you're thinking about them

·  Encouraging them through prayer

·  Maybe even a coffee, lunch, or ice cream get-together!

It only takes 15 minutes a month and you can do it from the comfort of your own home. Individuals, families and even groups of co-workers can sign up to be a Socialight!CLICK HERE to learn more about the program. 

 This video is a reminder of what child welfare professionals go through on a daily basis:


Jessica Lefkowitz | | 704.345.9966

Executive Director | Hearts for the Invisible Charlotte Coalition

The 2024 Point-in-Time (PIT) Count will take place on the night of Wednesday, January 24, 2024 and during the day on Thursday, January 25, 2024. 

The PIT Count is when our community comes together to survey each person experiencing sheltered or unsheltered homelessness on one night. It is also when we capture temporary and permanent housing capacity and inventory across the housing continuum. The Point-in-Time Count and Housing Inventory Count are required activities for the Continuum of Care (CoC) to receive federal homelessness funding assistance from the U.S. Department of Housing & Urban Development (HUD).

The 2024 data will include anyone experiencing homelessness, and the capacity to temporarily and permanently house this population, as HUD defines it on the night of January 24, 2024. The unsheltered homelessness census involves engagement with individuals who are not already receiving services, and therefore, typically requires significant in-person contact.

For the 2024 PIT Count, Charlotte-Mecklenburg will return to leaning on volunteers to complete the unsheltered portion of the PIT. We will expand coverage to canvas all of Mecklenburg County. Stay tuned for how you can make the planning team aware of locations where you know people experiencing unsheltered homelessness may be sleeping. We will need over 100 volunteers to conduct surveys throughout the day on Thursday, January 25, 2024 so we will need your participation! Please sign up using the link below.

Like previous years, Charlotte-Mecklenburg will complete the sheltered homelessness census and HIC (Housing Inventory Count). The relevant data for these activities should already be in the Homeless Management Information System (HMIS) as a part of regular data workflows completed by staff when an individual enters an emergency shelter or transitional housing facility. For the purposes of the HIC, providing and updating organizational capacity in HMIS involves communication and coordination among providers and HMIS staff.

Data from the 2024 Point-in-Time Count will be released with the 2024 State of Housing Instability & Homelessness Report in Fall 2024.



Lezlie Briggs | | O: 704-432-5263 | M: 704-806-8536

ADA Program Manager | City of Charlotte ADA Liaison | City of Charlotte | Community

700 Parkwood Avenue, Charlotte, NC 28205 | Suite 228

We have exciting news! the 2024 Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Parade registration has been extended. Please visit 2024 Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Parade to get registered. If you are affiliated with a Charlotte-Mecklenburg School and would like to get registered, please email directly. Final Registration will close Friday, December 15th. 

Please share this information with your network of community, friends, and family. Thank you for your support and we look forward to you being a part of this annual celebration of Dr. King’s legacy. 

12:30p.m. – 2 p.m.: A 3-piece version of the Queen City Jazz Band will perform in the Gallery Space while the Resource Fair continues. Beverages and treats will be provided.

Save your spot. (The event is FREE but donations are welcome.)


3. General Information




Following the approval of over 2,000 grant applications, qualifying homeowners seeking assistance with their home tax bills are being provided several opportunities to complete an on-site application with the help of County staff, ahead of the new Dec. 15 deadline.

The upcoming application fair is scheduled to take place on Saturday, Dec. 9, 2023, at the Ella B. Scarborough Community Resource Center located at 430 Sitt Road, Charlotte, NC 28213 (next to the intersection of Eastway and Tryon St.) from 9 a.m. to noon. Residents are encouraged to review the application requirements prior to attending the event. To get a decision on the same day, applicants are encouraged to bring documentation for income verification, such as, their 2022: W2, W4, 1099-DIV, 1099-INT, 1099-G, SSA-1099, SSI a complete IRS 1040 or proof of alimony.

Homeowners who are unable to attend the event can complete an application with staff assistance by visiting the Ella B. Scarborough Community Resource Center or the Valerie C. Woodard Community Resource Center (3205 Freedom Drive, Suite 1000, Charlotte, NC 28208) between Dec. 13 and Dec. 15 (8 a.m. and 4:30 p.m.). 

HOMES (Helping Out Mecklenburg’s homeowners with Economic Support) offers qualifying homeowners an economic assistance grant of up to $660. For more information on the HOMES program, please visit; email; or call 980-314-HOME (4663).


Lezlie Briggs | | O: 704-432-5263 | M: 704-806-8536

ADA Program Manager | City of Charlotte ADA Liaison | City of Charlotte | Community

700 Parkwood Avenue, Charlotte, NC 28205 | Suite 228

2024 is fast approaching and it’s time to plan the largest Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Holiday Celebration in the southeast! Celebration organizers are excited to announce that registration for the parade and nominations for Growing the Dream and Medallion Award are officially open.

Please visit Charlotte-Mecklenburg MLK National Holiday Celebration to learn more about all the exciting events and activities planned. Please share this information with your network of community, friends, and family.

Thank you for your support and we look forward to you being a part of this annual celebration of Dr. King’s legacy.


As a faith leader, your influential role in our community is invaluable. Today, we're sharing vital details about the upcoming Medicaid Expansion in North Carolina, closely aligned with our policy work. Beginning December. 1, 2023, this expansion will broaden healthcare access.

You can help spread this information by:

·  Including in your service: Share this update with your congregants during services.

·  Displaying information on bulletin board: Use the provided flyer for easy reference.

·  Sharing online: Spread the news through your digital channels.

·  Educating during community events: Share this information during food pantry distribution or when interacting with the larger community.

Your support is crucial in improving healthcare access. You can access all the materials necessary to share this information here. If you share these resources, please fill out this form so we can gather impact!


You are invited to join the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) for the first 2024 Marketplace Open Enrollment Webinar! This will be the first in a series of Marketplace Open Enrollment Stakeholder Webinars. During this kickoff, CMS will provide partners, stakeholders, and Champions for Coverage with critical information, resources, and updated materials to successfully help consumers navigate the Health Insurance Marketplace Open Enrollment Period. Open enrollment runs from November 1, 2023 to January 15, 2024. 


·  Wednesday, December 13, 2023, from 3:00-4:00 PM ET

·  Wednesday, January 10, 2024, from 3:00-4:00 PM ET

·  Wednesday, January 31, 2024, from 3:00-4:00 PM ET

WHO SHOULD ATTEND: This webinar is for Champions for Coverage organizations, Navigators, Certified Application Assisters, Agents & Brokers, Partners, and other Stakeholders. 

RSVP: To register for the webinars in the series, please click here. When you register, please select each webinar you would like to attend from the list at the top of the page. After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining each webinar. Please send all questions to


988 PARTNER TOOLKIT: The 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline has created social media shareables designed for use as social media posts, stories, and threads. The partner toolkit can be found here.


Many states have resumed their regular processes for renewing individuals’ Medicaid and CHIP coverage following the end of the continuous enrollment requirement. Now through April 2024, everyone is going to need to renew their Medicaid and CHIP coverage. Families can renew their coverage by finding their state Medicaid agency here.  Find the PSA here.

COVID-19 Tests

The Biden-Harris Administration and Administration for Strategic Preparedness and Response (ASPR) are committed to ensuring equitable access to COVID-19 tests, especially ahead of the holidays. ASPR is refreshing ordering on for every U.S. household to order additional tests at no charge. Households that ordered this fall can order four more tests, and those that have not ordered this fall can submit two orders for a total of eight tests. Additionally, ASPR will continue to provide over four million free COVID-19 tests per week directly to long-term care facilities, schools, community health centers, and food banks. More information on these efforts and a digital toolkit to share through your social media avenues is available at



Dear Partners,

Beginning today, more than 600,000 North Carolinians will be able to get NC Medicaid under new eligibility rules. Nearly half have already been automatically enrolled because they previously had limited benefits through Family Planning Medicaid and are now eligible for full Medicaid.

In marking this milestone, Governor Roy Cooper said, "After years of fighting for high-quality health care for every person in our state, today’s launch of Medicaid expansion means more than 600,000 North Carolinians can now access the care they need to stay healthier, treat sickness earlier and have the peace of mind knowing health care is within their reach. Together with our partners in communities across the state, we will get the word out and help more people sign up for this life-changing care.”

That’s why we are reaching out to you. North Carolinians need your help – the people and groups they trust – to learn who will be eligible for NC Medicaid, when and how to apply. Please use our updated toolkit to get people the information they need and sign up to stay informed and volunteer.

The bilingual toolkit includes:

  • Day 1 Flyer: An overview of who is eligible and how to enroll.

  • Newsletter Template: Content to include in your newsletters and emails.

  • Social Media: Graphics and posts to share on your channels.

  • Family Planning Flyer: Information for the approximately 300,000 people who receive limited benefits through Family Planning Medicaid who will be automatically enrolled in full Medicaid.

  • Medicaid Essentials Deck: A presentation to share with your community on who is eligible and how to enroll.

  • FAQ: Answers to common questions.

  • ePASS Video: An overview of how to apply online through ePASS.

Fill out our updated sign-up form to keep informed on the latest resources and volunteer. You’ll be able to let us know if you want:

  • email updates about Medicaid expansion, including when new materials are ready.

  • printed materials delivered to me to share with my community.

  • to give presentations to my community to help people know about Medicaid expansion. (Training will be provided.)

  • to become a Medicaid Ambassador and learn more about volunteering at in-person events and on the phone to answer questions about Medicaid.

  • to learn more about helping people apply for Medicaid as a volunteer health insurance Navigator with the NC Navigator Consortium. (Training will be provided.)

Together we will ensure more than 600,000 people gain access to health care across North Carolina.


Estimados socios,

A partir de hoy, más de 600,000 habitantes de Carolina del Norte podrán recibir Medicaid de Carolina del Norte según las nuevas reglas de elegibilidad. Casi la mitad ya se han inscrito automáticamente porque anteriormente tenían beneficios limitados a través del Programa de Planificación Familiar de Medicaid y ahora son elegibles para recibir cobertura completa de Medicaid.

Para conmemorar haber alcanzado esta meta, el gobernador Roy Cooper dijo: "Después de años de luchar para tener atención médica de alta calidad para cada persona en nuestro estado, el lanzamiento hoy de la expansión de Medicaid significa que más de 600,000 habitantes de Carolina del Norte ahora pueden acceder a la atención que necesitan para mantenerse más saludables, tratar sus enfermedades más temprano y tener la tranquilidad de que la atención médica está a su alcance. Junto con nuestros socios comunitarios de todo el estado, vamos a correr la voz y ayudar a que más personas se inscriban para recibir cuidados de salud que les cambiarán la vida".

Es por eso que mandamos este mensaje. Los habitantes de Carolina del Norte necesitan tu ayuda (las personas y los grupos en los que confían) para saber quiénes serán elegibles para Medicaid de Carolina del Norte, y cuándo y cómo presentar una solicitud. Utiliza nuestro kit de herramientas actualizado para brindarles a las personas la información que necesitan. También puedes registrarte para mantenerte informado y ser voluntario.

El kit de herramientas bilingüe incluye:

Completa nuestro formulario de registro actualizado para mantenerte informado sobre los últimos recursos y ser voluntario. Podrás informarnos si quieres:

  • actualizaciones por correo electrónico sobre la expansión de Medicaid, incluso cuando estén listos nuevos materiales.

  • que te envíen materiales impresos para compartir con tu comunidad.

  • dar presentaciones en tu comunidad para ayudar a las personas a aprender más sobre la expansión de Medicaid. (Se proporcionará capacitación).

  • convertirte en embajador de Medicaid y obtener más información sobre el voluntariado en eventos en persona y por teléfono para responder preguntas sobre Medicaid.

  • obtener más información sobre cómo ayudar a las personas a solicitar Medicaid como Navegador voluntario de seguros médicos con el NC Navigator Consortium. (Se proporcionará capacitación).

Juntos garantizaremos que más de 600,000 personas obtengan acceso a la atención médica en todo Carolina del Norte.



Dear God,

My heart is a mess.

There’s just more suffering and loss and fear in the world than it can hold right now. Help me not let in so much news that I have to put the “closed” sign up in the door of my heart, because my family and friends need it to stay open.

Sometimes my heart doesn’t really trust love.

When my heart is full, help the anxious thoughts and feelings that poke a hole and empty it again come more slowly (or preferably not at all).

Sometimes the old girl does unhelpful things to protect herself.

When my heart is broken, help it not also create an emotional auto-immune disorder – attacking as pathogen what is actually harmless.

But sometimes, sometimes I’m surprised by my heart.

It can be more deeply in love than I ever knew possible.

It can increasingly be gladdened by simple things I used to ignore.

It can hurt for people I don’t even like very much.

It can heal from things I used to think would destroy it.

It can long for you, God. But in ways that look less like piety and more like friendship.

It’s confusing, having a human heart.

So help me remember that while my heart may break, expand, hurt, heal, close, open and overflow - none of that affects my soul.

None of it can get to the part of me which bears your image; the part of me that contains the divine, inextinguishable spark. And for that I am thankful. Because, as stated earlier, my heart is a mess.


Next meeting:

Thursday, December 21 at 11 a.m.


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