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February 2, 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:



2/6: Deadline to nominate someone for a MeckMIN Community Leader Award

2/11: Service project with the Latin American Coalition – 9:30 to 4:00 pm -- All ages, volunteers sign up for time slots

2/23: Potlucks for Pluralism dinner dialogue at Islamic Center of Greater Charlotte – 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. – Open to local college students

2/26: Interfaith Youth Panel at Myers Park United Methodist Church from 5-6:30 pm -- Open to all middle and high school youth and those who work with them

2/27: Child and Adolescent Mental Health Amid COVID-19: Reflection, Response, and Resiliency: February 27, 2023 | 9:00am-12:15pm,

2/28: Potlucks for Pluralism dinner dialogue at the Hindu Center -- – 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. – Open to local college students


3/16: Child and Adolescent Mental Health Amid COVID-19: Reflection, Response, and Resiliency, March 16, 2023 | 12:00om-3:15pm,

3/21: Open Tables – 6:30 to 8:00 p.m. – Muslim Community Center – Open to all adults interested in substantive conversations with people of other faiths. Register HERE

3/21: How to hold a Living Room Conversation Training – 7 to 9 p.m. – Wingate University – Open to all involved in Potlucks for Pluralism

April - Service project, TBA


5/1: Volunteer opportunity to set up for Awards Breakfast – Covenant Presbyterian Church – 6 to 8 p.m. – open to all. Sign up HERE

5/2: Community Leaders Awards Breakfast – 7:30 to 9:00 a.m – open to all

5/7: Youth Community Service Project (afternoon time; location TBD) -- Open to all middle and high school youth and those who work with them


6/15: Open Tables -- – 6:30 to 8:00 p.m. – The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints – Open to all adults interested in substantive conversations with people of other faiths. Register HERE

July - Service project, TBA


8/18/19: Interfaith Youth Gathering (previously known as In Our Own Backyard) – Friday night and all-day Saturday, exact timing to be announced -- Open to all middle and high school youth and those who work with them


9/21: Open Tables -- 6:30 to 8:00 p.m. – Baha’I Center – Open to all adults interested in substantive conversations with people of other faiths. Register HERE

October - Service project, TBA


(exact date TBA) - Youth Visit the Catawba Festival -- 9am – 1pm -- Open to all middle and high school youth and those who work with them

11/21: Interfaith Community Wide Thanksgiving service – Trinity Presbyterian Church – 7 to 9 a.m..


12/19: Open Tables -- – Location TBA – Open to all adults interested in substantive conversations with people of other faiths

Opening Reflection

Prayer of Protection:

The light of God surrounds us.

The love of God enfolds us

The power of God protects us

The presence of god watches over us.

Wherever we are God is.

(James Dillet Freeman)

Found at the website


1. MeckMIN Updates


May 2, 2023 | 7:30 - 9 AM | Covenant Presbyterian Church

  • Save the Date

  • Nomination forms are available on our website – PLEASE consider nominating a deserving person or group

  • Table Captains are needed – Please consider signing up HERE

  • Sponsorship opportunities will be available soon

NOMINATE AN EXEMPLARY LEADER 2023 Community Leader Awards Breakfast

We invite you to nominate an exemplary person or organization for one of our 2023 Community Leader Awards. The nomination process is now open – and the deadline to submit a nomination is Monday, February 6 by 5 p.m. If you’d like to make a nomination but are unsure whether the person/group has been honored by MeckMIN in the past, visit our webpage and scroll down to find the list of past recipients.

The Sydnor Thompson, Jr. Community Leader award goes to a local leader or organization that exemplifies leadership and collaboration across differences in the community, fosters interfaith understanding to promote racial and ethnic understanding, and addresses social needs in the community. This award is most often given to someone who does this work as part of their career – such as a clergy person or nonprofit professional.

The Bridge Builder award goes to someone who directly promotes one-on-one relationships and bridge building across differences through their actions and daily life.

This award is most often given to someone who does this work as a volunteer.


MeckMIN will continue these calls, Potlucks for Pluralism, and solidarity events. In addition, we will now do one monthly event and these will include Volunteer Events, Youth Events and Open Tables which will rotate on a quarterly basis. The initial events are featured below and the full schedule, as currently understood, is above:

  • Quarterly VOLUNTEER EVENT: LAC Resource fair for New Arrivals – February 11 Event – 10 to 3 -- Volunteer shifts available starting at 9:30 and ending at 4:00, We could use volunteers and also information from organizations that can support and connect with new arrivals. Sign up HERE *REMAINING AVAILABLE SLOTS: 9 - 10 AM and 3 - 4 PM

  • Quarterly YOUTH Event: INTERFAITH PANEL: February 26 5 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. All middle and high school youth -- and the adults who work with them -- are invited to hear fellow youth from a number of different religious perspectives reflect on their faiths and how they shape their lives. Last year's event was AMAZING, and we're so excited to invite you to join us this time. A light dinner will be included. Sign up HERE “The MeckMIN student panel was one of the best youth meetings I have been to in a long time. The students were simply amazing." -- 2022 Attendee

  • Quarterly Open Tables -- Quarterly in 2023 and open to all – dates above Sign up HERE for March 21st Open Tables


David Sweat, MPH | | 980-314-9633

Director, COVID Response Unit | Mecklenburg County Health Department

5600 77th Center Drive, Suite 240 Charlotte, NC 28217

-Public Health Emergencies Declaration ends nationwide May 11th

-Covid is getting better but is still the 3rd leading cause of death currently

- Most important message to give people is -- Stay current on vaccinations – get them now

- It is likely that people will need to start paying for vaccines later this year

-All recent local deaths occurred in people 60yrs+ who were not current with their Boosters

- MOST IMPORTANT TALKING POINT TO SHARE WITH PEOPLE IN YOUR NETWORK – Encourage everyone, especially Seniors, to get boosted while it’s still free

2. Non-Profit Updates


Jennifer Kendrick |

We are excited about our speaker this week!Janan Najeeb will be speaking on being a Muslim in Rotary/Milwaukee. Check out her bio here. She will be virtual, so if you cannot join in person, please consider joining us on Zoom.

Meeting ID: 822 0130 5003

For more info:

A FAITHFUL RESPONSE TO GUN VIOLENCE Covenant Presbyterian Church | Feb 8 | 6:30 - 7:30 PM

Over the weekend, I heard a news reporter share that there have been more mass shootings in 2023 than calendar days. As a country, we are overwhelmed by both the trauma of these tragedies and the sheer volume of work that lies ahead. This month, Covenant will be hosting a series about gun violence—what is happening in Charlotte, how gun violence affects various groups, and how we are called to respond as people of faith.

On February 8, from 6:30-7:30pm on Wednesday, we’ll hear from community leaders who serve vulnerable population groups regarding the traumatic toll that gun violence has taken on these marginalized groups. These community leaders include Greg Jarrell with QC Family Tree, Liz Clasen-Kelly with Roof Above, Greg Jackson with Heal Charlotte, and Susan Billmeyer with Alexander Graham Middle School.

The last session of this series is on February 15, and we’ll learn from two advocates, Dr. Rodney Sadler and Tracie Campbell. Dr. Sadler is a scholar at Union Presbyterian Seminary and Tracie works for the office of violence prevention with Mecklenburg County; they’ll talk about the way forward: what’s being done and what’s left for us to do. Each of these sessions will take place in Covenant’s Fellowship Hall and is also accessible on Zoom via our website. We hope that you come to what will surely be a rich time.

February 8: What’s going on?

Sandra Boozer, moderator

Liz Clasen Kelly, Roof Above

Greg Jackson, Heal Charlotte

Greg Jarrell, QC Family Tree

Susan Billmire, Middle School Counselor

February 15: Where do we go from here?

Dr. Rodney Sadler, Professor of Bible at Union Presbyterian Seminary;

Tracie Campbell, Senior Health Manager at the Office of Violence Prevention for Mecklenburg County


Charlotte “Nadja” Trez | | 980-343-3287 | Cell: 980-417-4107

Executive Director, Learning & Language Acquisition | Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools

Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools Education Center - Suite 350 | 4421 Stuart Andrew Blvd. | Charlotte, NC 28217

International Center | Former Collinswood Language Academy | 4000 Applegate Rd | Charlotte, NC 28209

-International Center provides support to students for whom English is their second language

-Int’l Center has alliances with other agencies that help provide books, groceries, transportation, ESL education, etc.

-Have bilingual social workers that help out with the process

-99% of staff is bilingual.

-HOPE Boutique – the highlight of many families – can just go and grab whatever they need - donations are welcome all year long

-Interpretation Services available

-Interpreter Kits are now available

-Sign language is available. The schools can select that option when completing the request form.

Access today's Presentation HERE


George Bohmfalk, MD | | 704-369-1318 Chair, Health Care Justice — NC | The Charlotte NC chapter of PNHP

Physicians for a National Health Program

-Advocacy Program HealthCare Justice for NC

-Primary advocacy is Medicare for all

-Threat to Medicare program as it exists now, two-sided. ACO Reach – Protect

-Allows agents like wall street to buy primary care facilities – they’ll look after profits over patient’s care

- Website w/ info about the ACO/REACH program and perils off Medicare Advantage -

ACO_REACH threat
Download DOCX • 10KB


Sheila Laury | | Office: (704) 705-9797

Executive Director Fill My Cup

Adult Literacy | Adult Basic Education Services

Charlotte, North Carolina

  • AARP Digital Skills Ready@50+ Training

  • Adult Basic Education Small Group tutoring

  • Adult Basic Education Small Group tutoring that will begin later this month. It will be conducted at Amity Presbyterian Church. Those interested will be asked to contact our office for dates and times, etc.

UPCOMING PROGRAM SESSIONS: January – March 2023 – 10am

o Smartphones (lecture) – Tuesday, January 24th

o How to Choose a New Computer (lecture) - Tuesday, January 31st

o Protecting Your Personal Information Online (lecture)–Tuesday, February 7th

o Staying Safe Online (workshop) – Thursday, February 28 th

o Smartphones (lecture) – Tuesday, March 7 th

Choose a training date and REGISTER TODAY:

Visit: - or CALL: (704) 705-9797

-Need participants for this program Digital Skills Ready 50+

-If someone has a group that might be interested in hosting a training - Sheila can organize the training

-Also actively recruiting for 8-10 learners – obtain functional literary skills and obtain High School equivalence

-Please spread the word

Fill My Cup Digital Skills Ready_50+™ Flyer 1-1-2023
Download PDF • 3.60MB

FMC Hickory Grove AARP DSR_50 - April 15 2023 Using Google Workspace Tools
Download PDF • 5.84MB

FMC Hickory Grove AARP DSR_50 - March 25 2023 All Things Zoom
Download PDF • 5.84MB

FMC Hickory Grove AARP DSR_50 February 25 2023-How to Choose a New Computer
Download PDF • 5.84MB


The "Walking Charlotte as Labyrinth" guide leads participants on a 3-mile, approximately 2-hour walk through Uptown Charlotte. Along the way, you'll look for what is present and what is not present, hoping to see more clearly into the past and the future of the Queen City.

To access the guide, click here, which will take you to my shop and allow you to purchase access. Following your purchase, you'll receive a download with a link and a password to the site.

As a creative working in my local context to labor for justice, your support for projects like this is essential. Suggested contribution is $15/person, with an option to pay what you can (minimum $15). If that is a hardship to you, contact me through this site and I will provide you with access.

I enjoy facilitating the experience in person. To schedule a guided walk, contact me at

- Walking CLT as Labyrinth - a history walk in search of stories of exclusions and invisibilities within the Charlotte cityscape. Live in Person experience narrating stories of exclusion and invisibility. How some stories have been left out, what repairs do we have to make, etc.

-Engage in the story of our city


Michelle E. Zuñiga, PhD, AICP |

Assistant Professor of Urban and Community Planning

Department of Geography & Earth Sciences University of North Carolina, Charlotte

Katherine Idziorek <>

How do you get to where you need to go everyday? Are there transportation barriers that make it difficult to access the resources that you and your family need within a short trip from your home?

A research team from UNC Charlotte is seeking individuals living in Hidden Valley, Sugar Creek, East Charlotte, and Derita to participate in a 60-minute interview about your experiences with transportation in your community. Participants will receive a $50 Visa card in appreciation of their time.

We would like to learn about the kinds of goods and services people living in your community most need to access, as well as any transportation challenges you face in accessing the goods and services that you and/or your family need. This information will be used to inform future transportation and urban planning policy in Charlotte with a focus on how those policies can better serve communities that have historically received lower levels of public investment than other areas of the city.

*Participants must live in the Hidden Valley, Sugar Creek, or Derita communities and be 18 years of age or older to participate. With your consent, interviews will be recorded. Anything you discuss in the interview will be kept strictly confidential. This study has been reviewed and approved by the University of North Carolina at Charlotte Institutional Review Board.

The study is funded by the Gambrell Foundation and the Urban Institute at UNC Charlotte.

If you would be interested in participating in an interview, please contact the research team by email at or by phone/text at 980-729-5722. We will respond to schedule the interview at a time and location that work best for you, and we would be happy to answer any questions you might have about participation. You may choose whether you would prefer an in-person interview or an online Zoom interview.

We hope you will consider sharing your stories and perspective to help inform policies affecting Charlotte communities.

-Requesting help in recommending individuals who use transportation, 18 yrs+ and live in East CLT or Central Albemarle, Sugar Creek area – the interviewing is done either on Zoom or coffee shops

-$50 Visa gift card in exchange for interview

Charlotte East Recruitment flyer - email
Download PDF • 256KB


3. General Information


*Registration is required

Register HERE


-Feb 28th Hiring Expo – looking for connections with employers for their students who have completed certification

- Please refer employers for our next Hiring Expo event Feb 28. 2023


George Metz | | 704-371-4922 (229)

Chief Strategy Officer Freedom School Partners

PO Box 37363 Charlotte, NC 28237

Apply HERE


-Lots of volunteer opportunities available

Also need donations


-The need is as HIGH as they’ve ever seen

This Saturday, February 4, the Mecklenburg County Council of the Boy Scouts of America will be Scouting for Food!

If the scouts left a bright red door hanger on your door this week, simply fill a bag or box with non-perishable food items and leave outside your home by 9:00 am for pick up by the Scouts this Saturday morning.

Please make sure your bag is out by 9:00am and in a spot on your front porch that is visible from the street.

We are especially in need of pantry staples such as these

priority needs items:

· Canned Meat: Tuna, Chicken, etc…

· Canned Fruit: low sugar or in juice

· Pastas: Canned or Dry Boxed

· Low Sodium Canned Vegetables

· Peanut Butter


If you do not receive a door hanger, you can still give!!

Drop off food donations at any of the locations listed below on Saturday, Feb. 4, 10am-3pm & Sunday, Feb. 5, 12:30pm-2:30pm OR at the Loaves & Fishes/Friendship Trays warehouse Monday - Friday 8:30am - 4:00pm located at 648 Griffith Rd.

You can also drop off food donations at Subaru South Blvd., 9201 South Blvd.

If you prefer, you can make a financial donation here directly to Loaves & Fishes/Friendship Trays or text 44321 on your mobile phone and enter the code: Scout4Food.

We are hoping for a strong Scouting for Food to bring in much needed food to feed families in need. Thank you!

Scouts will be on hand to collect donations at these locations:

· Ada Jenkins Center – 212 Gamble St., Davidson (Saturday, Feb. 4 only drop-off site)

· Arboretum Shopping Center – Providence Rd. & Highway 51 (across from the Harris Teeter), Charlotte

· Good Shepherd Church – 13110 Moss Rd, Charlotte (Saturday, Feb. 4 only drop-off site)

· Huntersville United Methodist Church – 14005 Stumptown Rd., Huntersville

· Philadelphia Presbyterian Church – 11501 Bain School Rd., Mint Hill (Saturday, Feb. 4 only drop-off site)

· Sardis Presbyterian Church – 6100 Sardis Road, Charlotte (Saturday, Feb. 4 only drop-off site)

· Sharon Presbyterian Church – 5201 Sharon Rd., Charlotte

· South Mecklenburg Presbyterian – 8601 Bryant Farms Rd, Charlotte (Saturday, Feb. 4 only drop-off site)

· Town Center Plaza – 8600 University City Blvd., Charlotte - look for the Loaves & Fishes truck in the parking lot on the far left side of the shopping center.


Open to health care professionals of all faiths – March 3 to 5 in Charlotte

The local Sikh community in Charlotte is sponsoring the annual meeting of the North American Sikh Medical and Dental Association and invites health care professionals to

join them for a number of interesting discussions about how to move forward in the face of a number of personal and healthcare-related challenges. The meeting will also include a variety of entertainment, great food, and the company of many who are committed to improving healthcare for all. Keynote speakers include

· Simran Jeet Singh, Executive Director for the Aspen Institute’s Religion & Society Program and author of The Light We Give: How Sikh Wisdom Can Transform Your Life.

· Dr. Meeta Singh, sleep physician and psychiatrist who is counsels a number of professional sports teams on optimizing human performance

· Mr. Vishal Bhalla, Atrium Health’s Chief Experience Officer.

More information at


Be Not Afraid! Join us for a week of teachings and practices, February 14-17, with Dr. Larry Ward and Dr. Peggy Rowe Ward, founders of the Lotus Institute and senior Dharma teachers ordained by the late Ven. Thich Nhat Hanh. Come join us to explore embodied teachings for living fearlessly and joyfully in the face of fear and uncertainty. (More details on Dr. Ward and Dr. Rowe Ward can be found here and here.)

Both Larry and Peggy will join us for Davidson Mindfulness on Tuesday the 14th from 4:30pm – 5:30pm and Davidson Dharma on Wednesday the 15th from 7pm – 8pm to work directly with practices around the theme of Be Not Afraid.

On Thursday, February 16th, there will be a longer talk and Q&A with our beloved guests and teachers from 7pm – 8:30pm. Earlier on Thursday, Larry will take part in a conversation on BIPOC Spirituality with Associate Chaplain Daniel Heath and Davidson students who identify as BIPOC.

Friday, February 17th, we will have an afternoon of mindfulness with two sessions from 2pm – 3:25pm and from 3:35pm – 5pm.

All events are open to the public and in the Sprinkle Room, 4th Floor, Alvarez College Union, Davidson College, with the exception of the BIPOC spirituality conversation, which is an affinity space meeting for students who identify as BIPOC and will be in the Spencer-Weinstein Center for Community and Justice.

Please email Associate Chaplain for Buddhist Programs Ivan Mayerhofer ( for more information regarding all these wonderful and marvelous events!


Greenspon Center | Thursday, February 9 | Temple Israel 4901 Providence Rd

"Repairing the World" documents Pittsburgh’s powerful community response to hate in the aftermath of the deadliest antisemitic attack in US history. Through the voices of survivors, family members, diverse Pittsburgh residents and leaders, the film shows unity in a moment of crisis, the resilience of a vibrant city, and a community working together to understand what it means to be “stronger than hate.” Following the film, Judy LaPietra and Rabbi Judy Schindler will be moderating a Q&A with filmmaker Patrice O'Neill. To purchase your tickets, click here.


The purpose of PHW is to partner with faith communities as they seek to live more healthy, whole, and abundant lives. Through The PHW Collaborative, we are able to connect to faith communities across the state to fund and support their health initiatives.

The PHW Collaborative is open to any faith community that holds regular religious services in an established place of worship in the state of North Carolina. We welcome partnerships with communities of all faith traditions.

The first step to joining The PHW Collaborative is to fill out our Collaborative Pledge Form. By submitting this form, you are telling us that you are committed to continuing a journey of putting faith into action. Once your Collaborative Pledge is accepted, you will be eligible for a grant from PHW. Click here to join The PHW Collaborative.


Lowe's is now accepting nominations for the second year of their Lowe’s Hometownsinitiative! Now through February 20, nominate a hometown project to be considered for one of Lowe's Signature Impact Grants.


Carolina Panthers Charities grant application is live on Grants up to $10,000 for nonprofits. Grant application link will be open until March 15, 2023.



The Arch Community Fund seeks to strengthen grassroots movements to resist oppression and build towards a more equitable future in the United States. The Fund's Transformative Organizing Grants support transformative organizing for systemic change, with explicit articulation of the values of resistance, community leadership, transformative and anti-capitalist solutions, and intersectionality. The Fund seeks to support grassroots strategies that meet immediate needs and are part of a strategy for long-term structural change. Typically ten to fifteen grants ranging from $15,000 to $25,000 are made each year, with a focus on general operating support for small grassroots nonprofit organizations, including fiscally sponsored projects. Applicants must be headquartered in the United States. The upcoming application deadline is February 28, 2023. Visit the Fund's website to review eligibility and funding criteria, and to access the online application on the JustFund portal.


"Hey everybody!! If anyone's placement has clients or even just friends/family that are uninsured or underinsured and are looking for free short-term counseling, PLEASE refer them to Mental Health America of the Central Carolinas. My placement just opened our counseling center and we have zero clients so far. We are taking ages 8 and up and all that is needed is $10 for the initial assessment."


Renée Warner | | 704.350.3586 (Direct) Transitional Jobs Program Director | NC MedAssist

4428 Taggart Creek Road, Suite 101 | Charlotte, NC 28208 704.350.3587 (Free Store)

We have fortunately received over 30 pallets of over-the-counter medications that will expire in the next 3-5 months.

We need your help getting these medications to patients and clients in need!

In order to receive these items, you must schedule a time to come and pick them up. We are unable to deliver or ship these products. Most of the OTCs are taken daily, so to maximize the benefit for those in need, we encourage pick-up in the next 30 days.

You can pick up as many boxes of these items as you would like!

Here are the items available:

  • Probiotics (digestive health) - Expires in April and June 2023

  • Melatonin Gummies (sleep aid) - Expires in April 2023

  • Melatonin & Turmeric (for sleep & aches) - Expires in May 2023

  • Turmeric (aches and pains) - Expires in 2024

Please remember: These products cannot be sold and must be given away at no cost to the recipient.


What: Vigil to remember the lives of the 3 men who died in Charlotte on January 2nd. We will honor their lives by leaving behind an altar to remember their lives.

Where: Marshall Park, 800 E 3rd St, Charlotte, NC 28202

Day & Time: Friday February 3rd at 6:00pm




Turning toward kindness, Rumi, Coleman Barks trans.

Anyone who genuinely and constantly with both hands

looks for something, will find it.

Though you are lame and bent over, keep moving

toward the Friend. With the speech, with silence,

with sniffing about, stay on the track.

Whenever some kindness comes to you, turn

that way, toward the source of kindness.

Love-things originate in the ocean.

Restlessness leads to rest.

Next meeting – TWO weeks from today – Thursday, February 16th at 11 AM


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