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Jan. 7, 2021| Faith, Community and Non-Profit Leader Covid-19 Check-In Meeting

Our weekly check-in meeting is open to anyone interested in supporting compassionate community response to our most vulnerable neighbors in this time of crisis. Meetings are held online every 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 subscribe to our newsletter.

In this Issue:


  1. MeckMIN: Where to find the Crisis & Compassion Video Series , A Conversation with Ruby Sales, Annual Community Leader Awards Breakfast , Register for Comparative Religion Series

  2. Public Health Updates: Covid-19 Vaccinations, How to conduct worship safely

  3. Nonprofit Updates: Volunteer with students at Ada Jenkins Center, Augustine Literacy Project, Kepro, Prevent Child Abuse NC upcoming events, sort food & become a delivery driver with Loaves & Fishes, complete the Habitat for Humanity survey, Learn about Promise Resource Network,register for the 10 week citizenship training program through International House.

  4. House of Faith Updates: The Park Church Food Share, Wedgewood Community Church Food Pantry, First Christian Church partners with Minute Medical Care for Covid testing.

  5. General Information

Click Here to Access 10/15/20 View Zoom Recording: Passcode: .D38+c^5

Important Dates:


January:


February:


Opening Reflection


A quote from the interview Is America Possible?

“My own feeling that I try to share again and again, Krista, is that when it comes to creating a multiracial, multiethnic, multireligious, democratic society, we are still a developing nation. We’ve only been really thinking about this for about half a century. But my own deep, deep conviction is that the knowledge, like all knowledge, is available to us if we seek it. The older I get, the more I am convinced that that magnificent madman, Jesus, was really talking about something very truthful and powerful when he said if you allow yourself to really hunger and thirst after the right way, then if you will not back off from that hunger and that thirst, if you will just keep after it, then you will find the way. You will be filled. The way will find you. I think that that determination to find a truly democratic society and to create the truly beloved community, those are things that can be available to us if we’re willing to work with each other and work with the universe on developing them. They don’t come free and easy. They are tough, tough tasks for us to take on.”Vincent Harding from “On Being” with Krista Tippett

Opening Prayer led by Lucy Crain


From Psalm 46:


1 God is our refuge and strength,

a very present[a] help in trouble.

2 Therefore we will not fear, though the earth should change,

though the mountains shake in the heart of the sea;

3 though its waters roar and foam,

though the mountains tremble with its tumult.

4 There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God,

the holy habitation of the Most High.

5 God is in the midst of the city;[b] it shall not be moved;

God will help it when the morning dawns.

6 The nations are in an uproar, the kingdoms totter;

At the utter of God’s voice, the earth melts.

7 The LORD of hosts is with us;

the God of Jacob is our refuge.[c]


God of the ages


In your sight nations rise and fall and pass-through times of peril.


Now when our land is troubled, draw near to us we pray.


Grant that your holy and life-giving spirit may so move every human heart that the barriers which divide us may crumble, suspicions disappear, and hatreds cease, and that with our divisions healed, we might live in justice and peace.


Grant our leaders wisdom and understanding that they may perceive the truth, govern with compassion and righteousness, and serve as humble servants for the good of all your people.


Holy One, you have bound us together in a common life. Help us in the midst of our struggles for a reconciled land to confront one another without bitterness and to work together with mutual forbearance and respect.


Loving Creator, though we know you by different names and in different ways, we come together to ask for an extra measure of your presence that you may come heal this land. Amen.

1. MeckMIN Updates


The Muslim in the Room: If you missed the premiere of “The Muslim in the Room,” it is available on the MeckMIN website along with a study guide. With humor and insight, Hannah Hasan reflects, in conversation with MeckMIN Executive Director LeDayne McLeese Polaski, on her faith and how its call to mercy and compassion inform her daily life, especially in this challenging season. The Crisis and Compassion series is made possible by a grant from Bridge Builders Charlotte.



January Food for Thought: A Conversation with Ruby Sales : We've come this far by faith & action - January 21, 2021, 12:30pm - 1:30pm: REGISTER HERE

Public Theologian, Historian, Activist, Social Critic, and Educator, Ruby Sales joined the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) as a teenager and has worked for racial justice ever since.

Annual Community Awards Breakfast: The breakfast is scheduled for April 7th (after Easter and before Ramadan)



Call for 2021 Community Leader Award Nominations! Deadline to submit is Thursday, Feb 4.


  • Nominations are now open! Visit the Annual Community Awards Breakfast page on the MeckMIN website to find nomination forms. You can also find a list of former awardees on this page.

  • Please consider becoming a sponsor! Support ranges from $250 to $5000. See the newsletter (going out 1/7) for more information. The breakfast is MeckMIN’s biggest fundraiser of the year, and we very much need your support in order to continue our work.

Please see the awards descriptions below. If you’d like to make a nomination but are unsure whether the person/group has been honored by MeckMIN in the past, you can find the list of past recipients here. Bridge Builder award goes to a local person who:

  1. embodies the vision of MeckMIN to foster understanding, compassion and justice, envisioning a community that lives by the highest values and core virtues of our rich faith traditions and respects the dignity of every person;

  2. is an unsung hero, volunteer, grassroots level person;

  3. directly promotes one-on-one relationships and bridge building across differences through their actions and daily life;

  4. fosters interfaith cooperation, promotes racial and ethnic understanding, and addresses social needs in the community.

This award is most often given to someone who does this work as a volunteer. Nominations for this award are solicited annually from the community. The Sydnor Thompson, Jr. Community Leader award goes to a local leader or organization that:

  1. embodies the vision of MeckMIN to foster understanding, compassion and justice, envisioning a community that lives by the highest values and core virtues of our rich faith traditions and respects the dignity of every person;

  2. exemplifies leadership and collaboration across differences in the community;

  3. fosters interfaith understanding to promote racial and ethnic understanding and address 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. Nominations for this award are solicited annually from the community.

Comparative Religion Series: We live in a world where loved ones suffer, where kids struggle, where pandemics come, where hate spreads, where political differences divide, and where not everyone can move to higher ground when life’s storms come. Religious traditions must reckon with the reality of this world. We invite you to learn about how Charlotte’s Multi-Faith Communities understand individual and communal healing. The interactive evenings will include rich discussions from a diverse group of faith leaders with opportunities for Q&A. Presented by Temple Beth El and MeckMIN.


Registration is required. Tuesdays at 7:00pm:


  • January 19 - Trauma, Pain, and the Challenges of the Past Year

  • January 26 - Healing of the Mind

  • February 2 - Healing of the Body

  • February 9 - Healing of the Soul

2. Public Health Updates


Mecklenburg County Health Department, Contact Kim Scales


Vaccine Update: Mecklenburg County has begun vaccinating 75 and older.

Make an Appointment or call the hotline at 980-314-9400.


Appointments are full until January but keep checking back and there will be more availability. They are aware that the high volume of calls and attempts to register has meant that many people get error messages on the phone or the website. Please try back again in a day or so. The remaining phases will show up on the website. If people have questions about the safety or efficacy of the vaccine for their own personal situation, they should contact their physician. They can also reach out to the health department but their own physician is likely to be able to be more responsive.




COVID-19 Vaccine Information/Questions Website: For questions please call the Public Health Hotline980-314-9400 Option 3 or email MeckCVMS@mecknc.gov

Please allow a 24-48 hour response when inquiring.



Guidance on how to conduct worship safely continues to emphasize remote worship but if you plan to host in-person services, please maintain six feet of distance and have a screening plan in place. The health department will continue to provide consistent, easy to understand information on the vaccine and it will be shared with you. Below are the NCDHHS guidelines and the CDC guidelines on worship services.

3. Nonprofit Updates


Ada Jenkins Center , Contact Karen Martin


Ada Jenkins serves Cornelius, Huntersville and Davidson. They work to help families create lasting solutions to economic instability. They manage many programs including academic tutoring, housing coaching, social work case management, dental clinics and more. They have pivoted since COVID hit and used CARES act funding to help folks with rent and mortgage assistance and utility assistance. They have become a place where the community as a whole can come together. They do need in-person volunteers to work with students; please email Karen Martin if you're interested.


The past 24 hours in our collective history have been sobering. The Ada Jenkins Center invited the public on Jauary 7th for a gathering of prayer, song, and community to affirm unity and care for our neighbors and each other. Speakers included Rabbi David Lipper of Temple Kol Tikvah; the Reverend Tracey Mattison Brandon of Gethsemane Baptist church; and Harold Rice, CEO of the Ada Jenkins Center. Social distancing and face masks were required.


How you can help: They welcome volunteers to help with programs from working with students to helping with food pantry, or even helping with clean up on the campus.

Augustine Literacy Project: · Augustine Literacy Project-Charlotte Information Sessions on January 14 & 21 at 10:30am. Visit www.alpcharlotte.org/register. Training session upcoming as well. See the dates listed at the top of the minutes.

KEPRO: Contact Lisa Bennett, Care Coordination Covid-19 Mecklenburg County. Reach out to Lisa if you or your members need any assistance because they have been impacted by Covid-19

Prevent Child Abuse NC: Prevent Child Abuse NC is hosting two events in March: the NC Community Resilience Conference and the Learning and Leadership Virtual Summit. Find out more by visiting their website. The Leadership summit will include a panel for and with faith leaders about how you/they are a part of the network of protection.

Loaves and Fishes: Contact lindsey@loavesandfishes.org, 704-343-5031


2020 numbers went from 80K to 120K in 2020, plus 40K through food share program, plus an additional 7500 people via delivery program. Volunteer opportunities include delivery drivers and warehouse volunteers. There were a lot of donations over the holidays and the large “Scouting for Food” effort is about to begin so there is a lot of food to sort and store. The warehouse can accept groups of up to 10 volunteers. The minimum age for volunteering is 15.

Habitat for Humanity: Please complete our home ownership survey.

As we turn to a new legislature in Raleigh, you can help us figure out how extensively our community is facing some critical issues. Please take this short survey below. Encourage others to take this survey by sending them the link. Thank you in advance!

VoteRiders, Contact Pam Pearson, 704-641-4845


Pam is continuing to work with shelters even as far as Union County. She is looking for a volunteer to help her out in Union County. If you are interested in doing this work or if your congregants need help getting documents like birth certificates, IDs or social security cards, please reach out. Vote Riders pays for the costs of securing the documents and helps you obtain them. VoteRiders is a non-profit, non-partisan organization. NOTE: ID will likely be required to vote in 2021 and going forward.

Promise Resource Network, Contact Cherene Caraco, (text is best: 704.776.6708)


PRN has been in CLT for 16 years. They are survivor-led with around 50 employees. All have prior experience with homelessness, domestic violence and other social issues. PRN believes that employment is a best way out of poverty. They currently have 16 programs running, including but not limited to:

  • 24/7 free phone hotline if you want to talk because of isolation, distress, suicide etc. warm-line number: (833) 390-7728

  • Virtual community – teach 95 classes/month balanced by 8 dimensions of wellness from finances of owning a home to racial trauma and more. Calendar comes out each month and is available to all. Find it on their website.

  • Peer run respite at the Plaza in Charlotte. Non-forced, non-locked volunteer environment. Alternative to emergency rooms and police departments. Aims to reduce involuntary hospitalizations. This program will begin in February.

  • Partnership with KEPRO in which COVID long haulers who are in recovery from other traumas as well are hired as community health workers. Starting soon.

International House Email Erin Phelps


Internation House is offering a 10 week Citizenship Preparation Program that begins January 24th Register Here . The program is for those who either have already submitted their N-400 OR for those who are interested in learning more about the N-400 document. Currently there are 8 slots available for students. . At this time our tutoring slots are full, but that is subject to change.

4. House of Faith Updates


The Park: Community Pop-up Food Share, (Pre-register) Friday, January 15th, 11am – 12:30pm at The Park Church- Independence campus (800 Briar Creek Road, Charlotte, NC 28205). Everyone is welcome and eligible to receive food boxes filled with fresh meats, vegetables, and other non-perishable food items. There will be onsite registration for families who are unable to pre-register online.

Wedgewood Community Church, Contact Liz Schob


Wedgewood hosts a food pantry on Wednesday nights from 5:30 -7:30 at 3520 DeWitt Lane,Charlotte, NC which has recently grown and moved to the HeartsBeatAsOne campus. They fed over 600 families through the holidays. Please spread the word that there is food available along with Spanish language volunteers on site. No ID or documentation is required.







First Christian Church: Contact info@minutemedicalcare.com, 704-997-9745


Covid testing by Minute Medical Care will be held in First Christian Church parking lot (1200 East Blvd). The testing is not free but can accept Medicaid. Rapid COVID test, drive through, by appointment only.

5. General Information


Center City Small Business Innovation Fund: The Charlotte Center City Small Business Innovation Fund launched in June as a collaboration between Charlotte Center City Partners, Foundation For The Carolinas and founding sponsor Honeywell, which invested $2 million in the fund. Bank of America, Duke Energy and the Knight Foundation also joined as partners. It is designed to spur and support innovation and adaptation by storefront small businesses as they adapt to the new economic realities caused by the COVID-19 crisis and economic downturn. Three rounds have already been distributed. Information about future rounds will be made available in late January 2021.

City of Charlotte Understanding Affordable Housing Workshop: The Understanding Affordable Housing workshop is now available on the City of Charlotte Training on Demand page.

Atrium Health Community Resource Hub: This website gathers ALL the different sorts of support available in the community. Check to see if your work is reflected and share widely with those who might need the resources.

NAACP Housing Grants: Beyonce is partnering with the NAACP to provide 100 grants of up to $5000 to African Americans who are delinquent in their home mortgage or rental payments. Applications are open now and close on January 21.

Prayer for Nonprofit Leaders

Dr. Ida Scudder


God, whose life is within me and whose love is ever about me, grant that this life may be maintained in my life today and every day, that with gladness of heart, without haste or confusion of thought,

I may go about my daily tasks,

conscious of my ability to meet every rightful demand,

seeing the larger meaning of little things

and finding beauty and love everywhere.

And in the sense of your presence may I walk,

through the hours breathing the atmosphere of love

rather than anxious striving.

3900-A Park Road | Charlotte, NC 28209