Strength in Community

We've all read the headlines:

Northern Virginia Daily, July 22,  2017, "Overdose Deaths on track to double last year's numbers".

WTOP Fairfax County, VA,  June 4, 2017, "Victims of teen sex trafficking deal with devastating damage". 

and the almost hidden stories on the back pages:

Northern Virginia Daily, July 22, 2017, "Experts:  Teens weren't required to rescue man", a story about five teenagers from Florida between the ages of 14-16 who would not help or call for help when witnessing a disabled man drowning.  Instead, they chose to mock him and laugh as they filmed him die, later posting the video to the internet.

Such stories of people suffering in our community, dying in record numbers from heroin and opiate overdoses, children permanently emotionally scarred by sex trafficking, or young teens in our country evidencing behaviors of moral bankruptcy are overwhelmingly disturbing.  Disturbing to the point where it causes even the strongest among us to turn away, believing that these problems are too big to conquer.  Perhaps we comfort ourselves by denying that such problems exist in our neighborhoods.  Perhaps we believe that our families are not at risk. Or, perhaps

...acting in faith, we stand tall, join an army of Christian warriors and fight to wipe out these problems in our community.

Find out how you can join Strength in Community  - a new Christian mission in the Shenandoah Valley region. Become a warrior for positive change by being a family mentor. A family mentor is a volunteer who helps wage war on poverty by committing to regularly meet with, listen to, and encourage families with special needs - those families with children who are working to escape the stresses of poverty, or families raising children with behavioral or emotional challenges - to prosper and raise their children to be successful academically, emotionally, and financially. Join us for a day of fellowship and presentations by others who have made huge differences in their communities through family mentoring. Find out how you too can make a positive difference in our community.

Help break the chains of poverty and emotional illness that cripple our children and make them vulnerable to the dark elements of our society, elements that threaten all of our children, and therefore all of our futures! Join us in this fight!

Strength in Community Workshop

A Strength in Community Workshop will be held February 3, 2018, beginning at 8:00 a.m.at the Charterhouse School in Edinburgh, Virginia.  

Workshop Agenda - February 3, 2018

8:00 a.m. – Registration, Coffee Social

8: 50 a.m. - 9:00 a.m. Opening Prayer, Pastor Darlene Wilkins, UMC Mount Pleasant Charge 

9:00a.m. – 9:15 a.m. – Welcome and Introduction to Charterhouse School Edinburg - Ms. Tonya Salley-Goodwin, Principal of Charterhouse School

9:15 a.m. – 9:50 a.m. - Poverty: A Multifaceted Problem - Ms. Debra Burton, Director of Lynchburg Bridges Out of Poverty Program, will address the problems faced by families in poverty, including mental illness, drugs, legal problems, inadequate skills and education, and recidivism.

9:50 a.m. – 10:30 a.m. - Open Table Program Successes - Ms. Rochelle Butler and Ms. Erica Mann, Directors of the Open Table Program in Richmond, VA and the new "Systems of Care" program getting underway in Winchester.  Open Table pairs mentor families from local churches with families in need. 

10:30a.m. – 11:10 a.m. -  Ms. Angie Williams from the United Methodist Family Services in Richmond will talk about the challenges of mentoring families and children with special needs and the importance of volunteer mentors at UMFS.   

11:10 a.m. – 12:00 noon - Trauma-Based Care in Educational Settings - Mr. Wade Puryear – Vice President of Education, Charterhouse Schools, UMFS Richmond, VA.

12:00 – 1:00 LUNCH - Human Trafficking in Northern VA - Mr. Scott Thompson, Shenandoah County Sheriff’s Office and Ms. Tess Hudson, FBI will speak about the problems of human trafficking in our community and the children and young adults at risk of being exploited.

1:00 – 1:15 – Introduction to Family Promise Shenandoah - Ms. Sherry Arey, Executive Director of Family Promise Shenandoah

1:15 – 1:45 - Family Promise Family Mentoring Program  - Ms. Paula Massa, Director of the Family Promise National Family Mentoring Program will discuss the goals of the program and some of the successes that communities have had implementing it.

1:45 - 2:15  Call to Community - Ms. Katherine Dinsdale, Director of Family Mentoring for the Family Promise Affiliate of Lawrence, Kansas. Ms. Dinsdale will discuss some of the lessons learned and the factors that they believe led to success in their particular family mentoring program.

2:15 – 2:30 – Next Steps for People/Families Interested in Joining Strength in Community

2:30 p.m. - Closing Comments and Prayer, Pastor Elfie Finn-McKenzie , UMC Edinburg Parish  


Workshop Registration

There is a registration fee to cover the cost of refreshments and lunch.   The registration fee is $10.00 if you purchase your ticket by January 26, 2018 and $15.00 after this date. Registration/tickets for the workshop may be purchased online through Eventbrite.  To purchase ticket(s) click here.


Continuing Education Units

We are currently working to get continuing education units (CEUs) for this workshop.  Will post an update soon.

Map to Charterhouse School Edinburg




508 Piccadilly St





Charterhouse School













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