Posts from June 2014

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7th Annual Reach for the Stars Auction and Gala

by Church Staff

Mark Your Calendars
By Paul Davis

Mark your calendars now for the 7th Annual Manakin Church Gala. It will be held Saturday, September 27, 2014. All of the proceeds go to our Outreach Committee, which then makes generous donations to several worthy charitable causes. Please take a few moments to read about a few of the worthwhile organizations this event has helped over the years, and plan to attend! The ticket price is $50. Tell your friends now, and encourage them to attend.

The Gala Committee welcomes new members to help with this event. If you would like to help out with the planning and preparation of the Gala, or if you would like to be on the Gala e-mail list to receive updates, please contact the church office.

Some of the Ministries Funded by the Gala:

Boys Home of Virginia
By Chandler Williams
Boys Home of Virginia, founded by an Episcopal priest in 1906, is an established, premier, residential educational program for young men ages 6-18 who come from economically and socially disadvantaged situations. The boys live in “family style” cottages in the serene hills of Covington, VA, with their population on campus ranging from 40-60. House parents supervise each cottage, and an on-campus school is provided for elementary and middle school students who need academic tutoring before entering public school. Today, 97% of the cost of running this remarkable facility is provided by private philanthropy.

Quoting from the Boys Home brochure, “All successful men were once boys. But not all boys become successful men. Sometimes, they’re missing positive role models or a supportive quality of life. So we provide both… and successful men are the result….A successful man has to start somewhere.” Please see the website at

I have had the privilege of serving on the Board of Trustees of the Boys Home to include a term as Board President. I have carried numerous visitors to the Boys Home campus and all are moved by the experience. Boys Home is grateful for the generous contributions made each year from the Manakin Church Gala funds.

The Free Clinic of Powhatan
By Rosemary Paterson
The Free Clinic of Powhatan provides medical, dental, mental health and women’s health care for those in the community who would do without these basic needs. Who are they? The young woman who was raped as a teenager and chose to keep the child. Having to abandon her own education, she works two low-paying jobs to make sure her daughter receives the support needed to finish school. The woman who worked full time for 17 years at the same company and then was laid off at an age impossible to find a job in this economy. The man who was disabled as a result of an accident and unable to work, whose disability payments are not sufficient to cover all expenses. The man whose hours were cut back after having worked full time, making too much money for Medicaid but not enough to pay for health insurance or doctors bills. In addition to these, a total of over 970 patients have been served by the Free Clinic in the last five years. That is why the Gala is so important. Its main purpose is to provide funds for organizations that are doing the hard work for those whom our society has neglected. It is our collective responsibility to care for those around us in need. Thank you for supporting the Gala!

Powhatan Habitat for Humanity
By Don Whitley
Powhatan Habitat for Humanity (HFHP) is a locally run, independent affiliate of Habitat, International and has been actively engaged in constructing new homes and performing critical home repairs in the county since 2001. Habitat homes are sold at cost to partner families and are financed by HFHP with no interest. Homes are built using volunteer labor, donated building materials and discounted contractor services and building materials. Partner families are required to contribute “sweat equity” on theirs or another Habitat home. Acquiring a Habitat home is a life-changing event, and provides stability and peace of mind for the families. This spring, HFHP is embarking on its twelfth house, changing the life of another local family. Read about these families at

Madeline’s House
By Jan Akers
Madeline’s House is a shelter for battered women and their children. Its website is The shelter serves twelve Virginia counties, including Powhatan, and is the only shelter of its sort available in many of those counties. It literally save lives. This shelter was named for Madeline Gearheart-Mitchell, who was ultimately shot and killed by her estranged husband after many months of domestic violence and restraining orders against him. My closest friend from childhood was also shot and killed at age 30 by a violent husband. She too tried to leave and protect her children, but because he was a police officer in their town, she had nowhere to hide from him. Lisa’s House, another shelter for battered women, in Lexington, is named for her. The work done at Madeline’s House is extremely personal and important to me. It was at risk of shutting down for lack of funds when we first learned of this shelter. Gala funds will help ensure that Madeline’s House continues to be there for the women who desperately need it.

Richmond Friends of the Homeless
By Birdie Lighthiser
Richmond Friends of the Homeless (RFH) was started in 1986 to serve the working poor, families in need, children, the elderly and the homeless. There are daily feeding programs at three locations throughout the Richmond area with volunteers providing compassionate friendship to the people they serve. RFH is a non-profit that relies on the generosity of the community. The demand for services has escalated over the past few years. Emergency food bags, educational mentoring, school supplies, heating assistance, hygiene supplies, holiday food baskets, health care referrals, clothing, shoes, blankets…are all things that are offered through RFH, in addition to providing over 3,300 meals weekly.

One guest, Mercedes, is graduating from John Marshall High School this year with a 4.46 GPA and going to college this fall on a full scholarship. After being wounded in a drive-by shooting at age 11 she has grown up in the RFH program. Funds from the Manakin Church Gala have provided hope and resources to help the underprivileged in the Richmond area.

Riverside School in Bon Air
By Stephany Breed
Riverside School in Bon Air is “the little school that makes a BIG difference.” Since 1974, it has served children with learning difficulties in grades K through 8 so that they can begin remediation of language skills and prepare to realize their highest potential. Manakin Church Gala funds have been donated to Riverside School since 2008 to provide Need-Based Scholarships to families whose children require the specialized instruction the school offers them.

Stop Hunger Now
By Paul Davis
Stop Hunger Now is an organization dedicated to fighting hunger on this earth. Its vision is “A world without hunger,” and its mission is “To end hunger in our lifetime by providing food and life-saving aid to the world’s most vulnerable and by creating a global commitment to mobilize the necessary resources.”

One way Stop Hunger Now works to fulfill their mission is to provide the opportunity for interested organizations to sponsor and host a Meal Packaging Event. This is a fun and inspirational opportunity for people to gather together in a spirit of fellowship and do good work by packaging meals which Stop Hunger Now then distributes all over the world to deserving organizations who in turn provide the meals to the people in need.

Our Manakin community has sponsored and hosted four Meal Packaging Events. We have packaged more than 100,000 meals that have gone to fight hunger in Nicaragua and in Haiti. With our Meal Packaging Events, we as a Christian Community strive to fulfill our own mission of stewardship and outreach. Proceeds from the Gala have funded more than one-third of the cost of the Meal Packaging Events since their inception. Our Stop Hunger Now effort is yet another example of the vital importance of the Gala. Helping Stop Hunger Now fulfill its mission and attain its vision is truly to Reach for the Stars. To learn more about Stop Hunger Now, visit Mark your calendars for January 17, 2015 for our next Meal Packaging Event. Everyone of any age, member of Manakin Church or not, is invited to participate.

Yearbooks for Robious Middle School
By Coleman Brydon
Students at Robious Middle School come from diverse socio-economic backgrounds. Whereas the majority comes from affluent neighborhoods surrounding the school, there is also a contingent from less affluent areas. There is a lot of social pressure placed on the students to buy yearbooks, which cost $35 especially on book signing day, when those without a yearbook spend that time in study hall. While this may be small change for some, for others who depend on the school for breakfast as their only sure meal of the day, it is out of the question. For six years now, Manakin Church has purchased ten yearbooks, which have been distributed to needy students by the guidance counselors. Letters of appreciation that we have received over the years indicate that this program does make a difference.

Volunteers Needed for Assisted-living Ministry Project

by Church Staff

By Martha Steger

Manakin’s Assisted-living Ministry, which takes Holy Communion to the residents of Spring Arbor and Southerland Place on the first Sunday of each month, is in need of one or more volunteers as it updates its service booklet. The booklet comprises prayers used during the Eucharist and all verses of approximately 50 hymns covering all church seasons. Volunteers would research church publishing or other online sites for the words of hymns and would type those hymns that cannot be reproduced. Anyone who can help with this or who knows of someone outside of the Manakin family who would be interested in donating time to the project, should contact the church office.

Aside from the service-booklet challenge, we are always looking for new members of our group. Contact the church office to find out how to get involved.