November 5, 2019
Eating Healthy in Montgomery
Members of our Montgomery site have really enjoyed the Expanded Food and Nutrition Education Program (EFNEP) through the Alabama Extension Office. They have learned about how to incorporate physical activity 3 times a day for 15 minutes, couponing, healthy recipes, how to read food labels, and grocery store planning. One big takeaway was how to eat healthy on a budget! They learned that health isn't about the number on the scale, but incorporating nutritious and seasonal foods into our diet, like fruits, veggies, proteins, grains, healthy fats, and dairy to assist bone health. The Food and Nutrition Education Program has empowered members to make healthy and budget-friendly food choices all in moderation! Balance is key.
Understanding Each Other in Evergreen
Our Evergreen site is working on a book study of Just Mercy, and as part of that study they joined friends in the Baypines district on a trip to the National Museum for Peace and Justice in Montgomery. The group knew the tour would be an emotional one, so they prayed and prepared their hearts, asking the Holy Spirit for guidance. Site coordinator Anita Watson thought a mindset for understanding was important to the group. After an emotional day, the group discussed their reactions and prayed for unity. The group ended their day at Montgomery's River City Church with communion.
Laying a Foundation in Selma
Communities of Transformation in Selma is laying a foundation for re-launching our site through informal meetings with the community's faith leaders. Site Coordinator Liz Huynh is working with longtime COT supporter Jan Justice to discern opportunities in Selma, focusing on the needs of the city, potential obstacles, and partnerships. They have engaged in thoughtful discussion about the realistic changes that need to be made, and how Communities of Transformation might be able to be part of that solution. If you are interested in finding out more about COT in Selma, contact Liz at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Eufaula Participant Spotlight: Earlona Walker
Earlona Walker completed the Awaken curriculum as part of COT Eufaula's seventh class in August of 2018. After that, she set a goal for herself. Earlona committed to a rigorous, twelve week training course with the Alabama Department of Corrections Training Academy. She graduated, then soon started working at an Alabama Correctional Facility. Earlona has been working since April. She is a great representative of a person whose life has been changed by her involvement in Communities of Transformation, so the leadership team in Eufaula asked her to share her story. Look for her story soon in the Eufuala Tribune. Our site coordinators are always reaching out to find people like Earlona who are ready for sustainable change!
Dothan Participant Spotlight: Phyllis Dickens
"I had heard 'no' so many times. I told my husband I was never going to apply for another job." Dothan participant Phyllis Dickens could not see good options for herself before coming to Communities of Transformation. But Phyllis was faithful to attend and complete the Awaken Class. She also worked on her education. Phyllis earned her GED this spring and is now enrolled in classes at Wallace Community College. Today Phyllis has a job that works around her school schedule and has been promoted to a supervisor position. She encourages her former Awaken classmates and other member of COT Dothan. The leadership in Dothan voted unanimously to ask Phyllis to become part of our COT Dothan leadership team. Phyllis's words depict her humble, grateful attitude. "People have told me "I have a story to share and I need to tell it. But, I don't want to brag, to bring attention to me... I can tell the goodness of God being faithful in my life. God used a song to bring me back to Him and to a place where I could begin to make positive changes."
At a recent Wallace Community College Banquet, Phyllis served as an ambassador, networking with students, benefactors, WCC staff, and community leaders. She is using all the wisdom, discernment, and encouragement, gained from COT to continue learning. Instead of simply surviving, Phyllis is thriving!
Vital Conversations Around the Conference
Vital Conversations: Meaningful Conversations on Race were held around the conference during the month of October. These meetings provided a time for lay persons and clergy to talk intentionally about race, culture, and justice. Katy Wrona, conference director, attended the conservation in Mobile.Our Montgomery site participated in the discussion at Metropolitan UMC. Evergreen Site coordinator Anita Watson attended Monroeville's meeting. These conversations showed us our implicit bias, and taught us how we can acknowledge and resist racism. These conversations are something we want to continue moving forward. Montgomery COT Volunteer Coordinator, Celeste Eubanks facilitated these conversations all over Alabama.
November 5- Celebration in Dothan
November 7- Informational meeting in Selma at Brown Chapel A.M.E. Church
November 9- Awaken overview at Perry Hill UMC in Montgomery
November 11- Veterans Day
November 12- Veterans Day parade in Eufaula and Stress Management presentation in Montgomery
Week of November 25-29- No meetings/Thanksgiving Holidays
December 3- EAT South Growing Your Own Food presentation in Montgomery
December 10- Christmas Potluck in Montgomery; Celebration in South Walton
December 16- Ecumenical Service of Remembrance and Healing at Community Church in South Walton at 1 p.m
December 18- Wreaths Across America Event in South Walton