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Circles becomes Core in St. John

Fran Brownell
Special to the News
St. John Core Community Leaders who have recently completed the Core Community Leadership Program are pictured, left to right: Jerry Driggers, Angela Miller, Haley Sizemore, Dea Bunch, Gladys Garcia, Harley Sheets, Darren Sheets, Jaime Heyen, Erika Bebe, Destiny Huffman and Dylan Huffman. Graduation ceremonies will be planned for the group at a future date.

St. John Core Community, formerly known as St. John Circles, is continuing to be active and has resumed Monday night meetings at St. John Methodist Church under the umbrella of Youth Core Ministries, according to St. John Core Community Coach Teresa Miller.

During the COVID-19 stay-at-home order, the group initially met through Zoom and, most recently, at Brown Park.

The goal of Core Community is to continue focus on advocating to restore, redeem and empower Core Community members, Youth Core Chief Executive Officer Deborah Factor said, stating that the decision not to renew the contract with Circles/USA was based on finances.

“YCM is grateful to Circles USA for their training, vision and initial support,” Factor said. “As YCM grew and developed our program, we were no longer needing the support of Circles USA.”

“This saved the Stafford program $1,800 annually in contract fees with Circles USA and we adopted the new name of Core Community,” Factor said.

Miller said St. John Core Community programs have continued throughout the pandemic, with meals and food from the Pantry of Blessing distributed weekly to Core Community participants. Also, the group’s Benevolence Fund was used to purchase needed items and services for members, which included a screen door, three refrigerators, window air conditioner, phone card and dental services, including transportation.

“Roofing shingles and exteriors doors were donated by community members, and a washer was repaired,” Miller said. “To the community and volunteer Core Friends, formerly called Allies, we'd like to say thank you for your financial support, meals, and for the many donated items. It is all greatly appreciated!”

“Our world is filled with those who are living in poverty, distress, exclusion, and suffering.” Miller said. “God’s plan is to affirm the basic human dignity and value of all people. This program shows love and acceptance to all.”

Miller may be contacted for further information at 620-546-4920.