Swansboro Community Ministries

SWANSBORO COMMUNITY MINISTRIES

WHAT IS SWANSBORO COMMUNITY MINISTRIES?

The Swansboro community is located on Richmond’s south side and over the course of several years Reveille has committed to building strong, vital partnerships in the community. Reveille works with Swansboro Elementary School, Koinonia Christian Church, and Love Center of Unity Full Gospel Church International. These partnerships have resulted in a number of ministry programs.

CONVERSATIONS FOR CHANGE: POLICING & LEGISLATION

Sunday, August 9 on Zoom @ 6:00 pm

Everyone is invited to join us as Reveille, Love Center of Unity, and Koinonia Christian Church continue productive Conversations for Change sessions on Sunday, August 9, at 6:00 pm. In light of the upcoming Special Session of the General Assembly, we have invited Richmond City Council members Ms. Stephanie Lynch and Dr. Michael Jones, and Virginia General Assembly Senator Ghazala Hashmi to join us for a virtual town hall. Our discussion will focus on policing and legislative proposals for policing reforms, including measures aimed at police accountability, use of force, increased training and education, racial profiling, the presence of police in schools, community policing, and officer recruitment, hiring and de-certification. Participants are invited and encouraged to submit questions in advance to Bob Downs, rdowns1205@gmail.com. Please join the conversation via Zoom on Sunday, August 9, at 6:00 pm. Zoom link

VIRGINIANS SPEAK: A DIALOGUE ON POLICING REFORM, COMMUNITY, AND LAW ENFORCEMENT IN VIRGINIA

This program on Tuesday, August 11, at 7:00 pm will be a jointly sponsored event featuring a panel of prominent Virginians in the fields of law enforcement, community engagement, and faith communities for 60 minutes of dialogue and a Q& A session led by a moderator. Questions may be submitted to the panelists during the live proceedings via email at vaspeak@vaumc.org or by texting 804-205-0774. Join the webinar by visiting: https://livestream.com/vaumc/vaspeak.

Panelists include Attorney General Mark Herring; Bishop Sharma D. Lewis; Sheriff David Decatur, Stafford County; Sheriff Gabriel Morgan, Newport News; Sheriff Gabriel Morgan, Newport News; Chief Kenneth Miller, Petersburg Police Department; and moderator Cynthia Hudson, Richmond attorney. This event is co-sponsored by the Virginia Attorney General’s Office and the Virginia Conference of The United Methodist Church. Both Attorney General Mark Herring and Resident Bishop of the Virginia Conference Bishop Sharma D. Lewis are committed to addressing law enforcement issues that are sensitive to public perspectives as well as speaking with a diverse group of voices in the fields of law enforcement, community engagement, and faith in this first of several possible events.

This is a great opportunity for Virginia Conference clergy and laity to take part by further living into the vision of “making disciples who are lifelong learners who influence others to serve.” This dialogue is also a next step from Bishop Lewis’ call for action against systemic racism in a letter from May 29 and the formation of the “Call to Action” Workgroup. Join the conversation on August 11 to learn more about how you can be an influencer and make a positive impact in the areas of policing and community.

SWANSBORO SCHOOL SUPPLY DRIVE

August 2 – September 4

School starts in a virtual format soon and there are many supplies Swansboro Elementary students will still need at home. Please help collect supplies and clothing from our list of needed items and drop them off at Reveille. Details

REVEILLE RENEWS PARTNERSHIP WITH COMMUNITIES IN SCHOOLS
Full-time Site Coordinator to Continue at Swansboro Elementary School

At its March meeting, Reveille’s Church Council approved funds for the extension of the partnership between Reveille and Communities in Schools -Richmond (CIS), to continue our support enabling a full-time CIS site coordinator at Swansboro Elementary School (SES) until June 30, 2024. Reveille will provide $40,000 per year for three additional years from the $1 million gift. This continued support for Swansboro ministries is in line with Reveille’s goal to engage our congregation to share our faith while making a difference in God’s world.

CIS works in partnership with Richmond public schools to promote student success by securing and coordinating resources that target barriers to student achievement. CIS coordinators are placed in schools to identify and address the most critical needs of students and families with specific case management. A full-time CIS coordinator carries a maximum case load of 50 students and their families. Prior to Reveille’s financial partnership, the CIS coordinator position at SES was half-time, so Reveille’s support has enabled services for twice as many students. In addition, the CIS coordinator serves as a liaison to Reveille members who volunteer at the school, and congregational engagement has increased substantially over the last several years since initiation of our partnership with CIS.

The CIS site coordinator at SES is Ellen Ficker, who continues excellent service in the position. She works alongside Debora Holliday, site coordinator for the after-school program at SES, where Reveille conducts “Marvelous Mondays” weekly during the school year.

Good things are happening at SES with the full-time CIS coordinator and Reveille working together. More children are being helped to achieve their potential. Although many factors contribute, SOL test scores have substantially improved at SES from 2017 to 2019. With the CIS coordinator smoothing the way at SES, there are more Reveille volunteers, including children and youth, with increased opportunities for service and ministry. During the current COVID-19 crisis, when schools have been closed, the CIS coordinator has continued to work with students and families to maintain weekly contact, offering community and educational resources and Richmond Public Schools information; to deliver food, books, and school and cleaning supplies; to provide targeted support for all Spanish-speaking families, and to provide opportunities for volunteers to support Swansboro students. Click here to read more about the benefits of the full-time coordinator for students, families, and Reveille’s mission and service at the school.

With the CIS coordinator as our liaison and so many at Reveille offering their gifts and graces in so many ways, Reveille’s continued funding will help to keep the momentum going to help students at SES achieve their potential, and to help Reveille members grow in ministry and service with others in our community as we work together to transform the world for Jesus Christ.

Reveille’s involvement in the Swansboro community extends beyond the elementary school. Over the past seven years, Reveille has built strong relationships with the members of our two partner churches in the community, Koinonia Christian Church and Love Center of Unity. In partnership with these churches, the school, and CIS, we are building relationships and helping to change lives. This vibrant outreach program demonstrates Reveille’s commitment to service in a way that helps attract new members to Reveille and engage them in transformative ministry.

JOINT PARTNER CHURCH COMMITTEES

Five committees were formed with members from Reveille, Koinonia Christian Church and Love Center of Unity:

  • Worship – plans one or two joint worship services each year
  • Joint Studies – plans an annual study series and other events
  • Fellowship – plans two joint fellowship events each year
  • Transportation Taskforce – advocates for improved public transportation
  • Prayer – creates prayer partners between the churches and holds several prayer events throughout the year

For more information about getting involved with the committees, please contact Jill Gaynor.

WESTVIEW ON THE JAMES CAMPERSHIPS

Each year, Reveille helps send 25 Swansboro Elementary School students to summer camp for a week at Westview on the James. Children are selected by their school to receive a campership based on financial need. Reveille volunteers help children prepare for the experience and provide transportation to and from camp. Help also is needed in meeting with the families to complete paperwork and shop for camp supplies.