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Circle Center Celebrates 40 Years of Ministry

Forty years ago, St. James’s, as a member of the Stuart Circle Parish Churches , became concerned about our older members and neighbors who were no longer able to attend church, or if they did attend, faced other issues that concerned them:  isolation, health, safety, and meals.  Our church members did not just talk about it, but came up with a plan – that was the beginning of Circle Center Adult Day Services.  In 1976, Cathedral of the Sacred Heart, First English Evangelical Lutheran, Grace Covenant Presbyterian, St. James’s Episcopal and St. John’s United Church of Christ formed an alliance to help Richmond’s elderly population.  Stuart Circle Center was born!  The daily program opened with 6 participants and 2 staff members; they met at First English Lutheran.  Today, Circle Center supports 80+ seniors, six days a week at a location near Willow Lawn.

We helped build a community where all older adults and their families have the support and resources to live together with purpose and dignity.  Durring May, we’ll be talking about Circle Center and their campaign:  Forty Dollars for Forty Years!  Donation envelopes will be available in the narthex .

Circle Center supports people like Ella and Bev.  Ella is 97 years old and lives with her daughter Bev who at 67 is retired.  Bev noticed her mother was slowing down…sitting in her chair all day just watching out the window.  A friend recommended Bev take a look at the Center.  She liked what she saw, but wasn’t’ sure about her mother and she was worried about the cost ($75 per day)!

The Center’s social worker, Jay, spoke to her about their Needs Based Scholarship Program and how if Ella and Bev could pay a few days, the Center would be able to help them finish out the week.  Bev still worried about how her mother would adjust to attending the Center, but after her first week her worries were gone…her mother came home with stories about her new friends, the staff who did all sorts of crafts and exercises with them:  she had her life back.  According to Bev, “it was life-changing” they now had something to talk about over dinner.  Her mother looks forward to coming to the Center and Bev can help out at her church now that she is retired.

When you support Circle Center in any way, you’re supporting the people who in all likelihood were your teachers, your bankers and your coaches.  You directly help families who struggle daily to keep their loved ones living at home and connected.  I give to Circle Center every year, and I’m asking you to support our current campaign:  Forty Dollars for Forty Years!  Donation envelopes are available in the commons area (or in the pews or wherever they are).  You can rest assured that your contribution will be stewarded wisely – with a huge return on your investment. Thank you for your support.

See more about this life-changing ministry at http://www.circlecenterads.info/

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