‘Working groups’ report progress on local projects

June 24, 2009 by

During Wednesdays forum at the Motherhouse, Sue Sutton of Cloud County Community College shows a draft design of a logo for the Concordia Year of Peace.

During Wednesday's forum at the Motherhouse, Sue Sutton of Cloud County Community College shows a draft design of a logo for the "Concordia Year of Peace."

It didn’t take long for them to get to work Wednesday.

At the fifth public meeting hosted by the Sisters of St. Joseph to help identify problems in Concordia and Cloud County and to seek solutions, the participants were eager to get through the preliminaries:

Find a seat, go through the buffet lunch line, give a brief report.

Then get back to work.

Cecilia Thrash of Manna House of Prayer explains whats in the draft community resource guide, during her report at Wednesdays forum.

Cecilia Thrash of Manna House of Prayer explains what's in the draft community resource guide, during her report at Wednesday's forum.

At Wednesday’s “working lunch” at the Motherhouse, there were four groups and four brief reports:

• Local events tied to the “Concordia Year of Peace” — which is actually 16 months from September 2009 through December 2010 will be the focus of the Nonviolent Communications group.
Sister Jean Rosemarynoski, speaking on behalf of that group, listed a wide range of events, from book discussions at the library and a booth at Fall Fest on Sept. 26, to public lectures at the college and workshops in coordination with the public schools.

• Cecelia Thrash of Manna House of Prayer handed out a draft “Community Resource Guide” that is the work of one group committed to improving information available to Concordians. The guide will actually be available in three versions: A quick reference sheet, for parents or others who need to know what’s available; a more in-depth booklet, for service providers and others who need more information in referring clients or patients; and an online guide that can be updated easily and frequently.
Thrash said the two printed versions should be available before school starts in the fall, with the Web version available in the near future.
The printing for the guides is being paid for by a grant.

Sister Jean Rosemarynoski ran through al the events planned for the Concordia Year of Peace, which will actually begin with Fall Fest in September.

Sister Jean Rosemarynoski ran through all the events planned for the "Concordia Year of Peace," which will actually begin with Fall Fest in September.

• The transportation group is preparing a survey to gather more information, according to Judy Deal of OCCK Inc.

“The thing we need to find out is what we do have,” she said, “so then we’ll know how to fill in the gaps.”

The group’s mission is to provide affordable transportation in Concordia, Deal added. “We have specialized transportation — through the senior center and other places — but we’re talking about general transportation and not just weekdays and daylight hours.”

Fred Prindaville of Pawnee Mental Health Services suggested a door-to-door survey to assess how many residents need public transportation and what their exact needs are.

• Discussion continues on how to go about establishing an emergency health clinic, said Rose Koerber of the Cloud County Health Center. She said there have already been a couple of meetings between the hospital, the county health department and several Sisters of St. Joseph, and that group has met with representatives from the Salina Clinic to get their advice.

“We have a long way to go, but it’s still moving forward,” Koerber said.

The process is moving forward, as well. Another “working lunch” has been set for Thursday, Sept. 10.

Sister Judy Stephens listens intently to the discussion at the health care table, while another lively discussion goes on at the table behind her.

Sister Judy Stephens listens intently to the discussion at the health care table, while another lively discussion goes on at the table behind her.

Wednesday’s session was the fifth community meeting in a process that started in the fall of 2008, when the sisters met individually with a variety of community leaders to ask them their views on the most pressing issues facing Concordia and Cloud County.

Conclusions from those informal conversations and other research became the basis for a “community needs report” the sisters presented in a forum in mid-January.

Then, early in February, the sisters invited the public to join the conversation at a second forum. Those attending — mostly representing social service groups and nonprofit agencies and including a few individuals who were not members of any organization — took part in a “working lunch” to consider the issues that came up in the report and brainstorm solutions.

Two follow-up lunches refined many of those solutions and allowed participants to form working groups to focus on specific problems.

The forums and lunches hosted by the Sisters of St. Joseph have involved almost 70 individuals representing 35 organizations and agencies. And Sister Jean Rosemarynoski is hoping that even more individuals will get involved as the process continues.

“This is really about all of us who live here,” Rosemarynoski said. “And it involves all of us — the agencies and organizations, but also each person who wants to help make Concordia an even better place to live.”

Comments

One Response to “‘Working groups’ report progress on local projects”

  1. Loretta A. Jasper, CSJ, LCPC on June 28th, 2009 7:49 am

    Thanks for all that each of you is tending on behalf of under-served needs in the Concordia and outlying areas of Cloud County.

    I do appreciate having access to the summaries of the on-going work of the individual focus groups. Be assured, I am connected. Soon I will be able to join in the meetings, once my body gets planted in Concordia. If there is any way I am able to assist and support via phone and/or web, do not hesitate to be in touch via phone 785.342.1692(cell), or lorettajasper@sbcglobal.net.

    For those of you who may not be aware: I am currently at Ft. Ruckers, AL. working on an Army post with military and families affected by deployments to/from Iraq and Afghanistan. I am here: 6/24 to 8/9.
    Loretta A. Jasper

Feel free to leave a comment...