Wednesday’s lunch reviews two years of progress

February 14, 2011 by

After two years of “working lunches” to focus on addressing concerns in Concordia, the Community Needs Forum is changing direction — but not without one last working lunch to review what the group has accomplished.

The lunch is scheduled for Wednesday, Feb. 16, from 11:45 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Nazareth Motherhouse, 13th and Washington streets. Everyone is invited to take part; you do not have to have attended earlier forums to join the process now.  Lunch is provided at no cost, and those planning to come are asked to RSVP to Sister Jean Rosemarynoski at 243-2149 or sisterjean@csjkansas.org.

Wednesday’s session will be the 13th in a process that started in the fall of 2008 with informal lunches at the Sisters of St. Joseph. In addition to identifying what participants see as the greatest needs in the community, the meetings have established smaller groups to seek solutions.  It will also be the opportunity for Sisters Marcia Allen and Jean Rosemarynoski, who organized the process, to introduce the 2011 Concordia Speakers Series.

“The idea of a speakers series originated in an informal presentation made by Police Chief Chris Edin at the working lunch in June (2010),” Allen said. “He said he wished he could talk to the public about creating an awareness about various crimes committed in the town, especially sexual assault among the young, and inviting citizens to help prevent them. That set us thinking.”

The free monthly forums will be held in the evening so more people from throughout Concordia will be able to attend, Allen said.

The first of the 2011 Concordia Speaker Series is set for 7 p.m. Feb. 21 at the Nazareth Motherhouse. Concordia Schools Superintendent Bev Mortimer will talk about the challenges facing public schools and what USD 333 Schools are doing to continue to meet the needs of students, families and the community.

At Wednesday’s working lunch, Allen and Rosemarynoski will ask for updates on other projects that have grown out of the Community Needs Forum, including:

• The Concordia Year of Peace, which is continuing through 2011 as “Another Year of Peace.”

• The Concordia Community Garden of Hope, which is gearing up for its second year of operation on the northeast corner of the Motherhouse property.

Agencies and organizations attending the lunch will also be asked to talk about any significant changes they see for 2011.

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