Spirit Center hosts poverty summit
The Center for Community Building to End Poverty held its Leadership to End Poverty Summit, November 12-13, 2009 at Spirit Center at the Monastery of St. Gertrude in Cottonwood, Idaho.  The 35 participants were leaders of 25 non-profit organizations who work in the arena of poverty issues from the perspectives of social services, education, faith-based communities, special populations and grassroots endeavors.  From left to right: Ericka Medalen (Community Action Partnership), Kathee Tifft (University of Idaho Extension), Lisa Horan (The Center for Community Building to End Poverty), Lisa Stoddard (Community Action Partnership), Mary Schmidt (MSG Spirit Center), Sr. Bernadette Stang (MSG Spirit Center)
The Center for Community Building to End Poverty is a collaborative partnership between University of Idaho Extension, Community Action Partnership, Spirit Center at the Monastery of St. Gertrude and other organizations.  The Summit strengthened awareness of and respect for the mission and work of these organizations and identified a unifying vision among them.  
Lisa Stoddard, Executive Director of the Community Action Partnership, sees an educational institution, a non-profit group and a spirituality center partnering for a public service endeavor as a unique model of how essential community building is for ending poverty.  “We decided to host the Summit at St. Gertrude’s because we experience the Sisters as a model of community where everyone has responsibility for the whole, has opportunities for what they need, roles are based on members’ strengths and everyone benefits from shared resources such as housing and money.  They look out for each other so that no one falls through the cracks.  This kind of community requires a lot of reconciliation and ability to persevere in caring for the common good. The Center strives to include these qualities in the communities they are building to end poverty.”  Mary Schmidt, Spirit Center Administrator, and Kathee Tifft, University of Idaho Extension, were impressed with the creativity and practicality of the participants’ suggestions for how all the organizations can move forward together.
The Center to End Poverty is based on the beliefs “that community is a life stance of connectedness with those around us, that community building is central to ending poverty and supporting economic security, that economic security is providing for the needs of one’s family consistently, that poverty is complex and economic security requires multiple personal assets, community assets, and supportive state and national policies.”  It provides foundational education, transformational interactive leadership training, and relational mentoring, networking , advocating and convening to end poverty.
Learn more about the Monastery of St. Gertrude at www.StGertrudes.org, or contact monastery@stgertrudes.org or 208-962-3224. 

Cottonwood, Idaho 83522


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503 King St.
P.O. Box 157
Cottonwood, ID 83522-0157
Fax 208-962-7131
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