Faith in action

Published 10:52 pm Friday, September 6, 2013

Grove Church program builds ladies and gentlemen

A Churchland church is inviting junior and senior high school students from the area to participate in a program to prepare them for the challenges of the modern world.

Melvin O. Marriner, senior pastor at Grove Church, 5910 West Norfolk Road, said the Ladies of Virtue/Gentleman of Valor (LOV/GOV) program was initiated in 2006 as part of the church’s holistic mission.

Melvin O. Marriner, senior pastor at Grove Church, says a program to prepare juniors and seniors for the modern world is part of the church’s holistic mission. The program began in 2006, and parents are invited to an information session this month for the next installment.

Melvin O. Marriner, senior pastor at Grove Church, says a program to prepare juniors and seniors for the modern world is part of the church’s holistic mission. The program began in 2006, and parents are invited to an information session this month for the next installment.

“How do we translate being spiritual into being a gentleman and being a lady?” Marriner asked rhetorically. “What does it look like?”

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Marriner is inviting parents interested in enrolling their children in the program to an information and orientation session at the church at 7 p.m. on Sept. 19.

The next series of classes starts late this month and concludes in June. Facilitators and guest speakers “cover a myriad of interesting topics aimed at developing youth spirituality, while empowering them to face life challenges and opportunities,” a news release states.

Planned topics include social etiquette, career choices, presentation skills, financial literacy and resume writing.

A formal Commissioning and Cotillion ceremony concludes the program in June.

Marriner said the program will teach teens that poverty and disadvantage are not excuses for social ineptitude.

“We tell them there are some things you should learn that are not money-based,” he said. “That’s no excuse for not knowing how to carry yourself. Some things you can learn you don’t need a lot of money for.”

The program also impresses the importance of community involvement, Marriner said. Participants are encouraged to lend a hand to organizations like Meals on Wheels, Rotary and homeless shelters.

“We see kids exposed to not only social etiquette, but also community involvement,” he said. “We are transferring our faith into something that’s practical.”

The entire program costs $50, although participants also rent formal attire for the cotillion. Parents are asked to attend the Sept. 19 orientation and information session with their juniors or seniors.

Marriner said the program in previous years has done a lot to lift the self-esteem of participants.

“Whether you are rich or poor, you can still have the same type of morals,” he said. “I think the kids come out of this knowing you don’t need a lot of money to be a lady or a gentleman.

“It has nothing to do with where you live, but everything to do with what you’re exposed to.”

For more information, call 484-4149.