Group meetings are currently suspended. Stay tuned for updates as soon as we have them.
Grandparents as Parents (GAP) of Shenco Support Group
Emmanuel Episcopal Church is proud to have Grandparents as Parents (GAP) as one of our largest ministries. The support group was founded and is facilitated by Shelia Helsley, an Emmanuel member.
GAP is a group of grandparents and other relatives who are raising children who have banded together to learn, connect with and support one another. (This family arrangement is known as a “kinship” family.) Some members have one child. Others have two, three or even five children they’re raising. Each family as their own story of how they came to be parenting once again, whether it be due to issues related to drug abuse, neglect, abandonment or because a family member died, leaving behind children who needed a home. They understand the unique challenges — financially, emotionally, logistically – and tremendous joys this family setup brings.
On the third Monday of each month, GAP meets in Emmanuel’s parish hall from 6:30 to 8 p.m. Meetings start with a homemade meal, brought by Shelia (and enhanced by anything members want to bring), which everyone eats together. Then the kids branch off to play and the caregivers settle in to listen to the month’s speaker. It’s an informal, warm, welcoming, safe environment for people to bond with others who “get it.” (And for the kids to have fun playing with friends!)
You can find out more about GAP, including information for those wishing to sponsor the group or who wish to make a media inquiry, via the informational kits below. Find out info about upcoming meetings and connect with the group on Facebook. If you have questions, email Shelia.
New Member Kit
New Member Info Download
The Story of GAP
GAP Flier Download
Kinship in the Media
Grandfamilies in Virginia Fact Sheet Download