I've been an absentee blogger the last few months. Here is my humble attempt to catch you up on the big happenings at the Urban Mission Center.
- Temple House Community. As the hands and feet of the Urban Mission Center, the Temple House community has been busy serving and leading in our neighborhood. This summer, dwellers volunteered with the Summer Youth Program at Temple, worked in our community garden, served as guides for our visiting groups, developed friendships with neighbors, and much more. This fall, they've been busy leading worship arts at Temple, standing in solidarity with local activists, and offering hospitality to each other and our neighborhood. We also welcomed Alexis Ferguson and Wakeda Carr to our community. We're currently studying the Book of Acts on Sunday evenings. It's good, living life together.
- Band of Survivors. We had the opportunity to host BOS from the Metropolitan Division in July. It was so good! We often have groups that want to visit us to serve, but Nate made it clear from the beginning that they were here to learn -- and learn they did! We led them through a daily bible study about neighborhood ministry, took them to Ferguson and the Civil Rights Exhibit at the Missouri History museum, and hosted a panel discussion with Christian activists. It was so good.
- Ferguson Community Empowerment Center. We celebrated the grand opening in late July, and we've been busy developing the Spark Academy. More on that later.
- Urban Ministries Practicum. A dream three years in the making came to fruition in September. We hosted our first practicum in partnership with Olivet Nazarene University and SACEP. We had 12 officers spend a week with us, exploring the complexities of serving in the city. Again, it was so good. Our friend Major Cherri Hobbins is working on an article that will give a good picture of our week, so keep a lookout in the Central Connection. We're already looking at spring dates, so we'll do it again soon.
- CCDA Conference. A highlight for us every year is attending the Christian Community Development Association National Conference. Bonus this year: it was in my hometown of Detroit! We were challenged and encouraged after a few days with our tribe. If you're passionate about making shalom a reality, consider joining us next year in Chicago.
A couple things we're working on:
- A Handbook for Neighborhood Engagement. We've learned a whole lot in the last few years, and we feel ready to share our findings with the world!
- Cohort on Arsenal St. I had the opportunity to participate in a cohort on the west coast for people leading missional communities. It was a gift, journeying with other like minded folks, over the course of 18 months. We've designed a cohort specifically for Salvationists (officers, soldiers, employees, volunteers) hoping to advance their missional leadership skills. We launch this March and we are pumped.