We returned home this afternoon from a few days on the road.  This morning we were with the Salvation Army in Warsaw IN.  Lieutenants Esteban and Karen Pommier are the corps officers.  The chapel was comfortably filled and their three young sons were among several young children present this morning.  We enjoyed sharing fellowship and worship with the corps.

Yesterday we crossed over into Ohio to meet with Leroy and Lillian Chambliss for lunch at La Rosa’s in Englewood, a suburb of Dayton OH.  Leroy is the pastor for Stillwater at the YMCA, a United Methodist missional congregation that meets in and serves families and staff at the YMCA.Leroy and Lillian Chambliss  2  February 2013

I think Pastor Chambliss’ situation is very much like our Salvation Army Kroc Centers.  We talked over pizza and then visited the Kleptz YMCA where the congregation meets Sunday mornings.  Gail and I can see how our congregations in the new Kroc Centers can become similarly missional.

Pastor Leroy is also a trained Kaleidoscope Institute Associate.  I met Leroy last fall when he trained Salvation Army leaders at the Kansas and Western Missouri Division’s Multicultural Retreat.

Friday we left Chicago early and the roads were decent considering the Thursday night snow.  US 30 across Indiana was the messiest but by the time we turned south pavement was much better.  We arrived in Marion IN at lunchtime to meet with Lieutenants Jason and Dana Bigelow who are corps officers for the Salvation Army in this small city north of Indianapolis.  It’s home of Indiana Wesleyan University.  IWU spring break is early March.  Twenty-four of its students will then travel with the Bigelows to New York City for a week of urban mission work at the Harlem Temple Corps.IWU

Jason and Kelly Pope will work with the Marion mission team in projects and seminars.  It’s a busy schedule but rewarding and full of learning about urban ministry and how the Salvation Army serves in American cities.

Lieutenants Bigelow are also the parents of six week old Noah who will accompany his parents.  An urban mission baby!