Archives for posts with tag: CBLI

Gail and I arrived yesterday for visits and meetings this weekend in Detroit.

Last night, a meal at the Honey Tree Restaurant with Captains Jamie and Deb Winkler of the Detroit Harbor Light System and good talk about innovative ways for the mission of the Army to come to life.  Right now there are great opportunities for the Army to become involved in new ways with human hurts and hopes such as jobs, health and anti-human trafficking initiatives.  And especially the opportunity to do something to shift the direction of multigenerational family dysfunctions of abuse, alcoholism, hopelessness.

This morning we breakfasted with the recently retired Major Marilyn Hopkins.  Great pancakes at the Original Pancake House on 10 Mile Road.  Major Hopkins served many years in Detroit, Chicago and Wichita.  She has always been a determined champion of people who are forgotten and friendless.  Now she tells the stories of her service, and of her transformation as she served.  Her modest apartment abundantly displays keepsakes from the places and the people.

Later this afternoon we meet at Detroit Grandale Corps with the metro Detroit cohort of the 2011 Central Bible Leadership Institute urban mission workshop.  We will listen to what is happening in their lives and ministries.  And then over to Kerby’s Koney Island in Southfield for table fellowship.

Tomorrow, we join Grandale’s morning meeting followed by table fellowship with the corps for a soul food dinner.  Amen!


Recently I looked at the archived Tuesday evening program from Central Bible Leadership Institute 2011 featuring Michael Collins, our friend from Canada.  Michael electrified us this summer at Camp Wonderland with a message on how the Salvation Army is called into mission to go out into the world.  Giving the good word, doing the most good.

Michael shared the story of one Christmas season he and his family were cold.  There was no heat in their apartment.  Only the gas stove, lit, door open.  As a young boy growing up poor in inner city Montreal he was learning many things, including that he had no reason to expect Santa Claus to appear.  His mother told them that.  That only someone who loves them and has money would bring things they were hoping for.

A knock.  Some people in blue suits with red shields on their hats.  They came with the things.  They had heard about this family in the neighborhood that wasn’t going to have much of a Christmas.

The young Michael thought “I get it, not a dude in a red shirt, but people in blue suits.”  He figured it out.

Salvation Army people:  God bless each of you this Christmas season as you demonstrate God’s love with the money and volunteer’s hours and good will He has provided.  To you. The people in blue suits, the red shields.

I’m at Camp Wonderland through Sunday.  Got here nine days ago for CBLI and tomorrow morning we will meet for the final time of the Urban Mission Workshop.

It’s been great.  A wide range of representation from around the Midwest.  No one is shy; lots of discussion and laughter.  So I think it’s going well.  17 campers now joined by Howard Olver with Brian Seim from Toronto.

Howard is leading us in the final set of workshops.  Yesterday he presented a theology for urban ministry.  Today, Ten Paradigm Shifts Toward Community Transformation:  How Churches Are Impacting Their Communities with the Good Deeds and Good News of the Gospel (with thanks to Rick Swanson of the Leadership Network).  I think you may be able to figure out a lot of what Howard meant:

  1. From building walls to building bridges
  2. From measuring attendance to measuring impact
  3. From encouraging the saints to attend worship to equipping the saints for works of service
  4. From ‘serve us’ to service, from inward to outward focus
  5. From duplication of human services and ministries to partnering with
    existing services and ministries
  6. From fellowship to functional unity
  7. From condemning the city to blessing the city and praying for it 
  8. From being a minister in a congregation to being a minister in a parish
  9. From anecdote and speculation to valid information
  10. From teacher to learner

David Tooley shared a link to World Relief’s website on immigration; here’s a  link to’s blog.

Immigration is an urban issue.  One could challenge the statement.  Throughout the Midwest immigrants are present in rural Iowa and suburban Kansas City.  But as the world passed the year 2000 and now with over 50% of all humans living in urban areas, we all entered a new era.  Regardless of whether I live in a densely populated city, a wide-lawned suburb, or  a sparsely peopled desert, I live in the urban millennium.

Travel.  Culture.  Information.  Internet.  Economy.  It’s all interconnected in a way my parents never experienced.  And it’s all from the cities.  This is the urban millennium.

The movement of people.  Unprecedented, in ways and on a scale the human race has not seen until now.  What will it mean, and what does it mean now?  How are we to face it?

Matthew Soerens writes regarding immigration in terms of justice “When Justice Becomes Unjust“.  I recommend it.  Take some time to explore  BTW, Matt will be a featured presenter this summer at Camp Wonderland for the Central Bible and Leadership Institute.

Are you in Salvation Army ministry, perhaps as your vocation or as an active Soldier?   Is your corps is in an urban place?  a community where you face demanding needs and challenges.  Would you like to learn more about serving, increase skills, meet people with similar experience and passion?

Come to CBLI.

This summer Central Bible Leadership Institute will offer 10 days of life together with hundreds of Salvation Army people.  Many CBLI campers will be there for Mission Intensive workshops:

  • immigration
  • pastoral crisis intervention
  • urban mission
  • youth work

Interested?  For more information visit the CBLI website.

This summer Central Bible and Leadership Institute will offer an Urban Mission Intensive to adults and young adults involved or interested in urban ministry.

The Urban Mission Intensive will be one of four mission intensives presented by experienced practitioners during the week.  Immigration, youth, and crisis intervention will round out the four.  The mission intensives are being offered to train, develop, and support Salvation Army people engaged in preaching the gospel of Jesus Christ and meeting human needs in his name.

I am very pleased to announce that Howard Olver will be with us.  Howard is a Free Methodist pastor in Toronto, Ontario with many years of experience in urban and inner city ministry.  He also has a career in academic circles having served on the faculty of Greenville College and serving currently at Tyndale Seminary as adjunct professor of Missional Leadership.  Rev. Olver was a featured presenter at the recent Urban Forum in Toronto.

I had the opportunity to hear Howard in Toronto.  I believe you will find him a rich source of practical knowledge and guidance in making sense of the complex challenges faced in serving urban communities in Jesus’ name.  Urban missioners at CBLI will also have a time to refresh (bring your family, too) and develop the important networks needed to stay in the game.  Any of us who have served in demanding urban settings know how easy it is to become isolated, even in the Salvation Army.  Do something about it:  come to CBLI.

If you want to come for the CBLI Urban Mission Intensive, or any of the other three MIs, contact me.  I’m eager to be of help in insuring your place at CBLI this summer.  And CBLI is a lot of fun, too.

CBLI dates:  July  29-August 7, 2011


If you have tried, you will have discoverd that the urban mission discussion will not accept comments.

It’s been several weeks now since the particular platform the Army uses has essentially shut down this function.  At this point our IT people are shaking their heads about the problem and pointing us to Facebook.  I need to talk with Jon B one more time before we abandon this ship.

Some good news.  This summer, the 2011 Central Bible Leadership Institute at Camp Wonderland will feature an Urban Mission Intensive Cohort.  This means persons can come to CBLI for a week of intensive focus on urban mission in the Salvation Army.  I just received feedback from a number of folks throughout the territory on the concept and it looks like there is strong interest.  This interest will need to translate into actual delegates which means summer schedules (CBLI will run July 29 – August 7) and saving up money.  So, consider coming to CBLI this summer.  Those of you who have participated the past year in Intersections (regional gatherings to share information and discuss urban mission) will find CBLI ideal for the informal opportunities over coffee, at meals, on the lake.

Finally, a pilot program will begin in 2011 to place college students preparing for urban ministry in one year internships at Salvation Army work in urban settings.  Flint, St Louis, and Kansas City will serve as the first three locations.  This has been made possible financially by the Central Territory’s Candidate’s Department.  One of the words that described urban missioners at the 2009 Territorial Conference on Strategic Priorities was ‘passion’.  Young adults who love the Lord pursuing degree work in urban ministry?  Bringing them together with Salvation Army people who love the city and the urban places of America?  Potent combination.

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