Archives for posts with tag: St Louis Temple

Groan. I am setting up another social media account.  Livestream.  

Just because I wanted to see what a person needs to go through to be able to follow tomorrow evening’s Alan Talks from the Urban Mission Center in St Louis.

Alan Roxburgh arrives in town in an hour.  About the time I’ll be pulling up near Union Station to pick up Andres Villatoro from his Megabus ride.  Alan, Andres and about two dozen others will meet tomorrow and Saturday for the UMC Design Days.  7:00 PM (CDT) tomorrow night Alan will present for 90 minutes in the St Louis Temple Corps chapel.  You are welcome to join us for this Design Days session open to the public.

I am grouchy about these things.  But I’ll admit that Livestream wasn’t too hard.  I did it.  

So, if you can’t be in St Louis Friday night, or just want to tune in on some of the Design Days activity, Livestream.  I might photobomb Alan.



The Salvation Army Urban Mission Center would like to invite you to join with us for a discussion on the book:

Countering the Conspiracy to Destroy Black Boys
by Dr. Jawanza Kunjufu
Each Sunday night –Sept. 22 – Oct. 27, 2013
4:00 PM

At The Salvation Army Temple Corps
2740 Arsenal St.
St. Louis, MO 63118

Dr. Kunjufu asserts that
“There is a relationship between the excessive number of Black boys in special education and the 1.5 million African American males that are involved in the penal system. Our concern is that we can intervene as early as infancy if parents and teachers heed the suggestions offered…” and he goes on to relate seven barometers for parents, teachers and community people to use in monitoring development… “We don’t have to wait until boys are 18 years old to find out if they’re in trouble…”

Come Sunday night, September 22 to discover the seven barometers and to begin the discussion on what we as a community can do to make a difference!

First 10 people to respond will receive the book for $3.00. Any additional books will be available for $5.00.

Please RSVP by September 19 – email: or call Major Gail Aho’s office at 314-646-3074 and let Mary know.

Today I talked with Jesse Lugo who is a City Vision College intern at the St Louis Temple Houses.  Jesse will speak to thousands of Salvation Army people (I don’t want to scare you, Jesse) early June during the Army’s annual gathering, we call it ‘Congress’.  It will take place in St Louis’ Peabody Opera House.

Jesse has a great story to share.  Growing up in Philadelphia.  It wasn’t easy.  What made the difference?  A good godmother and Jesus Christ.  Now she’s in St Louis learning about serving the Benton Park West neighborhood.  And learning about the Salvation Army.

Jesse’s now working with young people.  To make a difference in their lives.  She’ll tell us about it at the Opera House.

Jesse Lugo

Visit Jesse’s Corner featured at the St Louis Temple website.

I just checked the CCDA Jobs Board for our new posting on the urban ministry internships in St Louis.  There it is, one of eleven postings on a new feature of the CCDA website.

I think we will soon see more CCDA postings for Salvation Army jobs.  The Youth Department at THQ has several Good Soil Initiative positions open throughout the Midwest.  GSI is a program to establish youth development workers in communities where the Salvation Army serves.

And remember that the next CCDA National Conference will be in New Orleans, September 11- 14.


City Vision College’s spring term begins March 18.  City Vision College

CVC offers an online program to earm a bachelors degree in urban ministry.  The Salvation Army St Louis Temple Houses currently have two City Vision students serving as interns with another arriving this week.  If you are interested contact Auxiliary/Captain Steve Diaz.

Stephen-diaz@usc.salvationarmy.orgas of 2012 Christmas Eve AM 719

Here’s information from CVC –

The next term for City Vision College is starting on Monday March 18th. You still have time to register. Individual online courses are just $600 for a three-credits and you can register online now. If you want to learn more call 816-960-2008 <tel:816-960-2008>, or visit

Learn more about our degree completion programs

For the past few years, the only financial aid that City Vision College provided was Pell Grant, but we were just recently approved to receive Federal Loans. If you are a new student, then follow the
instructions at:, and select whether you want to apply for Pell Grants, Federal Loans or both.

Can’t afford tuition? Individuals willing to work as a full-time intern qualify to receive free tuition, room and board (see


A postscript to the garden in the city.

John sent this to me in October.  Sunbeams is the Salvation Army program for girls age 6 – 12.

It was magical last night at Temple Corps’ youth activities.

The Sunbeams occupied Temple Gardens and harvested five gigantic sunflowers. First we cut the head off the flower. Then we scraped the seeds out of the flower. The Sunbeams also selected a flower each and picked it to bring home with them.

As we left the garden there was a beautiful rainbow in the sky. Some of the girls asked if I had made the rainbow for them. Next week we will roast, salt and eat our splendid harvest!

sunflowers and Sunbeams

sunflowers and Sunbeams again

We arrived back home New Years Day from the Urbana conference in St Louis.  Where our son John lives and raises seven chickens in the backyard on Arsenal Street.

They are hens and after weeks of wondering if they would ever produce now provide three dozen eggs a week.  IMG_1068They also provide wonderment to John’s neighbors.  He showed me photos of young people and older residents of his Benton Park neighborhood who participate in Salvation Army activities on the other side of Arsenal.  Holding a hen.  Collecting eggs.  Sometimes staring with wary delight at these city chickens.  These city dwellers make a field trip across the street to an urban farm.

It seems incongruous.  Farm life in the city.  But John says there are others in the neighborhood raising chickens and growing vegetables.Betsy gardening with the children  Summer 2012

Today the Chicago Tribune features a king of compost.

Lisa Boone writes of Steven Wynbrandt who lives in Los Angeles and sells at $1 a pound rich dark organic material from the compost heap he’s created in his backyard.

“I’m an alchemist,” Wynbrand says.  His mother June agrees. “It’s more than beautiful.”  Looking out the kitchen window she says “it’s magical.”

Wynbrandt Farm

Check out Steven’s page for the Wynbrandt Farm and Wynbrandt Biodynamic Compost.

There is something magical, wonderful about finding fresh eggs and vegetables in LA, inner city St Louis or a number of cities across the USA.  Even strutting peacocks in yards near Woodward Avenue in Detroit.  It made me slow down to make sure that it was what I thought I saw.

As children it mystified us.  The green sprout growing out of a seed wrapped in a moist paper towel.

And now as urban dwellers we are surprised, and delighted by this echo of our agrarian ancestors now returning to us.


Betsy, John, Kyle, Gail and Steve. Last weekend we were at Soulard Market buying produce for the Sunday Harvest Festival fundraiser. I love Soulard.

There’s about a dozen now living in the Temple Houses.  Everyone’s working or going to school, but life also includes service in the Benton Park neighborhood.  We went along for an early Saturday morning shopping trip at the famous Soulard Market.  I got to carry the pumpkins.

Two of the Temple Houses across the street from Temple Corps.

When we visit we stay upstairs in the house on the left

























Betsy does nice work with the Temple House gardens.



John just sent the link, so here’s the St Louis Temple Houses blog.  Check out their posts and pictures from Arsenal Street.

Near Keokuk Street I heard a rooster crow.  Twice.

I was on my run yesterday morning in St Louis.  A quiet Sunday morning in south St Louis, a mile west of the Anheuser Busch brewery.  The sky is lighting up in the east.  I couldn’t tell if the faintly sour air was the brewery or the dumpsters along Iowa Street.

Laclede Park.  Then, where Iowa dead-ends, west on Chariton.  Turn around, back up Iowa.

A block ahead I see a dog in the middle of the street, standing still, looking my way.  Pit bull.  It has staked that block.  I slow to a jog and turn around.  I’m now on California.  Just ahead two dogs together crossing a vacant lot near Cherokee.  I keep my head down and slow to a nonchalant pace.  Several blocks later three cats sit in the remains of a house’s entry, indifferent to a runner in the street.  Near Arsenal, a grizzled tom cat on the sidewalk meanaces me.

Animals with attitudes.

Here are animal photos taken over the weekend at Temple Houses.

John says this hen runs out to greet him, follows him, always curious about what John is doing.  It was curious about me.

Temple Houses have a chicken coop in the back.  They built it earlier this fall and waited for the seven hens to start producing eggs.  Finally two weeks ago, an egg.  Saturday morning I checked a laying box.  A beautiful brown egg.

Young people and senior citizens from Temple Corps programs cross Arsenal to see the chickens, touch and hold them.  The gardens are also an attraction.  Lately the seniors have collected fresh salads to take home.  John pointed out the kale.  Just clip some, nice and fresh.

Saturday night Gail and I had pizza with Steve and Ketsia Diaz (Kyle, too) and the young adults in Temple Houses along Arsenal and California Streets.  Several are City Vision College interns.  Others are involved in the neighborhood as Salvation Army staff, volunteers.  All are part of this growing and developing community living as a witness in the Benton Park neighborhood.

Check out Temple Houses website for photos of Mike, Michael, Darnell and Natalie, some of their current residents.

Steve and Ketsia frequently host these Saturday evening get-togethers for Temple Houses.  After the meal Steve introduced us to those who were new.  He and John gave information on recent incidents and news in the neighborhood.  What to do when trouble is seen (call Steve, John or 911).  How to help young people attending the corps whose father was shot to death.  A time of prayer.

After the meeting sitting in the kitchen, visiting.  I watched Lou and Beckham wrestle.   They are owned respectively by the Diaz’ and Laura Grainger.  Along with John’s Boone they form an impressive set of dogs, not an unhelpful resource for living in Benton Park.

Here’s the egg layer.

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