Archives for posts with tag: Temple House

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.

A person could easily get lost in Minneapolis’ Skyway.  Michael Liimatta knows how to navigate it.  Michael attended seminary there and explained how the Skyway system connects ten square blocks of downtown Minneapolis.  A good place to hunker down during long Minnesota winters.

We met over coffee last month on a Friday afternoon during the CCDA Conference.  Michael works from Kansas City as Academic Chief Officer for City Vision College.  Four City Vision students currently serve as interns in St Louis at the Salvation Army’s Temple Houses on Arsenal Street.

Michael is also involved in closing the digital divide in Kansas City as co-founder of Connecting for Good.  Kansas City won the highly competitive Google FiberIt means that KC will have access to astonishingly fast internet connections.  Except for low-income neighborhoods:  42% of KC low income areas.  This is where Connecting for Good, the Kansas City Public Library and others are working to educate and organize neighborhoods to participate in Google Fiber.

Michael and others are featured in this KCUR roundtable discussion on Google Fiber’s effect on the digital divide in Kansas City.

There’s no debate on how crucial access is to the internet.  Job hunting.  Education.  Social networks.  Information.  When individuals and entire neighborhoods don’t have access it creates a digital divide.  It adds to the disparity many communities already suffer.  Especially low income urban and rural communities.

I wish you well, Michael!

After a hot day the Temple Houses are ready to travel for ice cream at Crown Candy!

They look happy.  In anticipation of ice cream and a cooler summer evening.

I was in St Louis for the weekend.  Sunday morning at the Salvation Army’s Belleville IL Corps with Captains Heath and Anita Sells.  Heath and Anita served with us for a summer in the 1990s on Detroit’s west side.  They are friends and colleague officers.  They are also developing a proposal for greenhouse gardening with the support of interested community backers offering resources to make it happen.  Gardening and job training.

The picture shows Temple House people Saturday evening about to travel to the north side for ice cream at Crown Candy.  John and I had chocolate malts.  We were happy.

In the picture, left to right –

  • Natalie, a transplanted Salvation Army soldier from the Twin Cities in graduate social work studies at Washington University
  • Hilary from Cleveland OH who just arrived last week.  She will help with Temple day camp and other Salvation Army work this summer and then begin the Urban Ministry Internship Program at Temple Houses this September.  UMIP offers practical field experience in St Louis and an urban ministry degree from City Vision College.  Three more interns will soon join Temple Houses.
  • Laura, director of the new CHOICES program sponsored by the Army.  CHOICES will work to develop the full potential of young people and their families living in the Temple neighborhood.
  • Betsy just returned home to Georgia this week after several weeks gardening for the Temple Houses.  She’s responsible for the flower and vegetable beds and general beautification on Temple House grounds.
  • Auxiliary Captains Steve and Ketsia Diaz, officers in charge of the Army’s St Louis Temple on Arsenal Street.
  • front row:  Boone, Kyle and John.  Kyle is Steve and Ketsia’s son, a charmer.  John, my son.  Boone, one of three Temple House dogs.  Yesterday’s post showed Boone taking a break with Lou and Beckham who respectively belong to the Diaz’ and Laura.

Darren, who just completed his urban ministry internship, is away for the summer working in California.  He returns to Temple Houses next month to begin a new phase of internship that allows both intern and The Salvation Army to determine if full-time ministry as a Salvation Army officer is in the future.

John and Captain Steve pondering ice cream choices at Crown Candy

What is the common denominator of Temple House residents?  All are Christians living in shared quarters within a block of the Temple Corps and help with its ministry to the neighborhood.  They are committed to make a difference in the name of Jesus in the Benton Park community of St Louis.

John and Betsy completed this chicken coop last Saturday in the back yard of a Temple House.  Yesterday four hens moved in.  John is thinking omelettes.

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