Archives for posts with tag: Urban Mission Center

Yesterday morning several Salvation Army leaders gathered in the first floor front room of 2753 Arsenal.  For Gail and me, that’s a two minute walk from our home.  For others it meant a few hours of driving from Peoria, Chicago, Kansas City.

Urbana Temple Houses

This is vintage (2009).  The first promo material put together by Steve Diaz and John Aho.  Temple Houses have grown and developed but it all started with this.

We came together to share about the experience of life together in the missional community we call Temple Houses.  TH is one part of the Urban Mission Center based in St Louis.  The Center prepares missional leaders for the Urban Millennium.  This takes place in opportunities for formation here in our St Louis Benton Park West neighborhood.  Gail and Sara are also part of a team developing the distance-learning component for Olivet Nazarene University‘s urban ministry program.

Yesterday inaugurated the Center’s first innovators forum.  We expected five or six individuals.  17 came together for six hours of presentation and discussion.

With coffee and John’s Donuts Sara started with a virtual tour of Benton Park West neighborhood. She used the six postures for missional living, a model Jon Huckins has taught us and found in his book Thin Places.  Then, questions about the nuts and bolts of creating and sustaining our particular Temple House community.  Sara did a fine job of leading us through the day, and feeding us; she makes a great chili.

Gail and I walked home and talked.  What next?  We agreed that it will be seen in Peoria, Chicago, Kansas City and other cities as God’s people find innovative ways to join His mission in this amazing Urban Millennium.

So, what is the Urban Millennium?


Sometimes it’s Fritos.  Sometimes it’s Cheetos.  Doritos, always in third place.

This evening when I saw the photo of Kierra and John S. serving at a Salvation Army canteen counter, my eyes voted Cheetos.  Tonight I feel more cheesy than freezy.

Here’s the photo and a few words from the Urban Mission Center about a Ferguson experience last August for Temple House folks.  BTW, I do miss John S. who’s back in Colorado before his next urban adventure.  Dr. Who.UMC logo

If you haven’t seen yet here’s a set of photos from last Sunday’s graffiti at the KFC in Ferguson.

Last Sunday a small group of young adults was quietly at work in Ferguson MO.

December 1 2014 004

Several of our folks from Temple Houses in Benton Park West spent most of Sunday performing authorized graffiti at the boarded up Kentucky Fried Chicken.

Nov 2014 in Ferguson (5)

I like this creative framing of the drive-up window.  Is that Banksy inspired?

Nov 2014 in Ferguson (3)

Sir Gabriel, Elysia, Charlene and Cheryl.  They joined others in this creative window of opportunity.  To help turn anxiety into hope.

December 1 2014 003

December 1 2014 001

Temple Houses is a missional community of young adults living in St Louis’ Benton Park West neighborhood.  They serve together as part of The Salvation Army’s Urban Mission Center.  Since August they have been serving in various ways in Ferguson.  Next month they will be learning at Urban Youth and The Leaders Who Love Them.  You are welcome to join them for this workshop at the Temple Corps, 2740 Arsenal Street, St Louis MO.

BTW, Gail and I are headed for a home on Arsenal Street.  We patiently sit with our packing boxes.  Hope sometime this spring to be in Temple Houses.  We are a little bit older than the TH community but they are making an exception for us.

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.


I am riding northbound on I-55 to my next destination. Got some time on this Monday afternoon.

Last Friday official approval was given for the Urban Mission Center in St Louis. As it is with any process demanding careful planning and count-the-cost questions, it took time. But enough planning and answering has taken place. Gail now is excited.

Gail gives oversight for the UMC. Sara Johnson serves as UMC Director of Program and Recruitment. Gail, what’s your title?

She grinned. She’s not sure. Maybe Director of “find the money”. Gail’s driving. I’m riding. I-55 northbound.

September 5-6 will be the Design Days for the UMC. A group of design-type people (I get to be part of it) will gather in the Temple Corps building on Arsenal Street. Two presenters from Leadership Network, Alan Roxburgh and Craig Van Gelder, will lead us in two days of design.

The drive north today is remarkably comfortable. My window’s open. Upper 70s and dry air. Feels good. Summer in St Louis, where is thy humidity? Where is thy heat?

September may not be too hot, humid. It may be a good month to listen, talk, think. Design a center for urban mission. For Salvation Army people and others who want to be of use in this yet fresh Urban Millennium.


Check out the just created website for our Urban Mission Center in St Louis.

Also make sure to check out about the upcoming Weekend Intensive on Missional Leadership taking place at the UMC September 5-6.

We were in town today.  We attended Sunday meetings on both sides of the river.

This morning we were with our home corps in East St Louis IL.  Next door to the Salvation Army building on 16th Street is the Home of the Way-Bigga Burger.   next door to the corps bldg  November 2013

Lieutenant AJ Zachery leads our Sunday school.  The Lieutenant is holding a photo of a zebra.  Is it essentially black or white?  The lesson was on difficult questions and specifically on the question posed Jesus in Luke 20:29-39.  Our class is cross-generational meaning children and adults meet together.  It can be a challenge but we enjoy the class.  In the lower left corner you can see my bowl.  Frosted Flakes and fruit were offered today.  I had two bowls.

Tonight, I came with Gail to her meeting in St Louis with the Temple House young adults.  Gail leads this weekly Sunday evening group which is reading and discussing Life Together by Dietrich Bonhoeffer.  It’s part of establishing community life as these young men and women prepare for the urban mission center in the Benton Park West neighborhood.  Tonight’s discussion about community dealt with the contrast between the ideal and the divine reality.

So, that was our day.

AJ Zachery leading S school  November 2013


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