Archives for posts with tag: Urbana

Our table at Cracker Barrel this New Years Day morning.  Urbana 12 in St Louis closed at midnight.  Headed back to Chicago we stopped for breakfast.

Cracker Barrel New Years Day breakfast

Gail’s purty smart.  Enjoying my grits I watched her leave only two tees in the game board.

Yesterday in the America’s Center Gail also talked with the youth ministry department head of a small Christian college in Ohio.  The professor is interested in the Good Soil Initiative sponsored by The Salvation Army.  GSI is in the process of placing youth development workers throughout the Midwest.  This professor is seeing possibilities for his students finding their place in GSI.Good soil initiative

GSI hopes to create a good fit of youth development workers in underserved communities.  That’s practically anyplace you find a Salvation Army corps.

Throughout the week Urbana delegates stopped by exhibit 617 to find out about GSI, Servant House, Temple Houses, STOP-IT, Promise Initiative, mission trips, camps.  And about Salvation Army.  2,000 of those delegates are also now wearing bright red Salvation Army scarves.  Many more stopped by to ask questions and learn a little more about us and our mission of preaching the gospel and meeting human needs.

We have hope that we’ve sown good soil at Urbana 12.


Majors Bill and Sue Dunigan were back in the Midwest, this time on duty at Urbana 12.  They spoke to delegates about Salvation Army opportunities in urban ministry and particularly about the Servant House which they have opened in Camden NJ.

Dunigans New Years Day 2013This morning in St Louis I took this picture of Bill with son Matt as they were loading their minivan for the drive back east.  It’s always great to be with the Dunigans and we wish them the best as they pioneer another urban ministry initiative.

Last night Bill shared about the need for self-care of urban missioners.  Ministry is always stressful but even more so when in urban settings.  Bill takes time to be outdoors, biking and hiking.  Solitude restores balance to his life.  Bill and Sue live right where they serve in Camden.  Some people call it incarnational.  It’s the kind of intense ministry living that requires time apart and away from its demands.


I am now sitting in the parking lot for a few moments before the final hours of exhibit 617 at Urbana 12.

John just told me that our Salvation Army delegates put away close to a hundred pizzas and a mountain of salad at lunch today. They ate at the St Louis Temple Corps building as part of a kindred session. Temple produced the lunches this week for these young adults from across the USA. Served by yours truly out of the back of a minivan.

Cold. Tired. Young people have had an exhausting schedule.

I am a runner. Gone out only a couple times this week. Early in the morning. Yet dark. But I see them, indistinguishable, other than they are homeless human forms. Men? Women? Can’t tell.

But they are human. Just like the tired hungry young adults who want to learn how to be of some use in this world God so loves.

It is grey, wet. Cold in St Louis. A new year enters in a few hours. It’s events indistinguishable in a new year’s dawn.


Buses arriving soon to take Salvation Army delegates to the place their lunches are made. This is today’s setting at the America’s Center



Majors Bill and Sue Dunigan have been at Urbana 12 working at exhibit 617. They head up the Servant House in Camden NJ and are looking for people to come live with them there in that inner city neighborhood.

It’s a rough place. In need of those who have an adventurous spirit, love God and want to serve others.

Stop by and talk with Bill and Sue.


A still life from the lunch boy


I’m in my lunch position with turkey wraps and Greek yogurt for today’s lunch to Salvation Army delegates to the Urbana 12 conference here in St Louis, corner of 7th Street and Convention Plaza.


About an hour ago I had a few moments to take a look at the new Salvation Army Residence for veterans on Locust Street. It’s right behind the historic Harbor Light on Washington just east of SLU.

Affordable housing has become a significant part of the Army’s mission in St Louis. ‘workforce housing’ meaning a place to rent that matches my income. That’s justice in action.



We got our act together yesterday afternoon at exhibit 617 here in the America’s Center.  Urbana 12 is underway in St Louis.

30,000?  That’s the number people say are registered at this conference on missions.  Intervarsity, the evangelical and interdenominational campus ministry, sponsors the Urbana conference every three years.  It is impressive to see thousands of young adults gathered like this.  Especially at the evening plenary sessions held in the adjoining Jones Dome.

My role this week won’t allow me to check on the specific urban poverty workshops and speakers.  I may get in the evening plenary sessions.  But for most of the morning I’ve been failing at getting access to the exhibit hall so I can deliver a piece of equipment to 617.  Sitting here and waiting til I can sneak in.


Got in.  As he walks by young Daniel Paredes (Oakbrook Terrace Corps) spots us waiting in the hallway.  One of those chance meetings midst thousands.  Finished with his bachelors in biblical studies Daniel is now checking out seminaries, and has an interest in counseling.  He is a people-helping person.

20121228-143219.jpgKenneth and Lance from Detroit were next in the crowd.  Kenneth they refer to as ‘Mr. Jones’ at Detroit Harding Corps.  With a grin he told me it’s okay.  Just ‘Kenneth’ here.


One of my Urbana assignments is lunch boy.  I pick up 150 sack lunches, set up shop in front of the Jones Dome and deliver them to the Salvation Army delegates.  Here’s the lunch prep crew at St Louis Temple.  Today it was chicken salad croissants, Sun Chips, peanut butter cookies, an orange and a juice pouch.

Urban lunch crew at St Louis Temple


St Louis Temple is surrounded by Temple Houses:

Urbana Temple Houses

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