Using Your Unique Gifts


I encourage you to research the inspiring story of Jennie Hodgers. Born December 25, 1843 in Clogher Head Ireland, she immigrated to the United States with her family in 1859 and in 1862 enlisted in the 95th Illinois Infantry as a man named Albert Cashier.



Cashier fought the entire Civil War, being present in 40 engagements. His regiment suffered 289 casualties. During the siege of Vicksburg, he was captured by the confederates but managed to escape by grabbing a guard’s rifle and knocking him senseless. After the war, Cashier lived the remaining 50 years of his life as a man. He received a military pension and lived as a veteran at the Sailor’s and Soldier’s Home in Quincy, Illinois. The staff at the home kept his original gender identity secret even after they eventually discovered the truth.


As we begin a new year of ministry together at LUM, we can learn an important lesson from Albert Cashier’s story.

Each moment for him was a calculated risk, somehow worth it all just to be able to commit to a cause greater than himself. One can’t help but admire his particular profile in courage. During this unprecedented period of change and fear in our nation, what are the calculated risks you and I are willing to take in order to make our community a safer, more healthy place for all of its children and families?

  • If you are a LUM volunteer, might you be able to contribute a few extra hours, or perhaps bring a friend to help too?
  • If you are a member of the LUM staff, might this be the time to advocate for growth or improvements in your programs?
  • If you are a member of the LUM board of directors, how might you step out just a little further in faith to advance the mission of LUM?
  • If you are a LUM donor, might you commit to continuing, or perhaps even increasing, your important financial support of LUM and all that happens here?

You have done so very much already. The pages of this annual report are a glowing testament to that. How appreciative I am for your special friendship and generous support of all the good that goes on here at LUM.


How aware I am of the challenges that lie ahead for us.

Albert Cashier, in his own unique and courageous way, helped to bend the long arc of our nation’s history toward justice. In the coming year, may we engage anew in that important work, using our unique gifts, to love more kindly, act more justly and to walk more humbly with our God and all those he calls us to faithfully serve.


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The 2016 LUM Annual Report is available to review, click HERE. Stop by the LUM office if you would like a paper copy.


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