Category Archives: Lafayette Urban Ministry

Purdue Room Dedicated to Jim & Anna Davidson

Friends, Family & Colleagues Gather to Celebrate

Recently the Purdue University Department of Sociology hosted the grand opening of the conference room named in honor of Professor Emeritus Jim Davidson, PhD and his wife, Anna.

In addition to their family, friends and colleagues, many LUM friends attended including Joe Micon, LUM executive director. It was a grand celebration of two wonderful community leaders and educators. {Pictured L to R are professor of Sociology & department head, Linda Renzulli, PhD; Jim Davidson; and Ellen Elly, wife of the first LUM executive director, the Rev. Ron Elly.}

Professor Emeritus Jim Davidson, PhD has been active with LUM since the early 1970s. In 1976, Dr. Davidson published The Lafayette Urban Ministry: A Model for Urban Ministries and an Evaluation of LUM. His research, which was summarized in this report, used LUM as a model for urban ministries that engage local churches in social concerns and action, particularly of low income families. It included the model for urban ministries that was developed and proposed by the LUM Board of Directors in 1976. The Green Book, as it came to be known, has become legendary within Lafayette Urban Ministry and is still relevant and worth reading today.

Annual Chili Cook Off to Benefit LUM – Oct. 19

Hosted by Bindery Artist Studio & LaLa Gallery

Join us for the annual Chili Cook Off sponsored by the Bindery Artist Studio and LaLa Gallery. The event features chili tasting, giveaways for community participants, free activities for kids, LaLa Gallery chili bowl sale, clay projects and craft stations. And all proceeds will be donated to Lafayette Urban Ministry. Event details are as follows:

  • Date: NEXT Friday, October 19
  • Time: 6-8 p.m.
  • PlaceBindery Artist Studios, 511 Ferry Street, Lafayette
  • Admission: $5 for adults; FREE for children

Chili Cook Off attendees will vote for the “best chili.” The team with the most votes wins bragging rights and a prize package. If you make a great chili and would like to compete, please email or call Angela ( | 765-414-9762).

Episcopal Bishop Visits Local Churches

Meet Bishop Baskerville-Burrows THIS Sunday

Bishop Jennifer Baskerville-Burrows (Episcopal Diocese of Indianapolis) visited St. John’s Episcopal Church in Lafayette this past weekend to preside over Confirmation and visit with the church members and vestry. Joe Micon, LUM executive director, enjoyed this special day at St. John’s with the Bishop. {Pictured L to R: Nolie Parnell, LUM board member representing St. John’s; Joe Micon; The Rev. Dr. Bradley Pace, Rector at St. John’s; and Bishop Jennifer Baskerville-Burrows.}

Bishop Jennifer Baskerville-Burrows is from New York, and is a graduate of Smith College, Cornell University and the Church Divinity School of the Pacific. She has expertise in historic preservation and a passion for issues including gun violence, social justice, and racial and class reconciliation. She also maintains a focus in guiding others through spiritual direction. She was ordained and consecrated the 11th bishop of Indianapolis in April 2017, making her the first black woman to lead a diocese in the history of the Episcopal Church and the first woman to succeed another woman.

Bishop Jennifer Baskerville-Burrows will be visiting the Chapel of the Good Shepherd – the Episcopal Church at Purdue in West Lafayette THIS Sunday (October 14) at 10 a.m. The Rev. Peter Bunder, chaplain & vicar of Good Shepherd, welcomes you to attend the 10 a.m. service to hear from and meet Bishop Jennifer Baskerville-Burrows.

Spotlight on Jamie – Superstar LUM Volunteer

Collection of Items for LUM Emergency Shelter

Jamie Volom is a long-time overnight volunteer with the LUM Emergency Shelter. He has been volunteering for over six months and assists frequently with check-in, meals, clean up and just about anything that needs to be done. Jamie has a special affinity toward the shelter guests with addictions and has a scholarship go through training to be a certified addiction coach.

Recently Jamie noticed that the LUM shelter was running low on critical supplies like bleach, toilet paper, laundry detergent and paper towels. He asked permission from his church, Grace United Methodist Church, to share his LUM shelter volunteer experiences with his fellow church members and asked for donations of money and needed items. The response to his plea for donations was wildly successful (see picture above).

Thanks to Jamie Volom and the members of Grace United Methodist Church, the LUM Emergency Shelter is well stocked with paper goods, cleaning supplies, food, personal hygiene products, clothes & more.

If you, your church and/or organization are interested in making a donation or coordinating a collection drive to benefit the LUM Emergency Shelter or other LUM program, check out the LUM wish-list, click HERE.

Make a Donation Button
Donate to LUM

58 Days to LUM Jubilee Christmas

Make a Donation – Volunteer – Host Families

On Saturday, December 8, LUM Jubilee Christmas will host close to 700 local families at 27 different sites (mostly local churches) impacting over 1,500 children.

DONATE – monetary gifts are preferred but donations of new, unwrapped toys, clothing (newborn to 12-year-olds), and quilts/family blankets are also welcome. The Jubilee Christmas Donation Center will be open Monday, November 26 through Tuesday, December 4, weekdays from 1 – 5 p.m. (420 N 4th Street, Lafayette). To view the complete Jubilee Christmas wish-list, click HERE.

VOLUNTEER are also needed. URGENT NEED – This Monday, October 15, from 4-7:30 p.m. – Register families for Jubilee Christmas at the LUM Office. To sign up, click HERE. There are many other volunteer opportunities, especially for groups, in December and on Jubilee Christmas day (Dec. 8). To sign up, click HERE.

HOST – If your church or organization would like to host a Jubilee Christmas event this year, email or call 765-423-2691. To learn more about hosting, click HERE.

Pictured above is part of our Jubilee Christmas team — some of our Host Site Coordinators. God bless our hardworking and loving JC coordinators. They are truly the heart & soul of Jubilee Christmas each year. If you see them, please thank them for all they do for the children in our community during this Christmas season.

| Make a Donation | Volunteer | Donate Toys |

Thank you and Merry Christmas!

Make a Donation Button
Jubilee Christmas

LUM Solar Energy Project – Progress Report

New LUM Roof — Going Solar & Saving Money

Lafayette Urban Ministry has begun a project to bring solar energy to the office building at 420 N 4th Street, downtown Lafayette. Thanks to a $34,900 grant from The Community Foundation of Greater Lafayette, LUM was able to begin the first phase of the LUM Solar Energy Project — replacing the current roof with a new steel roof. Other monies have already been secured from the LUM Campaign for the Future Fund ($20,000) and two anonymous donors ($2,500). Thank you, Community Foundation!

The steel roof installation will be completed by the weekend, and then a solar energy system (35.710 kW) will be installed. In addition to the environmental benefits of going solar, the saving will potentially be $6,618 per year. This total includes the savings from the reduction in energy needed as well as revenue from trading Solar Renewable Energy Credits. This money will be re-invested in LUM programs & services in support of local families.

The entire project should be completed by January 1, 2019. If you would be interested in making a capital gift to the LUM Solar Energy Project, please email Joe Micon (

{Pictured L to R from Advanced Exteriors of Otterbein: Derek Wolfe and Dustin Helterban, owner. For more photos, click HERE.}

Make a Donation Button
Donate to LUM

Too Much is Apparently Not Enough

Growing Income Inequality in Indiana and Across the Country

By Rob Krasa, LUM Intern

The gap between the 1% and the rest of the country continues to grow.  While our state falls somewhat behind the pace of the country as a whole in terms of the ever-growing increase in income inequality, the average income of Indiana’s top 1% is still more than seventeen times that of the average income of the entire remaining 99%.  In addition, in comparison to the rest of the states over the last decade, Indiana has seen some of the highest growth in income inequality when comparing the wealthiest 20% to the rest of the population.  Indiana’s middle class has seen the 5th largest decline in their share of total income across the state during that time period as well, coinciding with a recent loss of nearly 5% of the state’s manufacturing jobs – one of the largest such declines across the country.  Hoosiers who experience the far less prosperous end of these discrepancies face steep barriers to resources and opportunities readily available to those with a stronger financial foothold, including adequate health care, educational opportunities, easy access to basic needs, and stable places to call home.  Educating ourselves and each other about income equality at home and across the country – this being the first in a series of articles on issues surrounding wages and income – is the first step toward making substantive changes that can really make a difference.

Relevant policy change on local, state, and federal levels alike becomes more and more difficult to achieve for those who would benefit from it the most.  Money talks, and more often than not, politicians listen. The few and wealthy are far more able to make their voices heard in the political arena on account of the power and influence represented by their financial capital than the vast majority who do not hold such wealth.  Couple this with the fact that a disproportionate amount of non-voters fall into a family income range below $30,000 annually, and the result is often a disadvantaged, underrepresented, and disenfranchised majority who are caught between a rock and a hard place by policies supported by the wealthy minority.  

When income inequality grows, opportunities and resources for those on the lower end of the income spectrum tend to become more sparse.  Health care and nutrition are a glaring example.  Not only do those making lower incomes face barriers accessing and paying for proper health care coverage and services, but nutritional challenges contribute to these health care problems as well.  Due to much less freedom and flexibility in choosing where they live, over 16% of Hoosiers live in areas known as food deserts – parts of cities and rural areas where there is no easy access to nutritional food options, and where the food options that are available frequently come at a higher cost.  As a result, rates of nutrition-related diagnoses and complications, such as diabetes, heart disease, and many others are higher in those with lower incomes.  Conditions related to obesity like these in turn raise health care costs in America by almost $150 billion annually, which averages out to nearly $1500 per person – a cost that most cannot readily absorb.  Those living below the federal poverty line are ultimately twice as likely to die from diabetes, for example, and one study estimates that nearly 4,500 fewer Hoosiers overall would die each year if everyone statewide had equal access to health care resources.

Educational opportunities which can help people improve their financial standing become more difficult to engage as well.  This can be attributed at least in part to influence in policy by the wealthy – educational programs and support tend to come at least in significant part from public funding sources, and as the influence of the wealthy on political decision making gets stronger, funding and policy in support of such programs tends to decrease. Societies with wide income disparity like ours tend to have a lower overall education level on average, but a relatively higher number of educational elites than societies with more equally distributed income.  Income inequality not only creates resource disparity, but perpetuates a society of intellectual haves and have-nots which only reinforces the power of the wealthy.

On top of all of these concerns, it is important to remember that years and years of income inequality helps those with high incomes consolidate their assets and power.  Not only is there such a gulf in average incomes, but the inequality of wealth – a measure of total consolidated assets and net worth as opposed to how much money comes into a household in a given time – is even more egregious, and has consistently become more so since the 1980s.  The top 10% in America hold about 78% of the total wealth in the nation.  When invested and manipulated, “money makes money,” which only leads one to conclude that the problem perpetuates itself with very little effort.  Those who have accumulated such wealth, and who receive such high incomes, have the capital to keep expanding these gaps year after year, especially in the wake of the recent passing of the tax bill supported by Trump and the GOP, which cuts taxes for corporations and the country’s highest individual earners while raising taxes for nearly half of the country in the next ten years. A concerted effort to raise the minimum wage significantly not only here in Indiana but across the country is necessary to begin to balance the distribution of this wealth and bring us us at least closer to bridging the income gap.

These facts and figures can be uncomfortable and discouraging, but the best solution is to take action.  Continue to educate yourself and others regarding the wide-ranging impacts of income inequality. Support one another, by directly helping family and neighbors or by giving and volunteering when and where you can.  Learn not only about federal political races but certainly those on a state and local level, and find out what candidates are saying or planning to do about the causes and effects of income inequality. Speak out and support policy changes, such as supporting the introduction of a bill in the upcoming 2019 General Assembly session to raise the minimum wage in Indiana. The introduction of bills for this session has already begun; there’s no better time to take action than now.  And by all means, vote. Vote in all elections, whether local, federal, primary, or general. One fact stands above all others we’ve examined: the 99% will always outnumber the 1% as long as we make sure our voices are heard.

  1. The new gilded age: Income inequality in the U.S. by state, metropolitan area, and county.
  2. Economic disparity: 10 States where the middle class is being left behind.
  3. The Party of Nonvoters.
  4. Indiana Healthy Food Access Coalition.
  5. County Health Rankings & Roadmaps.
  6. A Guide to Statistics on Historical Trends in Income Inequality.

Remembering the Greatest Jumper in Olympic History

Annual Commemoration of Raymond Clarence Ewry

On the 81st anniversary of his passing (September 29), Ray Ewry, the greatest jumper in Olympic history,was remembered for his athletic achievements as well as his career in the field of mechanical & civil engineering. There was a short commemoration, including the laying of 10 yellow roses at his grave marker — one rose for each Olympic gold medal he earned in jumping events.

{Pictured L to R: Joe Micon, LUM executive director; Judith & Dick Leill; and Indiana State Representative Sheila Klinker.}

Lafayette native and Jefferson High & Purdue graduate, Ray Ewry was diagnosed with polio at age seven, eventually recovering, going on to be an engineer and Olympic gold medalist. To read more about Ray Ewry, click HERE.

  • To read more about Ray Ewry, click HERE.
  • PHOTOS – To view photos of Ray Ewry, click HERE.

New LUM Klinker-Alting Family Advocacy Intern

Meet Angela Weaver – New LUM Intern

Angela grew up in Wheatfield, Indiana and graduated from Kankakee Valley High School. She and her husband, Kyle Brown, currently live in West Lafayette with their beagle, Bailey. Angela & Kyle grew up together and are both students at Purdue.

She will complete her degree in three years this May with a bachelor’s in Law & Society. After she graduates, Angela plans on working in advocacy within Indiana government.

At LUM, Angela is an intern with the Campaign for Hoosier Families.

Make a Donation Button
Social Justice Ministry