Category Archives: Board of Directors

LUM Staff Educate Board – Pizza & Perspectives


LUM Program Director Panel Discussion


As a part of the on-going training of the LUM Board of Directors, each quarter their meeting features a program called “Pizza & Perspectives.” At last week’s board meeting, the Pizza & Perspectives program included a panel discussion featuring four LUM program directors. The panel participants (pictured L to R) are as follows:

During this panel discussion board members learned how the LUM Mission is being executed on the “front lines.” The panelists gave brief summaries of their areas including current client needs, new initiatives, issues, and future opportunities. This was chance for board members to ask questions of the staff who work with clients & volunteers every day and are fully engaged in serving the families and children in our community.

Pizza & Perspectives was a lively and informative event leaving the LUM board members feeling better informed and energized.


To view more photos from the Pizza & Perspectives program, click HERE.

LUM Board & Staff Call for Reunion of Children & Parents


Calling for a Quick Reunion of
Children & Parents held in US Detention Centers

Lafayette Urban Ministry is committed to touching the future by helping children and their families in the here and now. That is why we join our voice with US and world faith leaders in opposition to the cruel separation of families and children seeking refuge along the US border with Mexico.

We reject the allegations that the children and adults seeking refuge from economic privation, violence, and political turmoil – seeking peace and a new home in our country – are criminals.

We reject the misuse of Romans 13 by Attorney General Sessions and White House Press Secretary Sanders to justify reprehensible actions.

Many more scripture passages insist on helping the immigrant, the sojourner, the poor, and those in need of aid. We rejoice that President Trump changed direction today and has reversed his destructive policy of separating asylum-seeking parents from their children.

We pray his administration will move quickly to reunite children held in detention centers with their families and establish a more humane and just system to assist those seeking asylum and refuge in our nation.


“And the King will answer them ‘Truly I tell you, just as you did it to one of the least of these who are members of my family, you did it to me.'”

Matt 25:40, NRSV



LUM Finances – Very Positive Report for 2017


Financial Report & Audit 2017 Available Online


At the June meeting of the LUM executive council, associates from Edward Opperman Certified Public Accountants presented an overview of the LUM Report on Audit of Financial Statements (Dec. 31, 2017 & 2016). Presenting were the two CPAs who prepared the report and most recent tax return, Edward Opperman & Thomas Faust (pictured far right). Opperman stated that

“LUM is financially strong. There is zero long-term debt — and a good balance between operating revenue and expenses managed by a very professional business office staff who keep clear records of fiscal transactions. Most encouraging is that LUM is spending money on programs & services that are in line with its mission statement and less on overhead.”

Opperman shared that

“LUM’s finances are in very good order and would be the envy of any non-profit organization.”

Thanks to the vision and leadership of the LUM Board of Directors, executive director and business office staff, as well as the generous support of LUM’s many financial donors, Lafayette Urban Ministry has established a history of having a strong & stable budget allowing its vital programs and services to adapt and grow with the needs of the children and families in our community.


If you wish to review the most recent LUM reports, click on the name of the report:

Former LUM Board Member – New Dean at Notre Dame


Dr. Sarah A. Mustillo, department chair and professor of sociology at the University of Notre Dame, has recently been appointed the Dean of the College of Arts and Letters at the University of Notre Dame. Read more.

Until her transition from Purdue to Notre Dame in 2014, Sarah was a long-time LUM Board Member and often offered her expertise as a sociologist to understanding and addressing the issues facing LUM.

She and her family were members of St. Thomas Aquinas and were strong advocates and supporters of the annual Hunger Hike fundraiser.

As dean, she will lead Notre Dame’s largest and oldest college, comprising 20 departments and more than 550 faculty members. Please join us in congratulating Sarah for her new appointment as dean at her alma mater, Notre Dame.

Congratulations, Dean Mustillo.

In Memoriam – Dale Bough & Joe Wippel


Valued LUM Board Leaders

In February, two valued leaders and long-time friends of Lafayette Urban Ministry passed away — Dale E. Bough & Joseph F. Wippel.


Dale Bough of West Lafayette was a valued leader and long-time volunteer with LUM, serving several years as a member of the LUM Board of Directors and as the president on the LUM Executive Council in 2009.

Dale was an active member of Federated Church, West Lafayette. Our thoughts & prayers are with his wife, Maxine, and his children — Jenifer, Paul & Sabine — and his entire family. View obiturary.


Joe Wipple of Lafayette was a valued leader and long-time volunteer with LUM, serving several years as a member of the LUM Board of Directors and serving as an officer on the LUM Executive Council from 2000 – 2005.

Joe was an active member of St. Boniface Catholic Church, Lafayette. Our thoughts & prayers are with his children — Cynthia, Teresa, Penny, Stellia, Heather, Jeffrey, Scott & Robert — and his entire family. View obituary.


Their leadership and service to the children, families, hungry & homeless at Lafayette Urban Ministry as well as to our entire community will not soon be forgotten.

Joe Micon, LUM executive director, shared that

“Dale lovingly built all the ‘cubbies’ used by the children in the LUM After School and 5th Quarter Programs. Dale and Joe were close friends spending many years together delivery bed sheets to the LUM shelter and food to the St. John’s/LUM Food Pantry. Surely, if there is a pick-up truck in Heaven, Joe and Dale are back together, hard at work!”


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LUM Staff Retreat 2018


Recently, the staff members of Lafayette Urban Ministry participated in a daylong “retreat” at Hanging Rock Christian Assembly Camp, West Lebanon.

The main retreat topics for discussion were LUM Volunteers and the LUM Social Justice Ministry including the Campaign for Hoosier Families as well as the LUM Immigration Clinic. Overall, it was a very productive day filled with lively discussion allowing everyone to give input resulting in great ideas for serving volunteers and clients better in all of the LUM program areas.

Additionally the retreat gave the LUM staff an opportunity to learn more about each other — creating a stronger, more effective team. By the end of the day, everyone was refreshed and motivated to be more effective in their work with clients, guests, volunteers, children/students & families.

Thanks to Hanging Rock Christian Assembly Camp for hosting the retreat.

Picture above L to R — Row 1: Kaitlyn Hettinger, Saidie Spikes, Gayle Koning, Susan Brouillette, Linda Hicks; Row 2: Fanesta Williams, Tricia Sembroski, Joe Micon, Connie Kepner Davis, Tiffany Finch-King; Row 3: Danny Pillott, Amanda Bajzatt, Connie Decker, Nate Gick, David Heckert, Josh Prokopy, Ben Murphy; not pictured: Pablo Malavenda. To view more photos, click HERE.

Annual Report 2017 – Lafayette Urban Ministry


A Letter from Joe Micon, LUM Executive Director

How pleased we are to present to you, on the front cover of the 2017 Annual Report, “A Prayer for LUM.” It was recently written and shared with me by Dr. James Davidson and the Rev. Don Nead. Along with LUM’s first Executive Director Rev. Ron Elly and Dr. Thomas Hull, Davidson and Nead were instrumental in the early formation and development of LUM.

These four LUM “Dream Team” members knew then, that in order for LUM to grow and to have a positive impact in the lives of the needy in our community, it must become a place that seamlessly integrates both the spiritual and social aspects of our Christian faith. As LUM begins its 46th year of ministry to at-risk families and children in our community, how powerful it is for us to receive Jim and Don’s prayerful expression of why it is that LUM is here.

The Rev. Clementa Pinckney, who lost his life in June of 2015 along with eight members of his congregation at Mother Emanuel Church in Charleston, South Carolina, once shared in a sermon that “Our calling is not just within the walls of the congregation, but in the life & community in which our congregation resides.”

In eulogizing Rev. Pinckney, President Obama shared that Pinckney’s faith demanded that he perform deeds along with preaching words; that the sweet hour of prayer is supposed to last all week long; that putting faith into action is about more than just individual salvation, it is about our collective salvation; that to feed the hungry, clothe the naked and house the homeless is not just a call for isolated charity, but the imperative of a just society.

In the pages of this Annual Report, I hope you will look beyond all the data and dollars, as impressive as they are, to the deep reservoir of communal faith from which these things flow. I hope you gain a sense of what it is that motivates us as LUM donors, volunteers, staff and board members, to accomplish all the many works of charity and social justice that happen here.

At LUM’s board meeting last month, board secretary Joan Low (Greater Lafayette Stake LDS) shared a story about Dr. King’s final words. As far as anyone knows, the last thing Martin Luther King, Jr. said as he leaned over the balcony of the Lorraine Motel in Memphis was to saxophonist Ben Branch. “Ben, be sure you play my favorite song tonight, ‘Precious Lord.’ Play it real pretty.”

Precious Lord, take my hand
Lead me on, let me stand
I’m tired, I’m weak, I’m lone
Through the storm, through the night
Lead me on to the light
Take my hand precious Lord,
Lead me home.

LUM’s work is often difficult. Staff members work long hours. Volunteers always wish they could do more for those we serve. Decisions have to be made every day about how to best allocate limited resources. It is in the midst of these difficulties that so many of us at LUM draw upon our reservoir of faith to help lighten the load.

“Thank you” Jim Davidson and Don Nead for sharing your “Prayer for LUM” and for reminding us yet again of LUM’s mission and what motivates us to accomplish it.

My deepest gratitude to each of you – LUM’s donors, volunteers, staff and board members – for expressing your faith through your special involvement in and support of the Lafayette Urban Ministry.


The 2017 LUM Annual Report is available to review, click HERE.


LUM Mission Statement

Poverty is the greatest thief.

More than depriving a neighbor of food or shelter or warmth, it steals away hope.
While other thieves may take away
the past, poverty steals the future and self-respect.

Lafayette Urban Ministry is in the business of restoring human dignity.

Through voluntary efforts and contributions we give back the hope, the future, and the self respect which all God’s people need and deserve.

Ours is a Christian ministry that welcomes congregations and
people of all faiths.

We give witness to God’s saving
love & prophetic power by
loving neighbors, seeking justice,
empowering the least among us, and renewing the Church’s social ministry.


The 2017 LUM Annual Report is available to review, click HERE.


In 2017, Lafayette Urban Ministry served 5,166 households and more than 3,000 individuals volunteered in a LUM program. Over 1,600 individuals, churches, civic organizations, foundations or local businesses contributed financially to our work.

Please read the LUM Annual Report —learn the facts and figures—and see what your special friendship and generous support has accomplished and how many children and families were served. Then, take a moment to reflect upon what it was about LUM that evoked feeling in you this year.

Thanks again for a terrific 2017 — you’ve made our community a stronger, safer, more fair and just place for everyone.


To read the entire LUM Annual Report including a letter from the executive director, click HERE. Stop by the LUM office if you would like a paper copy.


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LUM Annual Report 2017

The 2017 LUM Annual Report is available to review, click HERE.


In 2017, Lafayette Urban Ministry served 5,166 households and more than 3,000 individuals volunteered in a LUM program. Over 1,600 individuals, churches, civic organizations, foundations or local businesses contributed financially to our work.

Please read the LUM Annual Report —learn the facts and figures—and see what your special friendship and generous support has accomplished and how many children and families were served. Then, take a moment to reflect upon what it was about LUM that evoked feeling in you this year.

Thanks again for a terrific 2017 — you’ve made our community a stronger, safer, more fair and just place for everyone.


To read the entire LUM Annual Report including a letter from the executive director, click HERE. Stop by the LUM office if you would like a paper copy.


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Meet the New LUM Board Officers


LUM is governed by a Board of Directors — made up of one representative from each member church plus a few appointed individuals from specific community groups. The LUM board meets each month, overseeing and directing policy decisions, fiscal matters, and programming issues, ensuring that LUM continues to fulfill its vital mission to the community. It is led by an eight member executive council.



Best wishes and congratulations to the outgoing 2017 LUM Board of Directors. A special thank you to the incoming 2018 Executive Council members (pictured L to R above), who are as follows:

  • Mark Thomas, President, Chapel of the Good Shepherd
  • Ashley Bonnes, Vice President, Lafayette Christian Reformed Church
  • Susie Riley, Treasurer, Trinity United Methodist Church
  • Joan Low, Secretary, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
  • Cheryl Fowler, Facilities, Unitarian Universalist Church of Tippecanoe County
  • Marilyn Zerbes, Personnel, At Large
  • Patty Useem, Program, Planning & Evaluation, Federated Church
  • Joe Micon, Executive Director, Lafayette Urban Ministry

The individuals leading the Lafayette Urban Ministry are passionate, hard working and talented — it’s going to be another successful year!


LUM Board & Staff Condemn Hate & Racism


Lafayette Urban Ministry Condemns Hate Banners,
Supports Unitarian Universalist Church Congregation
in West Lafayette

The 46 member-church board and 25 member staff of the Lafayette Urban Ministry condemn, in the strongest terms, the hate banners found at the Unitarian Universalist Church of Tippecanoe County in West Lafayette yesterday morning.

We deplore the ideology behind them and the hatred manifest in them. White supremacy must find no sanction or shelter in our community.

We grieve that this incident is the latest in a growing number of racist actions in our community, including desks arranged into a swastika at an Honors College learning space at Purdue, White Nationalist posters spread across campus, confederate flags paraded around our community in pickup truck convoys and Klan recruitment posters distributed in downtown Lafayette.

We also give thanks for the moral witness given by the members and leadership of the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship and support their right to congregate in peace without fear and intimidation and to speak out for civil rights, racial, economic and environmental justice for all members of our community, state and nation.

Finally, we commend West Lafayette Mayor John Dennis for quickly and proactively speaking out against the hatred visited upon the Unitarian Universalist Church and our entire community. We call upon all of our community’s university, government and church leaders to strongly, and in no uncertain terms, denounce racism and white supremacy.


But let justice roll down like waters,
and righteousness like an ever-flowing stream.

Amos 5:24, NRSV