A Holiday Season Greeting from LUM

A Letter from Joe Micon, LUM Executive Director

Ring in the valiant man and free, the larger heartthe kindlier hand;
Ring out the darkness of the land, Ring in the Christ that is to be.

Dear Friend, 

The Christmas poem “Ring Out, Wild Bells” was written by Alfred, Lord Tennyson 168 years ago in England – but it could have just as easily been written in the here and now.  

As a child from a large and impoverished family, Tennyson would have seen and experienced first-hand many of the ills of mid-19th century England that he writes about in his poem. His words are a social commentary about the prevailing political climate and inequality of his times. 

The poem cries out for social reform. Tennyson longed for the worst aspects of human nature to be corrected – for corruption, political ruthlessness, ambition, class barriers, poverty, and social inequality to be replaced by a more civil, caring, equal and compassionate society. 

I think the poem could have been written in the here and now because these are the same longings so many of us hold for our own time and place. It’s why so many of us have chosen to support the work of the Lafayette Urban Ministry. We know that through LUM we are contributing toward a more caring and compassionate community.

A collaboration of 47 local churches, LUM serves as a social safety net for children and families who are experiencing difficult times. During the past year, the Lafayette Urban Ministry served more than 5,100 families through one or another of our 22 programs. 

Two-hundred and forty-four at-risk youth learned and grew because of LUM’s 5th QuarterLUM Camp and Enhanced After School Program.

LUM’s Overnight Shelter continues to compassionately serve the chronically homeless in our community. LUM’s shelter and overnight winter warming station will serve more than 900 homeless individuals during 2018.

LUM’s Tax Preparation Programserved 552 low-income workers, returning to them $1 million in tax credits and refunds.          

LUM’s Good Samaritan Programserves up to 12 families each day – families that are in the throes of eviction, utility disconnects, health care or transportation emergencies. LUM has aided more than 2,000 such families so far this year.

Ring Out, Wild Bells

Ring out, wild bells, to the wild sky,
The flying cloud, the frosty light;
The year is dying in the night;
Ring out, wild bells, and let him die.

Ring out the old, ring in the new,
Ring, happy bells, across the snow:
The year is going, let him go;
Ring out the false, ring in the true.

Ring out the grief that saps the mind,
For those that here we see no more,
Ring out the feud of rich and poor,
Ring in redress to all mankind. 

Ring out a slowly dying cause,
And ancient forms of party strife;
Ring in the nobler modes of life,
With sweeter manners, purer laws.
Ring out the want, the care the sin,
The faithless coldness of the times;
Ring out, ring out my mournful rhymes,
But ring the fuller minstrel in. 

Ring out false pride in place and blood,
The civic slander and the spite;
Ring in the love of truth and right,
Ring in the common love of good.

Ring out old shapes of foul disease,
Ring out the narrowing lust of gold;
Ring out the thousand wars of old,
Ring in the thousand years of peace.

Ring in the valiant man and free,
The larger heart, the kindlier hand;
Ring out the darkness of the land,
Ring in the Christ that is to be.

By Alfred, Lord Tennyson

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