50th Anniversary Reflection from Joe Micon

LUM Executive Director Emeritus | 1990 – 2020

Happy 50th Anniversary to all in our LUM family! As a community of difference makers, it is important to take at least a short time out to reflect upon this remarkable milestone. It is important to celebrate because for 50 years we have lifted up the needy in our community. We have helped low-income families to be economically stable and at-risk children to attain brighter futures. We have welcomed the immigrant stranger and enabled those who are hungry and homeless to know compassion and self worth.  

But for LUM, it has always been about more than charity. It has also been about justice. We have always believed that the two are inextricably linked and that our charity is only a waystation on the road to justice for those we serve. So along with celebrating our Good Samaritan work, food pantries and Emergency Shelter, LUM celebrates the accomplishment of fairer public assistance guidelines, a more progressive state tax code, and tireless progress toward racial equality. Along with Jubilee Christmas, LUM Camp and our After School Program, we celebrate public policy victories for textbook assistance for Indiana public school children, free breakfasts for hungry children in our state’s public schools, and the implementation of the WIC nutrition program for low-income mothers and their infant children.

LUM has always believed that while charity provides crumbs from the table, it is justice that offers a place at the table. We work toward a society that has more justice, because it becomes a society that needs less charity. In the mid 1800s the Rev. Theodore Parker asked us to: Look at the facts of the world. You see a continual and progressive triumph of that which is right. I do not pretend to understand the moral universe, the arc is a long one, my eye reaches but little ways. I cannot calculate the curve and complete the figure by the experience of sight; I can divine it by conscience. But from what I see, I am sure it bends towards justice.

Congratulations LUM on 50 years of bending the arc. Here’s to another 50 years of loving neighbors, seeking justice, empowering the least among us and renewing the church’s social ministry!

From 1980 to 1989, Joe Micon directed the LUM Advocate, Jubilee Christmas, Repairs on Wheels and Social Justice Programs. He was the LUM Camp director for 40 years (1980-2020) and the LUM executive director from 1990 to 2020. Under his leadership, the annual budget grew from $278,790 to $1,174,49518 more churches joined the board, staff increased from eight to 28, the LUM Ray Ewry Center opened, the LUM capital campaign raised close to $2.8 million, and 12 new programs began, including the After School Program5th Quarter Summer Learning Program, Immigration Clinic, Tax Assistance Program and Winter Warming Station. Joe was the first social worker elected to the Indiana General Assembly, serving two terms from 2004 to 2008. Since retiring from LUM, he serves as one of four Commissioners appointed to the Indiana State Lobbyist Commission and is a member of the Ascension St. Vincent’s Hospital Williamsport Board of Directors. Along with his wife Jo, Joe operates a small cow/calf farm in Warren County. He cherishes time together with family and friends, enjoys honing his newfound drone piloting skills and hitting the open road in the RV! To read more about Joe Micon, click HERE.

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