Tag Archives: Christmas

Wishing You ‘Amazing Peace’ This Christmas

A Letter from Joe Micon, LUM Executive Director

In our joy, we think we hear a whisper. At first it is too soft. Then only half heard. We listen carefully as it gathers strength. We hear a sweetness.
The word is Peace.
It is loud now. It is louder. Louder than the explosion of bombs.


Dear Friend, 

It was during the lighting of the National Christmas Tree in 2005 that Dr. Maya Angelou first shared her poem Amazing Peace. 

As one of the most renowned and influential voices of our time, Angelou’s words beckon us to contemplate a world of peace during a season of peace. She wrote that, “there is no better time than Christmas to come away from rancor; no better time to look beyond complexion to see community; no better time to mend that which is broken into that which is whole. “

They are powerful words that speak directly to the mission of the Lafayette Urban Ministry. An organization of 47 Greater Lafayette churches, LUM nurtures children and strengthens families who are experiencing difficult times.

During the past year, the Lafayette Urban Ministry served 4,723 families through one or another of our 22 programs. 

  • The LUM overnight Emergency Shelter continues to serve compassionately the chronically homeless in our community. The LUM shelter and Winter Warming Station will provide shelter and addiction services to more than 900 homeless individuals during 2019.
  • Two-hundred and thirty-nine at-risk youth learned and grew because of the LUM 5th Quarter Summer Learning ProgramLUM Camp and enhanced After School Program.
  • The LUM Good Samaritan Program serves up to twelve families each day – families that are in the throes of eviction, utility disconnects, health care or transportation emergencies. LUM has aided 1,780 families this year.
  • The LUM Tax Preparation Program served 522 low-income workers, returning to them $906,000 in tax credits and refunds.
  • The LUM Community Thanksgiving Celebration served 900 meals, the LUM ID Clinic served 217 clients, our Immigration Clinic served 173 individuals, and of course Jubilee Christmas – 1,831 children!
  •  In addition, the Lafayette Urban Ministry started the LUM Protein Food Pantry in 2019. This new and innovative response to persistent food insecurity in our community provides meat, eggs, fresh vegetables, infant formula and baby food to children and families in need. More than 50 families are served each week.

In her poem, Maya Angelou interprets peace as a harmony of spirit and a comfort of courtesies. She defines it as security for our beloveds and their beloveds. She calls Christmas the halting of hate time. 

In the spirit of peace this Christmas season, I hope that you will support the important work of LUM with a gift of cash. Your contribution of $50, $100, $250, $500, or $1,000 will be used to support needy children and their families, right here in our own community. 

I share below Dr. Maya Angelou’s Christmas poem, Amazing Peace, in appreciation of the kindness you have always shown toward those LUM serves. On behalf of each child and family, please accept my heartfelt thanks and my wish for a joyous Christmas.


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Amazing Peace by Dr. Maya Angelou

Thunder rumbles in the mountain passes
And lightning rattles the eaves of our houses.
Flood waters await in our avenues.

Snow falls upon snow, falls upon snow to avalanche
Over unprotected villages.
The sky slips low and grey and threatening.

We question ourselves.
What have we done to so affront nature?
We interrogate and worry God.
Are you there? Are you there really?
Does the covenant you made with us still hold?

Into this climate of fear and apprehension, Christmas enters,
Streaming lights of joy, ringing bells of hope
And singing carols of forgiveness high up in the bright air.
The world is encouraged to come away from rancor,
Come the way of friendship.

It is the Glad Season.
Thunder ebbs to silence and lightning sleeps quietly
in the corner.
Flood waters recede into memory.
Snow becomes a yielding cushion to aid us
As we make our way to higher ground.

Hope is born again in the faces of children
It rides on the shoulders of our aged as they walk into their sunsets.
Hope spreads around the earth. Brightening all things,
Even hate which crouches breeding in dark corridors.

In our joy, we think we hear a whisper.
At first it is too soft. Then only half heard.
We listen carefully as it gathers strength.
We hear a sweetness.
The word is Peace.
It is loud now. It is louder.
Louder than the explosion of bombs.

We tremble at the sound. We are thrilled by its presence.
It is what we have hungered for.
Not just the absence of war. But, true Peace.
A harmony of spirit, a comfort of courtesies.
Security for our beloveds and their beloveds.

We clap hands and welcome the Peace of Christmas.
We beckon this good season to wait a while with us.
We, Baptist and Buddhist, Methodist and Muslim, say come.
Peace.
Come and fill us and our world with your majesty.
We, the Jew and the Jainist, the Catholic and the Confucian,
Implore you, to stay a while with us.
So we may learn by your shimmering light
How to look beyond complexion and see community.

It is Christmas time, a halting of hate time.

On this platform of peace, we can create a language
To translate ourselves to ourselves and to each other.

At this Holy Instant, we celebrate the Birth of Jesus Christ
Into the great religions of the world.
We jubilate the precious advent of trust.
We shout with glorious tongues the coming of hope.
All the earth’s tribes loosen their voices
To celebrate the promise of Peace.

We, Angels and Mortal’s, Believers and Non-Believers,
Look heavenward and speak the word aloud.
Peace. We look at our world and speak the word aloud.
Peace. We look at each other, then into ourselves
And we say without shyness or apology or hesitation.

Peace, My Brother. Peace, My Sister. Peace, My Soul.


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Jubilee Christmas – Donation Centers OPEN

Jubilee LOGO redLUM Jubilee Christmas is Saturday, December 14, and the Donation Center opens Monday, December 2.


Donations of new, unwrapped toys, clothing (newborn to 12-year-old), books, games, sport equipment, quilts/family blankets are welcome. See below for our list of needs and donation centers.


Donate Items — Jubilee Christmas Wishlist — new items only

  • 2012-12-08 Jubilee Christmas Day 018 (2)Toys, Board Games, Dolls, Lego sets, Dress up & Pretend Play, Play kitchen items
    • Highest need — children aged 10 – 12 years old
    • No Guns, please
  • Sports & Recreation equipment — Balls & equipment (basketball, soccer, kick balls, baseball, etc.), Bikes, Outdoor games (Flying discs – Frisbee, Hula-hoops, Jump ropes, Family games)
  • Books (grade-level: Pre-K through teen)
  • Craft Kits & Art Supplies
  • Children’s clothing — outfits; winter coats, gloves, hats, scarves, boots;
  • Blankets & Quilts — each family gets at least one for the family
  • Wrapping Paper, Gift Bags, Tape
  • Batteries
  • Gift Cards — Food cards, Gift cards for teen siblings
  • Bottled water
  • Trash bags (30 gallon)

Donation Centers are as follows:

  • LUM Office
    420 N 4th Street, Lafayette, IN
    — Monday, December 2 through Friday, December 6 — 1 to 5 p.m.
  • Oakland High School/LARA
    1100 Elizabeth Street, Lafayette, IN (rear – cafeteria entrance)
    — Monday, December 9 & Tuesday, December 10 — 1 to 5 p.m.
  • Brokerage Brewing Company
    2516 Covington Street, West Lafayette, IN
    — Through Monday, December 9; HOURS: Mon. – Thurs. 3-9 p.m., Fri. & Sat. noon-midnight, Sun. 1-8 p.m.
  • Greyhouse Coffee & Supply Co.
    100 Northwestern Avenue, West Lafayette, IN
    — Through Monday, December 9; HOURS: Mon. – Fri. 7 a.m.-10:30 p.m., Sat. & Sun. 8 a.m.-10:30 p.m.

Jubilee LOGO red

Jubilee Christmas relies on donations from churches, organizations and individuals for a successful Jubilee Christmas.

You can help by donating a cash gift of $50, $100, $250, $500, $1,000 or more to Jubilee Christmas. Your cash gift to Jubilee Christmas may be given in honor of a friend or family member — in lieu of a holiday gift. LUM will send a Holiday Card sharing that a donation has been made by you to Jubilee Christmas in their name.

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Jubilee Christmas

We’re Thinking about “Christmas in September”

Jubilee Christmas – Saturday, December 14

It’s less than 100 days until the LUM Jubilee Christmas day — Saturday, December 14. LUM is thinking about Christmas in July — because it’s never too early to begin planning for Jubilee Christmas. Won’t you please consider getting engaged in Jubilee Christmas 2019?

Four Ways YOU and your church, family, business and organization can support Jubilee Christmas are as follows:

  • HOST Families at your own Jubilee Christmas event, click HERE
  • PARTNER with a JC Host Site that is hosting Families, click HERE
  • VOLUNTEER – learn more, click HERE
    • Register Families (10/21-23) – to sign up, click HERE
    • Donation Center (12/2-12) – to sign up, click HERE
    • Jubilee Christmas Day (12/14) – to sign up, click HERE
  • DONATE – learn more, click HERE
    • Host a “Toy Drive” & Donate Items – to view needed items, click HERE
    • Make a Monetary Donation, click HERE

Last year on Jubilee Christmas Day, 1,831 children from 640 families received gifts of new toys, books, clothing, and food for Christmas Day at 27 different events. If you need more information or have questions, please go to lumserve.org/jubilee, email jubilee@lumserve.org or call 765-423-2691. Thanks…and Merry Christmas!


The important dates for Jubilee Christmas planning are as follows:

  • Coordinators Meeting—Thursday, October 10 (2 or 7 p.m.)
  • Open Registration — M-W, October 21-23 (4:30 – 7:30 p.m.)
  • Coordinators Meeting—Tuesday, November 12 (2 or 7 p.m.)
  • Donation Center Open – Monday, December 2 – Friday, Dec. 6, Monday & Tuesday, December 9 & 10 (1 – 5 p.m.) 
  • Host Sites Pick-Up – Thursday, December 12 (9 a.m. – 1 p.m.)
  • Jubilee Christmas – Saturday, December 14
    • Part 1 – 9 a.m.-2 p.m. – various locations
    • Part 2 – 2:30 p.m. – Oakland High School
    • Part 3 – 5 p.m. – Oakland High School

If you need more information or have questions, please go to lumserve.org/jubilee, email jubilee@lumserve.org or call 765-423-2691. Thanks…and Merry Christmas!


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Jubilee Christmas

 


Thinking about Christmas in July

Jubilee Christmas – Saturday, December 14

There’s only 156 days until the LUM Jubilee Christmas day — Saturday, December 14. LUM is thinking about Christmas in July — because it’s never too early to begin planning for Jubilee Christmas. Won’t you please consider getting engaged in Jubilee Christmas 2019?

Four Ways YOU and your church, family, business and organization can support Jubilee Christmas are as follows:

  • HOST Families at your own Jubilee Christmas event, click HERE
  • PARTNER with a JC Host Site that is hosting Families, click HERE
  • VOLUNTEER – learn more, click HERE
    • Register Families (10/21-23) – to sign up, click HERE
    • Donation Center (12/2-12) – to sign up, click HERE
    • Jubilee Christmas Day (12/14) – to sign up, click HERE
  • DONATE – learn more, click HERE
    • Host a “Toy Drive” & Donate Items – to view needed items, click HERE
    • Make a Monetary Donation, click HERE

Last year on Jubilee Christmas Day, 1,831 children from 640 families received gifts of new toys, books, clothing, and food for Christmas Day at 27 different events. If you need more information or have questions, please go to lumserve.org/jubilee, email jubilee@lumserve.org or call 765-423-2691. Thanks…and Merry Christmas!


The important dates for Jubilee Christmas planning are as follows:

  • Coordinators Meeting—Thursday, October 10 (2 or 7 p.m.)
  • Open Registration — M-W, October 21-23 (4:30 – 7:30 p.m.)
  • Coordinators Meeting—Tuesday, November 12 (2 or 7 p.m.)
  • Donation Center Open – Monday, December 2 – Friday, Dec. 6, Monday & Tuesday, December 9 & 10 (1 – 5 p.m.) 
  • Host Sites Pick-Up – Thursday, December 12 (9 a.m. – 1 p.m.)
  • Jubilee Christmas – Saturday, December 14
    • Part 1 – 9 a.m.-2 p.m. – various locations
    • Part 2 – 2:30 p.m. – Oakland High School
    • Part 3 – 5 p.m. – Oakland High School

If you need more information or have questions, please go to lumserve.org/jubilee, email jubilee@lumserve.org or call 765-423-2691. Thanks…and Merry Christmas!


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Jubilee Christmas

 


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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With Gratitude to the LUM Volunteers


A Message from Joe Micon, LUM Executive Director

April is National Volunteer Month, when we celebrate the work that volunteers do year-round. During National Volunteer Week (April 15-21), across the country organizations like LUM recognize their volunteers for helping them achieve their mission.

By now, you probably know that the Lafayette Urban Ministry provides more volunteer opportunities than almost any other organization in our community. Throughout the course of the year, more than 3,000 individuals volunteer in one or another of the LUM programs. Whether it is preparing a meal for the homeless, stocking shelves at the St. John’s/LUM Food Pantry, serving as a LUM Camp Counselor, helping to govern LUM on the board of directors, teaching children in the LUM After School Program, working the food line at the LUM Community Thanksgiving Meal, hosting a family at Jubilee Christmas, or one of the many other front line or professional volunteer jobs at LUM, volunteers are the heart and soul of all the good that is accomplished here.

Volunteering may not be a uniquely American activity, but it is certainly a major part of our national culture and identity. Writing about his travels through the United States in the 1830s, the French political scientist Alexis de Tocqueville frequently commented on Americans’ tendency to form voluntary associations. He was impressed by our desire to come together with friends and neighbors to accomplish community goals. This was, he felt, an important foundation for the democratic society that he studied. Volunteering helps you to learn new skills and develop the ones you already have. It helps you to be part of your community, meet new people and make new friends. Volunteering gives you a sense of purpose and helps you stay physically healthy. Volunteers actually have lower mortality rates than those who don’t volunteer and are less likely to develop chronic pain and heart disease!

So on behalf of the entire staff at LUM please accept my deepest thanks for all you do for the children and families we serve. It is our great joy and privilege to work side by side with you each day. How grateful we are at LUM for you, and for all the others, who have joined us on our journey to make our community a better place for everyone.


To explore ways to VOLUNTEER with LUM, click HERE.

Merry Christmas From Lafayette Urban Ministry


On behalf of each child and family served by the Lafayette Urban Ministry, please accept our heartfelt thanks and our wish for a joyous Christmas season.


Consider a Gift to LUM This Christmas Season

Little Mandy and her Ma, ‘S porest folks you ever saw! —
Lived in porest house in town, Where the fence ‘uz all tore down.

December 2017

Dear Friend,

The 1899 Christmas classic Little Mandy’s Christmas Tree, by Hoosier poet James Whitcomb Riley, is as much a social commentary as a holiday poem.

Written from the perspective of a child who accompanies her mother on a charity visit to a family in need, Riley, in his typical Midwestern cadence, shares the story of little Mandy, the terminally ill child who resides in the house.

Each stanza is filled with startling and vivid imagery about the family’s predicament and the community’s response. The images speak to Riley’s vision of how church and community members ought to relate to and be respectful toward the least among us.

It is a vision we work hard to make real each and every day at the Lafayette Urban Ministry. An organization of 47 local churches, LUM serves as a social safety net for children and families in our community who are experiencing difficult times.

During the past year, the Lafayette Urban Ministry served more than 5,200 families through one or another of our 20 programs.

  • Two-hundred and fifteen at-risk youth learned and grew because of LUM’s 5th Quarter, LUM Camp and Enhanced Afterschool Programs.
  • 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 800 homeless individuals during 2017.
  • LUM’s Tax Preparation Program served 929 low-income workers, returning to them more than $1.4 million in tax credits and refunds.
  • LUM’s Good Samaritan Program serves up to twelve families each day – families that are in the throes of eviction, utility disconnects, health care or transportation emergencies.  LUM has aided more than 2,200 such families so far this year.
  • More than, 2,900 individuals received emergency food from our  St. John’s/LUM Food Pantry.
  • The Community Thanksgiving Meal served 900 individuals, LUM’s ID Clinic served more than 200 clients, our Legal Immigration Program served 39 individuals, and of course Jubilee Christmas –  1,909 children!

Perhaps Riley’s most powerful stanza in Little Mandy depicts the sharing of cash:

Nen my Ma she gived her Ma
Somepin’ ‘at I never saw,
And say ‘at she must take it, and,
She ist maked her keep it in her hand.


In the spirit of this Christmas season I hope that you will share a gift of cash with the children and families served by the Lafayette Urban Ministry.  Your gift of $50, $100, $250, $500, or $1,000 will be used right here in our community to support LUM’s important work.

Place a copy of James Whitcomb Riley’s poem Little Mandy’s Christmas Tree on your own Christmas tree as a reminder of the kindness and generosity you’ve shown toward those in our community who are suffering through a difficult time.

On behalf of each child and family served by the Lafayette Urban Ministry, please accept my heartfelt thanks and my wish for a joyous Christmas season.

Merry Christmas,

Joe Micon
Executive Director


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Merry Christmas From Lafayette Urban Ministry


Share a Gift to LUM This Christmas Season

Little Mandy and her Ma,
‘S porest folks you ever saw! —
Lived in porest house in town,
Where the fence ‘uz all tore down.

{Read Little Mandy’s Christmas Tree HERE.}


December 2017

Dear Friend,

The 1899 Christmas classic Little Mandy’s Christmas Tree, by Hoosier poet James Whitcomb Riley, is as much a social commentary as a holiday poem.

Written from the perspective of a child who accompanies her mother on a charity visit to a family in need, Riley, in his typical Midwestern cadence, shares the story of little Mandy, the terminally ill child who resides in the house.

Each stanza is filled with startling and vivid imagery about the family’s predicament and the community’s response. The images speak to Riley’s vision of how church and community members ought to relate to and be respectful toward the least among us.

It is a vision we work hard to make real each and every day at the Lafayette Urban Ministry. An organization of 47 local churches, LUM serves as a social safety net for children and families in our community who are experiencing difficult times.

During the past year, the Lafayette Urban Ministry served more than 5,200 families through one or another of our 20 programs.

  • Two-hundred and fifteen at-risk youth learned and grew because of LUM’s 5th Quarter, LUM Camp and Enhanced Afterschool Programs.
  • 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 800 homeless individuals during 2017.
  • LUM’s Tax Preparation Program served 929 low-income workers, returning to them more than $1.4 million in tax credits and refunds.
  • LUM’s Good Samaritan Program serves up to twelve families each day – families that are in the throes of eviction, utility disconnects, health care or transportation emergencies.  LUM has aided more than 2,200 such families so far this year.
  • More than, 2,900 individuals received emergency food from our  St. John’s/LUM Food Pantry.
  • The Community Thanksgiving Meal served 900 individuals, LUM’s ID Clinic served more than 200 clients, our Legal Immigration Program served 39 individuals, and of course Jubilee Christmas –  1,909 children!

Perhaps Riley’s most powerful stanza in Little Mandy depicts the sharing of cash:

Nen my Ma she gived her Ma
Somepin’ ‘at I never saw,
And say ‘at she must take it, and,
She ist maked her keep it in her hand.


In the spirit of this Christmas season I hope that you will share a gift of cash with the children and families served by the Lafayette Urban Ministry.  Your gift of $50, $100, $250, $500, or $1,000 will be used right here in our community to support LUM’s important work.

Place a copy of James Whitcomb Riley’s poem Little Mandy’s Christmas Tree on your own Christmas tree as a reminder of the kindness and generosity you’ve shown toward those in our community who are suffering through a difficult time.

On behalf of each child and family served by the Lafayette Urban Ministry, please accept my heartfelt thanks and my wish for a joyous Christmas season.

Merry Christmas,

Joe Micon
Executive Director

PS – Please, place your generous Christmas Season gift to LUM in the enclosed envelope, or give online at www.lumserve.org


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Remembering Good King Wenceslas


GKWDear Friends,

One of my favorite Christmas poems is the 162-year-old carol: Good King Wenceslas. The poem (see below) tells about King Wenceslas & his page giving alms to a poor peasant; his page needing help against the cold; and then finding heat miraculously in the King’s footprints in the snow. I can relate to the steadfast page.

Our journey together at LUM through the past year has been eventful and at times challenging.


During 2015 at LUM…

  • 197 at-risk youth learned & grew in the After School Program, 5th Quarter Summer Learning Program & LUM Camp
  • 650 homeless individuals were served by the Emergency Shelter
  • Tax Assistance Program served 790, returning more than $1.3 million in refunds
  • Good Samaritan Program serves up to 12 families each day; more than 2,000 families this year
  • Last month 767 individuals received emergency food assistance from the St. John’s/LUM Food Pantry
  • Community Thanksgiving Celebration served 900 individuals, ID Clinic served more than 150 clients, Immigration Clinic served 19 individuals, and of course Jubilee Christmas over 1,700 children!

By the end of 2015, Lafayette Urban Ministry will have touched and improved the lives of more than 6,000 low-income households living in Tippecanoe County.


Just as King Wenceslas’s page found his journey to be daunting, at LUM it’s a little overwhelming too. But when we remember we’re following in the faithful footsteps of others like YOU, it seems somehow more manageable. In the spirit of Good King Wenceslas, I hope you will make a generous Christmas season gift to the children & families served by Lafayette Urban Ministry.

Your gift of $50, $100, $250, $500, or $1,000 will be used right here in our own community to support LUM’s important programs of service and self-help.

On behalf of each child & family served by LUM, please accept my heartfelt thanks. On behalf of each person at LUM who serves another, please accept my gratitude for making our sometimes challenging work all that much easier. Merry Christmas!



PS: Please give online at www.lumserve.org/donate or mail in your donation to
Lafayette Urban Ministry, 420 N 4th Street, Lafayette, IN 47901


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Good King Wenceslas

Good King Wenceslas looked out
On the feast of Stephen
When the snow lay round about
Deep and crisp and even
Brightly shone the moon that night
Though the frost was cruel
When a poor man came in sight
Gath’ring winter fuel

“Hither, page, and stand by me
If thou know’st it, telling
Yonder peasant, who is he?
Where and what his dwelling?”
“Sire, he lives a good league hence
Underneath the mountain
Right against the forest fence
By Saint Agnes’ fountain.”

“Bring me flesh and bring me wine
Bring me pine logs hither
Thou and I will see him dine
When we bear him thither.”
Page and monarch forth they went
Forth they went together
Through the rude wind’s wild lament
And the bitter weather

“Sire, the night is darker now
And the wind blows stronger
Fails my heart, I know not how,
I can go no longer.”
“Mark my footsteps, my good page
Tread thou in them boldly
Thou shalt find the winter’s rage
Freeze thy blood less coldly.”

In his master’s steps he trod
Where the snow lay dinted
Heat was in the very sod
Which the Saint had printed
Therefore, Christian men, be sure
Wealth or rank possessing
Ye who now will bless the poor
Shall yourselves find blessing
~ John Mason Neale, 1853

LUM’s Unexpected Blessings — YOU!


 December 2014




Dear Friend,

Joseph "Joe" Micon
Joseph “Joe” Micon

Amid all the hustle and bustle of the season, I try to look for those unexpected blessings that make Christmas so special….

  • The laughter of a child as he opens a brightly wrapped box.
  • The joyful tear of a mother as she welcomes her freshman student home from college.
  • The wonder of a perfectly-timed Christmas morning snowfall.
  • And I remember that Christmas is about the unexpected blessing of our Savior.

Who among us can ever get used to the unexpected way that he came to dwell among us, or the unexpected cast of characters who came to visit him in the stable? Who would have expected that he would live his life concerned only about loving and serving others?

As I look back over our past year together at the Lafayette Urban Ministry, I remember so many instances that were unexpected blessings for me…

  • I remember the young boy in the LUM After School Program who beamed with pride as he showed me the A+ on his spelling test. Our dedicated volunteers had been helping him memorize his list of words all week.
  • I remember the opening of the new LUM Legal Immigration Clinic.  In the days that followed, clinic staff began finding real solutions for neighbors desperate to keep their families together.
  • I remember the smile on the worn face of the homeless man who finally left the LUM emergency shelter after a two week stay. A LUM case manager had helped him make a new start with a new job and a new home of his own.
  • I remember the long summer days of LUM Camp where our campers played, sang, learned and made so many new friends – all while growing in confidence and self-esteem.

Last year, the Lafayette Urban Ministry served 6,027 low-income households through one or another of our 16 programs. For each of those households, the Lafayette Urban Ministry, and you, were an unexpected blessing.

I hope that you will continue to be such a blessing by making a generous Christmas Season gift to the Lafayette Urban Ministry.

Your gift of $50, $100, $250, $500, or $1,000 will be put to use right here in our own community providing at-risk children and their struggling families with brighter futures and more hopeful tomorrows.

The profound meaning of Christmas is that our Savior dwells within every heart that is loving, within each spirit that is tender – and within any gift that is shared generously with another. On behalf of the children and families at LUM who are touched by your generosity, please accept my thanks – and my sincere wish for a joyous Christmas filled with unexpected blessings!


Gratefully,
Joe Micon Signature
Joe Micon
Executive Director
Lafayette Urban Ministry


P.S. — You may contribute to Lafayette Urban Ministry online at www.lumserve.org

Thank you.

 

Unexpected

Even now we simply do not expect to find a deity in a stable.

Somehow the setting is all wrong:

the swaddling clothes too plain,

the manger too common for the likes of a Savior,

the straw too inelegant, the animals reeking and noisy,

the whole scene too ordinary for our taste.

And the cast of characters is no better.

With the possible exception of the kings, who among them is fit for this night?

The shepherds? Certainly too crude.

The carpenter too rough. The girl too young.

And the baby!

Whoever expected a baby?

Whoever expected the advent of God in a helpless child?

Had the Messiah arrived in the blazing light of the glory

of a legion of angels wielding swords,

the whole world could have been conquered for Christ right then and there

and we in the church  -to say nothing of the world!-

would not have so much trouble today.

Even now we simply do not expect to face the world armed only with love.

by Ann Weems



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