LUM Founders Donate $40,000 to Initiate “Dream Team” Research Program
This week Lafayette Urban Ministry announced the creation of a new fund to support program-related research and evaluation at LUM — the LUM Dream Team Fund for Research and Evaluation. The LUM Dream Team members — James Davidson Ph.D, Thomas Hull Ph.D, the Rev. Don Nead, and the Rev. Ron Elly — were among the early planners and developers of what became the Lafayette Urban Ministry. In 1976, only four years after LUM was incorporated, these four individuals conducted a research study that led to the formation of the LUM board model of participating member churches, which is still in place today. (This study was funded by the Lilly Endowment.) Recently, the Dream Team gave a combined gift of $40,000 to LUM to start this new research program, whose purpose is to further research and evaluation to benefit the children and families served by the Lafayette Urban Ministry.
The new Lafayette Urban Ministry Dream Team Fund will support research and evaluation that will foster LUM’s goals and address its needs. Research funded by this permanent fund will document societal-level, state-level and local-level trends in poverty, explain fluctuations in various types of poverty, give the LUM board the data needed to modify its policies and programs and show how participation in these programs impacts low-income people over time. The Dream Team Fund will allow LUM to subsidize original studies, secondary analyses and meta-analyses of societal trends related to the causes and consequences of poverty, the circumstances that foster poverty among individuals in our community (and other comparable communities), the effects poverty has on Hoosiers and their families, churches efforts to serve the poor and build a more just and equitable society, and the implications that theses analyses have on the policies and programs of LUM and its member churches.
If you wish to invest in this research, please consider a donation to the LUM Dream Team Fund for Research & Evaluation. To donate, click here: http://lumserve.org/donate.html.
Additional information on the LUM Dream Team Fund, please call or email:
LUM Founders Donate $40,000 to Initiate “Dream Team” Research Program
Lafayette, IN — A combined gift of $40,000 has been made to the Lafayette Urban Ministry by the LUM Dream Team — James Davidson Ph.D, Thomas Hull Ph.D, the Rev. Don Nead, and the Rev. Ron Elly. The purpose of the gift is to further social scientific research to benefit the children and families served by the Lafayette Urban Ministry.
Please join us for the announcement of the new Lafayette Urban Ministry Dream Team Fund for Social Scientific Research, learn more details about what will be accomplished and when, and meet and interview each of the four Dream Team members whose legacy will be honored through this fund.
What: Announcement of LUM Dream Team Fund for Social Scientific Research
Date: Monday, January 12, 2015
Time: 10:00 a.m.
Place: LUM Ray Ewry Program Center (525 N. 4th Street, Lafayette)
These four individuals were among the early planners and developers of what became the Lafayette Urban Ministry. Each contributed to publish a 1976 Lilly Endowment funded evaluation of LUM that resulted in the original LUM board model of participating member churches. They were the early “dreamers” of LUM if you will.
The new Lafayette Urban Ministry Dream Team Fund for Social Scientific Research will support research and evaluation that will foster LUM’s goals and address its needs. Research funded by this permanent fund will document societal-level, state-level and local-level trends in poverty, explain fluctuations in various types of poverty, allow LUM the data it needs to modify its policies and programs and show how participation in LUM programs impacts low-income people over time.
The Fund will allow LUM to subsidize original studies, secondary analyses and meta-analyses of societal trends related to the causes and consequences of poverty, the circumstances that foster poverty among individuals in our community and other communities like it, the effects poverty has on Hoosiers and their families, churches efforts to serve the poor and build a more just and equal society and the policy and/or program implications theses analyses have for LUM and its member churches.
Don Nead (one of the original members of the LUM dream team and retired Presbyterian campus minister) and his wife, Caryl, were recently invited to an advanced screening of the PBS American Experience new film, Freedom Summer. When Don Nead responded to the invitation he shared that he had been directly involved in the Freedom Ballot work in Mississippi in the spring of 1964. WFYI then asked if Don would be willing to share some of his stories from that work. And of course his response was YES.
As a member of the Presbyterian Church USA staff working in Texas in the early 1960s, Don Nead had an opportunity to travel to Hattiesburg, Mississippi in April of 1964 to participate in the voter registration initiative called the Freedom Ballot. Don’s eyes were soon open to the seriousness of the racial issues in Mississippi at the time and the difficulties faced particularly by African-Americans to simply register and vote — issues that have reappeared in today’s political landscape. It wasn’t until this invitation to attend the preview of the American Experience: Freedom Summer, that Don Nead wrote and spoke about his reflections and experiences of that historic work. Don Nead shared his story last week; and now he invites you — and LUM encourages you — to read his entire story below entitled “My Jonah Experience – Trip to Mississippi to Participate in the Freedom Ballot Voter Registration Campaign in Hattiesburg.”
My Jonah Experience
Trip to Mississippi to Participate in the Freedom Ballot Voter Registration Campaign in Hattiesburg, Mississippi – April 6-10, 1964
by Don Nead
The Presbyterian Church, USA, was involved in the Civil Rights Struggle of the early 1960s in several different ways. Through its Social Education and Action program a Commission on Race and Religion was established with a staff of three at the national level. Since I was a member of the Board of Christian Education Field Staff I got to know this staff pretty well and spent time with them at national meetings of the Board. They were involved in recruiting PCUSA clergy to go to Hattiesburg in late 1963 and through the year of 1964. This was also true for a number of other denominations. The clergy involvement was to be as support and witnesses to the work of the “freedom ballot” workers who were attempting to register African-Americans to vote in the 1964 elections. It was a protest against the restrictive voting laws in the state of Mississippi.
I was living in Denton, Texas at the time and was a member of the Synod Staff of the United PCUSA (covering the states of Texas and Louisiana). Early in 1964 at a national meeting Metx Rollins, one of the staff members of the Commission on Religion and Race confronted me with an invitation to go to Hattiesburg and gave me the specific dates. I looked at my calendar and said that I was sorry but I had two commitments that particular week that were stated meetings and could not be moved. So he said OK, but they would call again. It was about three weeks later when I got call from Metx and he had another set of dates, and again I had conflicts and had to say no. Then about a month later he called again and this time I looked at my calendar and the week was without meetings, and so I had no other alternative then to say I would go.
After making the decision to make this journey I informed my boss, the Synod Executive, J. Hoytt Boles, that I was doing it and asked him if he would help me if I was arrested. He said that he could not support the idea of what I was doing, but that if I ran into trouble he would personally step up and help me with financial aid to pay for legal assistance, if I got into trouble.
So on the morning of April 6, 1964, I headed for Hattiesburg and arrived there in late afternoon. I had good directions and so I made my way to the church where we were to stay and where daily meetings were held to lay out the work of the day. The work to be done was picketing the courthouse for a couple of hours each day, generally in the morning. Then in the afternoon we were paired with a young African-American man to do canvassing in the black communities of Hattiesburg, to get people to register for the Freedom Ballot vote. Each evening in one of the African-American churches of Hattiesburg they held a prayer meeting and worship service. Each evening the service was closed with the singing of We Shall Overcome, and in that context this spiritual took on a new meaning for me, because it was sung not only as a prayer, but also a statement!
In addition to the evening meetings and prayer services – which were always done with a spirit of hope and celebration, I have remembrances of five other happenings of that week. These encounters are as follows:
Encounter with a Mother and Daughter.
The mother was 92 years old and the daughter was 70. When we asked the mother if she wanted to register to vote – she responded with a strong affirmation, and then she looked at me and said Reverend – I would like to be able to vote at least on time before I die!
Encounter with a Man, who was Native American, Afro-American and Caucasian.
He was very bitter and angry, as he was looked at as a nobody. He had served in the military during WWII, but when he was discharged he came back home and was rejected because he was a mixture of three races. He responded when asked if he wanted to register, and his response was YES – so that he could vote NO!
Encounter with a Mississippi State Trooper.
That day I was paired off with an Afro-American college student who had dropped out of school for the semester to work on the Freedom Ballot Registration project. We had just finished canvassing a small neighborhood off of the state highway on the southeast edge of town and were heading for another pocket of residents about a half mile away. We were walking on the edge of the highway when this trooper pulled up in front of us and stopped. He got out and came back to us and basically ignored the young man with me and addressed me directly. He was very courteous to me, but he made it clear in no uncertain terms that I was not welcome to be in this county and Mississippi and that I should go back to where ever I had come from! And then he made it quite clear to me that while I was still in the state that I had better obey all of the laws.
A Break from the Tension on a Drive out into the County.
On one of the afternoons we had a break from the work to do; and so, another clergy person and I hopped into my car and drove out into the county for about an hour. That part of Mississippi is very pretty with rolling hills and beautiful wooded lands, as well as fields for crops. A lot of cotton but also other crops, but cotton was the high cash crop. It wasn’t until later that year that I realized how dumb we were to take that drive, when I heard the news about the disappearance of three white college students who were in Mississippi to work for the summer on the Freedom Ballot. Later they were discovered buried in an earthen dam in a location not far from Hattiesburg.
A New Mississippi Law Enacted on April 9, 1964.
At the strategy meeting on the last night that I was in Mississippi we planned the strategy for the next day. It had been announced earlier in the day that the State Legislature in Jackson, Mississippi had passed a law making it illegal to have a picket line on public property. We were quite aware that this new law was focused on the voter registration picket lines, and we felt sure that it would be enforced in Hattiesburg the next day. The decision at the strategy meeting that night was that the picket line would be put in place the next morning and stay until confronted by the state authorities. Since I had already made my decision to return to Texas the next morning I did leave before the picket line took its place in front of the courthouse. I have often thought, did I compromise my commitment to racial justice by not staying and confronting the authorities by engaging in an act of civil disobedience? After 50 years I still struggle with that question.
The occasion that has finally bought me to the point of writing this experience was an invitation by WFYI – Channel 20, our public TV channel from Indianapolis, to attend a preview of the PBS American Experience film, Freedom Summer. In responding to the invitation I shared with them that I had been a participant in the Freedom Ballot work in the spring of 1964. Their response was, would you be willing to share some of your experience? I said YES, and then started doing some reflection and developed the outline for this piece of my work history.
It was one of those life experiences that stay with you throughout your whole life!
PBS American Experience – Freedom Summer
After viewing the film last week, Don Nead encourages you to watch the PBS American Experience film, Freedom Summer — which premiers June 24, 2014 on PBS from 9-11 p.m. EST (locally on WFYI—Channel 20—Indianapolis).
Here is the PBS description of the film:
Over 10 memorable weeks in 1964 known as Freedom Summer, more than 700 student volunteers from around the country joined organizers and local African Americans in a historic effort to shatter the foundations of white supremacy in what was one of the nation’s most viciously racist, segregated states.
More information about the American Experience: Freedom Summer film may be found on the PBS website — click HERE.
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Don Nead, one of the founding members of the Lafayette Urban Ministry and retired Presbyterian campus minister, presented the Icon of St. Xenia, the patron saint of St. Petersburg, Russia to LUM before a gathering of Board of Directors, friends and staff. The presentation of the Icon included the Rite of Blessing of the Icon of St. Xenia by Father Gregory Allard of St. Alexis Orthodox Church, Lafayette.
Don Nead shared reflections on his 1988 trip to Russia that inspired this historic event. Don Nead pointed out that “in many ways, St. Xenia of St. Petersburg was one of the first ‘Urban Ministers’ in the life of the Christian Church, focusing her ministry on those who were left behind and without help.” St. Xenia was widowed at an early age, gave up her wealth and devoted her life to serving others – “especially the poor and downtrodden, by sharing the alms which she was given,
passing them along to the beggars and various sufferers she encountered during her 45 year ‘ministry.’ She is “beloved of all who suffer and a model for those who would mitigate suffering.”
The Icon of St. Xenia is now fittingly venerated in the office of the Lafayette Urban Ministry.
For the full story of the Icon of St. Xenia coming to LUM, written by Don Nead, click HERE.
For more photos from the presentation of the Icon of St. Xenia to LUM, click HERE.
The Icon of St. Xenia was “written” by Philip Davydov of Sacred Murals Studio in St. Petersburg, Russia. Check out their website, HERE.
The Story of Xenia Grigoryevna Petrova
by Don Nead
Little is known of her early life. Neither the dates of her birth nor her death are known. Her birth is believed to have been about 1730 and her death about 1803. She was married to Colonel Andrei Fyodorovich Petrov, who served as a court chorister at the Saint Andrew Cathedral. Xenia fell into great grief upon the death of her husband when she was 26 years old.
Xenia became a “fool for Christ” after her husband’s death and for 45 years wandered around the streets of St. Petersburg, usually wearing her late husband’s military uniform. She called herself by her husband’s name: Andrei Fyodorovich. She was noted for her intercessions in helping those with employment, marriage, the homeless, for ﬁres for warmth, for missing children, and for a spouse.
The canonization of Xenia Grigoryevna Petrova (1719/1730-c.1803) as St. Xenia of St. Petersburg was by the Holy Synod of the Russian Orthodox Church in 1988, the year of the Millennial celebration of the church.
In many ways St. Xenia of St. Petersburg, was one of the ﬁrst Urban Ministers in the life of the Christian Church, focusing her ministry on those who were left behind and without help.
To read a written account of the entire story written by Don Nead, click HERE.
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LUM Founder presents Icon of St. Xenia to Lafayette Urban Ministry
On Wednesday, May 21st, Don Nead – one of the founders of LUM – will present the Icon of St. Xenia to Lafayette Urban Ministry. Nead will present the Icon of St. Xenia, explain the significance of the icon, and share the story behind this historic gift. The Icon of St. Xenia will be on permanent display at Lafayette Urban Ministry.
Please join us for this event which will include presentation and remarks by Don Nead, the blessing of the Icon of St. Xenia by Father Gregory Allard (St. Alexis Orthodox Church, Lafayette), an opportunity to meet the LUM Board of Directors, and light refreshments.
The Icon of St. Xenia Presentation event details are as follows:
Date: Wednesday, May 21, 2014
Time: 6:00 p.m. – Meet the LUM Board; 6:45 p.m. – LUM Board business meeting; 7:00 p.m. – presentation and blessing of the Icon of St. Xenia
Place: Lafayette Urban Ministry, 420 N 4th Street, Lafayette, Indiana
The journey that led Don Nead to commission this piece and present it to LUM is quite interesting. This presentation of the Icon of St. Xenia to LUM was 26 years in the making – going back to 1988, the Millennial celebration of the Russian Orthodox Church. Don Nead traveled to St. Petersburg in 1988 and again in 2012 – resulting in commissioning the Icon and presenting it to LUM. Don Nead, a retired Presbyterian campus minister, was struck by the story of St. Xenia and the parallels of her story to the mission of Lafayette Urban Ministry.
Please join us on Wednesday, May 21st at the LUM Office to see the Icon of St. Xenia and be a part of this historic presentation.
Icon of Saint Xenia Arrives at Lafayette Urban Ministry
By Don Nead
This is the story of the weaving of the fabric that brought the Icon of Saint Xenia of St. Petersburg, Russia to the Lafayette Urban Ministry in Lafayette, Indiana in the USA.
In 1988 two threads of this story took place. The ﬁrst was the canonization of Xenia Grigoryevna Petrova (1719/1730-c.1803) as St. Xenia of St. Petersburg by the Holy Synod of the Russian Orthodox Church during the year of the Millennial celebration of the church. Xenia Grigoryevna Petrova had been wedded to Colonel Andrey Fyodorovich Petrov, an ofﬁcer in the Russian army and a chanter at the St. Andrew Cathedral. She was widowed at the age of 26 and she spent the rest of her life as a “fool for Christ,” giving away all that she had and serving the homeless, hungry, unemployed, and children in distress. She wandered the streets of St. Petersburg dressed in the military coat of her deceased husband.
The second thread of the story was on one of my trips to the Soviet Union to celebrate the Millennium of the Russian Orthodox Church. I was in Leningrad (renamed St. Petersburg after the fall of the Soviet in 1990’s) and was taken to the chapel and gravesite of St. Xenia in a cemetery on Vasilievsky Island in the Smolenka River in the northwest of the city. After hearing her story and seeing the Chapel of St. Xenia, I acquired a small reproduction of St. Xenia which hangs on the wall of my study even as I write this story.
The third thread in this fabric didn’t occur until late in 2011 when my wife Caryl and I made the decision to make a trip to Russia late in 2012. In preparation for this trip, I attempted to revive some of my contacts from my earlier trips into the USSR and then into Russia after the fall of the Soviet. In the late 80’s an organization that I helped organize at University Church at Purdue in 1983 called the John T. Conner Center for US-USSR Reconciliation developed a “sister church” program. This program was designed to make connections between churches of the USSR with churches in the US.
One of the successful sister church relations was between the Community of Our Lady of Fyodorovskaya, St. Petersburg, Russia and First Presbyterian Church of Middletown, Ohio. It still has connections and visits between the members of both communities. I had visited First Church when a small Russian delegation was present, back in the late 1990’s. One of the members of that delegation was the daughter of one of my good friends from my previous visits to St. Petersburg, Fr. Vladimir Sorokin, whom I ﬁrst met in 1984 when he was a priest at St. Nicholas in St. Petersburg. In 1986 he became the Director of the St. Petersburg Theological Academy. It just so happens that the priest of Our Lady of Fyodorovskaya is Fr. Alexander Sorokin, son of Fr. Vladimir. Just a side note for any who read this, this church was the one located near the Theological Academy that had been converted to a dairy in the Soviet period and had pipes running out of its roof. Since the fall of the Soviet it has been returned to the church and restored.
In an effort to renew contacts in St. Petersburg I called the pastor of First Presbyterian in Middletown and he was able to give me the names, address, and email addresses of several people in St. Petersburg who had been a part of contacts made between the two churches.
Through this, the fourth thread in the fabric was identiﬁed and that is an iconographer, Philip Davydov of St. Petersburg, who is the director of the Sacred Murals Studio of St. Petersburg. In making contact with Philip he was able to get me in contact with Fr. Sorokin. And so it was on our October 2012 trip to St. Petersburg that I was able to visit with Fr. Vladimir and renew an old friendship. It was a beautiful renewing of our friendship and exciting to see him in his new position as Dean of the Cathedral of St. Prince Vladimir in St. Petersburg. At the conclusion of our time together he asked if there was anything that he could do for us to make our trip to Russia complete. I responded by asking if there was anyone in the congregation that we could employ for the next day to serve as a guide and interpreter. His response was yes he could and also he would supply us with a car and a driver.
So the next morning enters yet another thread in the fabric and this is our meeting with our interpreter for the day, a young lady, Olga Makarova, a member of St. Prince Vladimir Cathedral. She teaches English to Russian speakers and Russian to English speakers at the University and the Theological Academy. We also met another Vladimir who was our driver both the day before, and then again for this day. We had a delightful day with both of them and got to see more of St. Petersburg as a result.
The follow up with Olga occurred when we returned back to West Lafayette and I checked my email, and lo and behold Olga had found me on Facebook. She had sent us a message welcoming us back home and hoped that we had a good journey. Early in the summer of 2013 we received an email from Olga that she accepted a job in the Russian House at William and Mary University in Williamsburg, Virginia. She was coming to serve as a tutor in the fall semester and as a teacher and tutor during the spring semester.
Now yet to another thread in this fabric. In the fall of 2013 I developed and taught a six week class on Eastern Orthodoxy and used my many experiences with the Russian Church as my window into the world of Orthodoxy. As I developed this class I realized that I had to spend one session on the subject of icons and their signiﬁcance in the world of the Eastern Church. I relied on the internet, as well as my contacts with Philip Davydov and Olga Makarova. Olga gave me the insight of a lay person and Philip gave me his insight as one who writes icons as well as frescoes and other pairing of religious objects. Let me insert at this point for the non-Orthodox, icons are not painted but are written and follow a very rigorous discipline in their creation as they are regarded as windows into Heaven.
It was through the preparation for this class that I had re-visited the Icon of St. Xenia and I began to think about my long contact and relationship with Lafayette Urban Ministry. I was involved in the evolution of this organization in its beginnings as a consultant and then again after ten plus years in expanding the rationale for such an approach to the urban scene. A few weeks after this thinking I received word from Olga that she was going to be going home over the Christmas season. Then my mind started clicking and I wondered if Philip Davydov would be interested in writing an icon of St. Xenia for me to present to LUM.
I contacted Philip and we exchanged emails over the next couple of weeks. He suggested that he would like to do an icon of Jesus feeding the 5000 for placement with LUM. Then I explained to him that such an icon would be an excellent one for LUM/St. John Food Pantry, but that the one of St. Xenia would be better for the ofﬁce of LUM. Then I identiﬁed Xenia for Philip as the ﬁrst of the urban ministers in the Christian tradition. I further suggested that maybe he could do two icons for us, one for the ofﬁce and one for the Food-Pantry. He responded very graciously and said that he would do the two. Then I moved quickly to contact Fr. Bradley Pace of St. John’s to get his endorsement of the placing of a Russian Icon on one of the walls of the Food Pantry. Fr. Pace’s response was afﬁrmative. Following this conversation then I called a friend, who is Orthodox and a member of St. Alexis our local Eastern Orthodox Church, to see if Fr. Gregory, the priest at St. Alexis, would be willing to be involved in the process. Fr. Gregory has committed to doing a blessing of the icon at the time of the public recognition of it at the ofﬁce of LUM. This will be done sometime in the near future.
Finally, I asked Philip as to when he could have the one of St. Xenia ﬁnished, explaining to him that I had a courier who would be willing to bring it back to the states after her Christmas visit in St. Petersburg. His response was yes it would be done, but that he needed information from Olga for the permit to take the icon out of Russia. This was done and Olga went home with a mission to return with the icon in January.
A running question with this was how would we get it to the Lafayette area. Part of what kicked this whole thing off was the fact that Caryl and I had planned to go to Williamsburg in January to spend time with Olga. So on January 19, 2014, Olga passed the icon on to me to bring back to Lafayette.
Upon returning to Lafayette we left the package intact until we could arrange a time with Joe Micon, Director the Lafayette Urban Ministry, to meet with Caryl and me to unpack the icon. This was done on February 6, 2014. It was a very inspiring event for the three of us as we unpacked the icon. The three of us were very excited to view this icon of one of the ﬁrst urban ministers in the life of the Christian community. It was quite an ecumenical experience, Caryl an Episcopalian, Joe Micon a Roman Catholic, and myself a retired Presbyterian Campus Minister, admiring an icon of a Saint in the Russian Orthodox Tradition.
Now the fabric has been woven and we are ready to place the ﬁrst icon in the ofﬁce of LUM in the near future. In all of this I see the world of the computer and the internet as agents of the Holy Spirit. Praise be to God, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit! Amen.
This event is now scheduled for Wednesday, May 21, 2014 in the evening in the ofﬁce of the Lafayette Urban Ministry, at 420 N. 4th Street, in downtown Lafayette, Indiana.
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