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Joe Micon – Indiana Bicentennial Torchbearer

joe-torchJoe Micon, LUM executive director, was a torchbearer in the Indiana Bicentennial Torch Relay — a 3,200 mile journey across the state through each county. The Torch Relay started on September 9 and ends this weekend in the state capitol, Indianapolis.

Micon joined 2,200 torchbearers to “inspire and unify Hoosiers” as well as “symbolically ‘pass the torch’ connecting generations to ignite our future.” He did this by carrying with him the hopes and dreams of our LUM students during the Torch Relay. Micon met this summer with the students enrolled in the LUM 5th Quarter Summer Learning Program and LUM Camp and recently with the students in the LUM After School Program.

He asked the children to write a note wishing Indiana a Happy Birthday and include one “wish” they had for the state in the future. Micon read each one, reflected on them and carried them in the Torch Relay. Some of the wishes of our LUM students are as follows:

  • I wish for more jobs. I wish things weren’t so expensive.
  • I hope we have good schools for children…and good roads.
  • I wish that everyone is treated nicely. I wish people were treated better
  • I wish people had food. I wish that no one does not live without food and no one will starve. I wish that Indiana people are happy.
  • I wish nobody will not be homeless.
  • I wish cars and buses could fly around the sky. I wish for more zoos.

Congratulations to Joe Micon for being nominated and selected as an Indiana Bicentennial Torchbearer. Thanks to the children for sharing their wishes, hopes and dreams. Happy Birthday, Indiana.

To view more pictures of Joe Micon in the Bicentennial Torch Relay, click HERE.


Celebrating Indiana’s Faith Leaders

It’s Indiana’s 200th birthday!

2015-01-23 Joe Micon 009 GoldIn the months ahead we will celebrate our state’s rich history, its famous personalities, its contributions to science, agriculture, sports, and the performing arts. We will be reminded so many times and in so many ways why it is that we are proud of our Hoosier heritage. I would like to add to the festivities by lifting up the contributions of a few Hoosier faith leaders. These are men and women who, over the past 200 years, have shaped our state, and beyond, in especially profound and meaningful ways:

Robert Owen (1771-1858)

Robert Owen was a Welsh industrialist and social reformer, who created a utopian community he called New Harmony on 20,000 acres in Posey County in 1825. While his social experiment was an economic failure within two years, the community made many important contributions to American society. New Harmony became known as a center for advances in education and scientific research. Its residents established the first free public library, a civic drama club, and a public school system open to men and women. Among the residents were his sons, Indiana congressman and social reformer, Robert Dale Owen, who sponsored legislation to create the Smithsonian Institution; David Dale Owen, noted state and federal geologist; and Richard Owen, Indiana University professor and the first president of Purdue University.

Mother Théodore Guérin (1798–1856)IN 200

Sister Saint Théodore, was a French-American and founder of the Sisters of Providence of Saint Mary-of-the-Woods, Indiana, a congregation of Catholic nuns. She was beatified by Pope John Paul II in 1998 and canonized in 2006 by Pope Benedict XVI. In 1840, Sister Théodore departed from France to America. After a treacherous journey to the US, she traveled by steamboat and stagecoach to the dense forest of the Indiana territory. Sister Théodore eventually arrived at Saint Mary-of-the-Woods, Indiana, a small village in Vigo County a few miles northwest of Terre Haute. For several months, she lived packed into the small frontier farmhouse of the local Thralls family along with a few postulants who had been waiting for them. Mother Theodore is particularly known for her advancement of education, founding numerous schools in the Indiana frontier wilderness.

The Rev. Andrew J. Brown (1921-1996)

Rev. Brown was a longtime pastor at St. John’s Missionary Baptist Church in Indianapolis. In 1962 he organized black citizens in Indianapolis to show their voting strength — and marched with Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. in the Selma to Montgomery March (Alabama) in 1965. Rev. Brown most notably founded the Indiana Black Expo. After attending an expo in Chicago, he and a few other religious and civic leaders decided to establish an Indiana based Black Expo. They understood the need to create an event to celebrate positive African-American ideas; and so, founded the Indiana Black Expo in 1970. IBE continues to be a popular summer gathering in Indianapolis that annually attracts prominent religious leaders, entertainers, entrepreneurs, athletes and politicians.

Rabbi Sandy Sasso (1947-    )

Sandy Sasso was the first woman ordained as a rabbi in Judaism’s Reconstructionist movement and the second women ordained a rabbi in the US. Until her 2013 retirement, Rabbi Sasso and her husband, Rabbi Dennis Sasso, were the senior rabbis at Congregation Beth El Zedeck in Indianapolis. They were the first practicing rabbinical couple in Jewish history. Not only is Rabbi Sasso a talented and accomplished writer, but she has also given freely of her time and creativity to initiatives connecting the arts, humanities and religion. She is a gifted speaker and storyteller, who consistently models civility and respect for others. She often reflects on the larger meaning of life, diversity, and excellence.

Each of these servant leaders personifies what it means to live in and for community. During the Indiana Bicentennial Celebration, please take the time to read more about these important Indiana faith leaders. I would love to hear who you think should be added to the list and why. Email me at jmicon@lumserve.org

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LUM Camp – Best Camp Ever – Best Year Ever

46642 2016 LUM CampOn August 3, the LUM Campers were visited by about 20 special LUM friends and Board members. At LUM Camp, it’s called “Board Night.” Board Night gives LUM an opportunity to showcase LUM Camp and give our guests a real camp experience.

Our LUM friends & board members took the LUM bus from downtown Lafayette out to Warren County. When they arrived at camp they met the campers and sang camp songs. The Purdue Boilermaker Special was even there.

The guests were then treated to an authentic camp supper followed by an ice cream social —sundaes with all the fixin’s. Our guests scooped and served the ice cream to our campers which encouraged more interaction. The evening was capped off with a stage show. This year, our guests and campers were treated to the Magic of Marcus Lehman. You could tell that our guests enjoyed returning to their childhood for a few hours and our campers enjoyed having them visit for the evening.

2016-08-03 LUM Camp 096 (2) (1280x719)

LUM Camp is an overnight summer camp for boys and girls, 8, 9 and 10 years old. They are children who come from families served by the Lafayette Urban Ministry. Our camp includes all the traditional activities a great camp should: morning chapel, horseback riding, swimming, nature hikes, boating, arts and crafts, campfires and an outstanding staff of camp counselors.

But along with these, LUM Camp focuses on interactive and experiential learning. Our theme was On the Banks of the Wabash, Far Away in celebration of the Indiana Bicentennial. Campers were taught in many creative ways about our state’s rich history, famous personalities, contributions to science, agriculture, sports, and the performing arts. LUM Campers left camp more proud of their Hoosier heritage and inspired by the opportunities that await them in the years to come as citizens of our great state.

Campers learned from the Legacy Theater Troupe from the Indiana State Museum, Purdue Entomology experts, Indiana Department of Natural Resources staff from Prophetstown State Park, Indiana Athletes and more. Many of the reading assignments for the campers included stories of noteworthy people from Indiana.

2016-08-01 LUM Camp 2016 FINAL (1280x853)

Thank you to everyone who helped make LUM Camp 2016 possible. Through your donations, campership gifts, and volunteer time, you have once again made it possible for our LUM Campers to have a positive, life-changing experience that they will remember fondly for the rest of their lives.

Donate to LUM Camp. Invest in the campers. Sponsor a camper for only $150.

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LUM Camp 2016 — Photo Memories

To view the LUM Camp 2016 photo slideshow, click image below.
To view all of the PHOTOS from LUM Camp 2016, click HERE.

Donate to LUM Camp. Invest in future campers. Sponsor a camper for only $150.

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LUM Camp — Kick Off!

46642 2016 LUM CampLUM Camp 2016 officially kicks off TODAY. Each Summer, Lafayette Urban Ministry offers kids an enriching, learning experience to help them get more out of their summer break – more friends, more accomplishments and more belonging. LUM Camp is filled with fun and educational activities aimed at enriching youth. Campers will experience new adventures, learn and master new skills, share and trade interests with friends — all while enjoying the outdoors and group activities.

LUM Camp is a weeklong overnight camp for boys and girls, 8, 9 and 10 years old. They are children who come from families served by the Lafayette Urban Ministry. The 2016 LUM Camp theme is On the Banks of the Wabash, Far Away. The theme will focus on the Indiana Bicentennial Celebration 2016.

LUM Campers will learn about our state’s rich history, famous personalities, contributions to science, agriculture, sports, and the performing arts. They will leave camp proud of their Hoosier heritage and inspired by the opportunities that await them in the years to come as citizens of our great state.

When kids are out of school, they can face hurdles that prevent them from reaching their full potential, related to hunger, water safety, academics, safe spaces to play, and health. Through LUM Camp and the LUM 5th Quarter Summer Learning Program, Lafayette Urban Ministry helps children “close the gap” and achieve more, providing a safe place to learn, stay healthy and build friendships.

If you would like to make a donation to LUM Camp, click HERE.

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LUM Camp Parents & Counselors Prepare

camp parents

LUM Camp 2016 officially begins tomorrow, August 2, when all of the LUM Campers arrive at Hanging Rock Christian Assembly Camp. But preparations have been under way for months.

Last Thursday, the parents of LUM Campers (above) met with the camp directors to get last minute instructions and to ask any questions about the program. LUM volunteer camp counselors (below) also met last Thursday to begin the orientation and extensive training for LUM Camp.

camp counselors

Excitement is building. Thanks to the LUM Camp planning team, LUM Camp is ready to go! In just about 24 hours the campers will arrive— and LUM Camp 2016 will begin.

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Micon Selected for Bicentennial Torch Relay

torchlogoLUM Executive Director Joe Micon has been chosen by the Indiana Office of Tourism and Development to participate in the Indiana Bicentennial Torch Relay.

Micon is one of 2,200+ Hoosiers statewide chosen for outstanding leadership qualities and contributions to their communities and to our state. The 3,200-mile relay will travel through all 92 counties, visit 260 cities and towns, 17 state and national parks, nine lakes and rivers, 27 national, state and local sites of histojoerunningrical significance and dozens of important Indiana attractions.

Micon will run with the torch in Warren County on October 12. Prior to that, he will visit with children in the LUM 5th Quarter Summer Learning Program, LUM Camp and LUM After School Program talking with them about the history of our state and asking each to write a letter to Indiana detailing their hopes and dreams for the future of our state. He will carry these letters with him as he runs.

The torch relay starts on September 9 and ends on October 15 with a celebration at the Statehouse.

Congratulations Joe!

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