Monday, February 28, 2011

CSM DC Ministry Partner Highlighted as Hero!

CSM in Washington, DC has partnered with a breakfast program called Charlie's Place for many years. At Charlie's Place, you can not only get a warm breakfast, clothes, and toiletries, but you can also get referred to many other social service agencies in the District. A local DC news station recently highlighted Charlie's Place as their "Friday Hero" and filmed while our spring hosts, Alysha, Ann, and Ashley, were volunteering. See if you can spot them!

Charlie's Place is always in need of clothing donations; especially men's pants and new socks and underwear. Contact the DC staff if you are interested in helping to meet this need.

-Kristen Erbelding, CSM Washington DC Co-City Director
Find out more on how you can serve the homeless with CSM in Washington, DC!

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Sharing Meals with our Neighbors in Houston

CSM Houston has been partnering with Kid's Meals for years and it's been truly an honor to serve the Lord through them all this time!
Seeing the great need of their neighbors, Kid's Meals began the very first "Meals on Wheels"-type program for children in Houston. They provide healthy meals at no cost, every weekday, all year round.
Check out a recent video where CSM's Houston City Director, Paul Randall, and others share more about this beautiful ministry:

Many ministries, just like Kid's Meals, desperately need the help of volunteers to continue serving their community. Learn how YOU can make a difference in the city of Houston with CSM!

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Challenge the way you think about poverty and homelessness!

Urban Ministries of Durham (NC) has put together an AMAZING game to help individuals truly grasp what it may be like to live paycheck to paycheck. With over 14 million people in the US out of work, this is the reality that so many area faced with. From their website:
We’re going to challenge the way you think about poverty and homelessness.

Work hard. Do the right thing. Homelessness is something that will never happen to me. Sometimes, all it takes is one life-changing experience to land you on the streets: a job loss, death of a loved one, divorce, natural disaster, or serious illness.

Next thing you know, a chain of events sends things spiraling out of control…

How would you cope? Where would you go? What would you do? Figure something out, right?

We invite you to take the challenge…

Learn how YOU can challenge the way you think about poverty and homelessness through a trip with CSM!

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

New Orleans Still Struggling to Rebuild

It has been over six months since transitioning from being on staff with CSM in the Bay Area, to moving back to my home state of Louisiana where I work at a church in the heart of New Orleans. The remnants of Katrina are still here, and this article gives a glimpse of just one of the struggles that this city faces as it continues to rebuild.
-Andy Fox, Former CSM San Francisco Bay Area City Director

Monday, February 14, 2011

What's this thing called L-O-V-E?

In the midst of valentines, chocolates and flowers, let's take a moment to reflect on some wise sayings about this thing called true LOVE...

"To love as Christ loves is to let our love be a practical thing and not a sentimental thing."
Sir Charles Villiers Stanford

"Faith, like light, should always be simple and unbending; while love, like warmth, should beam forth on every side, and bend to every necessity of our brethren."
Martin Luther

"We can do no great things - only small things with great love."
Mother Teresa

"Love must be learned and learned again and again; there is no end to it. Hate needs no instruction, but waits only to be provoked."
Katherine Anne Porter

"Returning violence for violence multiplies violence, adding deeper darkness to a night already devoid of stars...Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that."
Martin Luther King Jr.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Ministry need in Oakland!

You may remember that CSM's Associate City Director in the San Francisco Bay Area, Tara, had begun volunteering with a local school in providing an after-school program (check out that earlier blog entry!)
Here's an update from Tara:
I am writing to update you on something very exciting! A little over a week ago, I was given a date from the West Oakland High school that I have been working at for a performance day! The date was very soon from the date that I was made aware so I have been scrambling to put this event together! My students will be performing the poetry/raps that they have written on February 16th 2011 at 1:00pm. PLEASE PRAY. Pray that God gives divine appointments at this event and that the students are softened.
I have two guest performers coming to the event! Andrew Park from Lotus Bloom Collective and Jermaine from Turf Ministries!!!
This is a moment of God's spirit! Remember this is a public school!
Praise the Lord!

Needs for this event:

2 people to help distribute snacks at tables during the event.

$150.00 for food and drink.

If you can help out with this event please email me with details!

Urban Entry Video: Empowering Local Leaders

Learn how YOU can partner with some amazing local, urban leaders with CSM!

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Food Deserts in Los Angeles

NPR recently ran a piece on a serious food desert in Los Angeles. Whole communities are unable to access fresh fruit, vegetables, meats or even products that aren't passed their expiration.
Some supermarkets are rising to the challenge - like Superior mentioned in the article or Fresh N Easy.

Learn how YOU can serve these communities with CSM in Los Angeles!

Wednesday, February 09, 2011

A Place at the Table

CSM's Associate City Director in Nashville is quite the talented videographer! He's recently filmed about "food deserts" and how a local ministry has risen to the call of meeting their community's tangible needs...

A Place at the Table is a documentary film examining grass roots community development through the narrative of East Nashville Cooperative Ministries. This film examines ENCM's efforts to creatively address the lack of access to healthy foods in their community.
-Austin Sauerbrei, CSM Nashville Associate City Director

Learn how YOU can serve with CSM in Nashville!

Monday, February 07, 2011

Super Bowl Magnet for Child Traffickers

Well, the Super Bowl came and went - many are still cheering and others are mourning this Monday morning. All sporting aside, a dark underbelly of this monumental event has come into light this year - the increased trafficking of children and women due to the demand during the event.
Unfortunately, each urban center that has hosted the Super Bowl, Pro Bowl, etc, in the past few years has seen this demand increase.
MSNBC recently released an article documenting the issue and how even some athletes are rising to the call of protecting some of our nation's most overlooked and exploited individuals.

Friday, February 04, 2011

The Discipline of Simplicity

Dr. Paul Borthwick explores the necessity of practicing the discipline of simplicity. What an encouragement as we journey through ministry in an ever-distracting world!

Thursday, February 03, 2011

Panera Cares to Open in Oregon

Panera (the oh-so-delicious bakery chain) is trying something new - a "pay what you can" restaurant. The bread giant has been revolutionary in giving away it's day old bread to food pantries and local organizations that help the hungry, but now it's testing a new way in helping those in need.
Based much off of the model of SAME (So All May Eat) out of Denver (one of CSM Denver's partner sites), Panera is hoping it's new endeavor, Panera Cares, will successfully provide wholesome meals and dignity to the communities they establish in. Guests are asked to pay as much or as little as they can. When they're unable to afford anything, there's always a task they can volunteer for!
Check out a great article on the Panera Cares adventure...

Learn how YOU can serve with CSM in Denver!