Wednesday, August 31, 2011

See You at the Pole - Sept. 28, 2011

Hey there, students! Did you serve with CSM this summer and now looking for a tangible way to love on your community? How about taking part in this year's See You at the Pole? It's a great way to show your school community that you care about your friends, school, city and nation. Check out the promo video...

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

CSM New York Ministry Site Makes the News!

One of CSM New York's ministry sites, Father's Heart Ministries, runs a successful job training program for young adults. Alphabet Scoop serves up some delicious, homemade ice cream - and a few life lessons as well. Check out a recent article about this ministry's impact on the community...

Learn how YOU can serve with CSM New York City!

Thursday, August 25, 2011

2011 CSM Photo Contest!

Have you served with CSM in the city this year? Get any good shots? We'd love to see them!

Check out this year's Photo Contest Poster!

You Could Win One Of The Following Prizes:

First place - $100 Visa Gift Card
Second place - $50 Visa Gift Card

Official Rules:
  • Limit 3 entries per person.
  • You must submit a signed Photo Image Release form for each recognizable person in the photo.
  • Please email a completed entry form for each photo you wish to submit, the necessary Photo Image release form(s) and your awesome photo(s) to
  • Entries must be submitted by the original photographer. Your submission of the photo(s), entry form(s) and release form(s) is your guarantee that you are the author and copyright holder of the photo.
  • Photos may be used at the discretion of CSM for promotional purposes.
  • All entries must be postmarked by November 15, 2011. Winners will be announced in CSM’s November E-letter.

Questions? Please email us!

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

A Faithful Servant Goes Home

Rachel with her daughter, Cate, in 2009.

On Friday, August 12, we lost a dear friend and former co-worker, Rachel Hamilton. Rachel was diagnosed with Stage 4 stomach cancer this past spring and after four months of fighting, she went home to be with her Father.

Rachel served as the CSM Los Angeles City Director for six years. She brought a keen sense of leadership, a love for the "overlooked", and a deep faith to the CSM team. Rachel was an expert in intentional relationships and leadership development. Many were encouraged and molded into strong leaders because of the love she poured into them.

In 2010, Rachel moved to Denver, CO with her family and began as the Vice President of Ordinary Saints, an organization dedicated to mentoring and partnering young adults with service opportunities.

Rachel leaves behind a loving husband, Jeff, and two beautiful daughters, Jane and Cate. Please join us in praying for her family during this hard time.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Helping our Homeless Veterans

Why is that there are so many veterans living on the streets? Check out this 60 Minutes segment about a program in California seeking to use the military training and time for therapy and rehabilitation. This unique program is reaching many homeless veterans giving hope and helping many people find the services that will get them back on their feet.

This is the video written in article form. . .

Learn how YOU can serve with CSM in the city!

Friday, August 19, 2011

Denver Ministry Gives Inside Look at Life on the Streets

Dry Bones is a ministry in Denver made up of people who walk alongside homeless youth. They also desire to educate people on the life of over 1,500 young people calling Denver streets their home. Here is a short article following along a "turf tour" that Dry Bones gives volunteer groups wanting to know more about a day in the life of one of their young street friends.

-Keysha Boggess, CSM Denver City Director

Learn how YOU can serve with CSM in Denver!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Coney Island Gets a Facelift

The boardwalk at Coney Island continues to undergo changes, which is good news for some, but difficult for others. Check out a recent NY Times article...
-Tracee Henneke, CSM New York City Director

Learn how YOU can serve with CSM in New York City!

Monday, August 15, 2011

A Prayer of Thanks

Dear God,
What a summer Lord! I can’t believe its over for us in Toronto. I wanted to say “thank you” for this time with CSM, and all that You have done in me and through me with short-term missions. And I wanted to say it out loud, have them written down here so that I will never forget them.
First, thank You for being so good to me. I wasn’t sure what this summer was going to bring; I was afraid of long hours and not having enough energy, and most of all I was worried about not finding the passion for ministry again. You provided good long rest, determined joyful energy, went beyond my expectations, and allowed the joy of ministry, of serving you and others, to grow again in my heart. Why are You mindful of me? Because You are good!
Second, thank You for having a plan for each one of us. Your plan is not cut and dry but it always leads me to encounter You in unexpected ways. I have seen many people come through CSM Toronto, each one because You brought them here and it was Your plan. You taught them something about Yourself, transformed them to be more like Christ, loving You and loving others (its not rocket science!). Your plan for me was to be a part of what You are doing in our city; how You are loving and providing for all of Your creation, without partiality, and lead others to see You in this way as well. How can I not walk further in this plan with You. Because You are sovereign!
Third, thank You for show me that we are all homeless. Homelessness is not only a person without a building to live or a loving and supportive family and security. But it’s an identity, a being, a living and a knowing You as our true Home. Your Son said it best in His parable of The Lost Son: homelessness is a life without the You, our Father. You are the One who gives us our being, purpose and life. The students at CSM Toronto came face to face with their own homelessness this summer, how they have run away from the Home that only You can offer. A Home that they are to welcome others into, to meet Yu and see You as you truly are. A Home with You might not change our circumstances, but it does change one’s perspective about those circumstances as it brings hope. Hope that there is more to life than what is laying before our eyes. Paul said it best: “hope that is seen is not hope; for who hopes for what he already sees? But if we hope for what we do not see, with perseverance we wait eagerly for it”. My hope is found at Home with You, my good and sovereign Father who has a plan for me in Your Kingdom.
Now that this season has ended Lord, don’t let me forget what You have shown and revealed to me. Please continue Your work in me, bring it to completion, until the day of Christ Jesus.
-Adele-Marie, CSM Toronto Summer 2011 City Host

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Mentoring Transforms a School

Personal attention really does make a difference, take a look at this article on a new mentoring program at a school in Crown Heights, Brooklyn.

-Tracee Henneke, CSM New York City Director

Learn how YOU can serve with CSM in New York City!

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

You ARE Enough

Being originally from North Carolina, it was a blessing to be able to find a home church here in NYC where the preacher is actually a fellow North Carolinian! As I read this sermon and listened to it I was reminded that no matter how many times a day we feel like we are not enough, or that we aren't doing enough -- God is "well pleased" with us! I encourage you as you read this sermon from Susan's blog to challenge yourself and remind yourself each day that you ARE enough.

Please read and listen!

-Jami Howard, CSM New York Associate City Director

Learn how YOU can serve with CSM in New York City!

Tuesday, August 09, 2011

Ripple Affect of Homelessness

Homelessness is an issue that faces all ages of people, in fact, the average age of a homeless person in the US is 9 years old. The number of homeless children in Connecticut is on the rise with over 2,700 children. This doesn't just affect their home life, it causes a ripple affect into all areas of their life. Read more about this here and meet a boy named Alvarez who opens up about his story.

-Keysha Boggess, CSM Denver City Director

Friday, August 05, 2011

Gardeners upset in South Central LA

Some of you may have seen the documentary "The Garden":

It depicts a long, tense struggle between local government and residents of South Central LA over a piece of land that was, at one time, a garden and now the center of more controversy. Check out a recent LA Times article to get an update...

Learn how YOU can serve with CSM in Los Angeles!

Thursday, August 04, 2011

A call to care for the orphans

Why Orphans? from World Orphans on Vimeo.

There are many orphans in this country, too! What is your community/church/family/you doing about it? Share your story!

"Learn to do good. Seek justice. Help the oppressed. Defend the cause of orphans. Fight for the rights of widows." - Isaiah 1:17

Wednesday, August 03, 2011

Urban Farming with Feed Denver

Feed Denver is a farm-based training organization committed to providing jobs, education and fresh food to local Denver restaurants. Their newest farm has a program for refugees to work as well as learn English. Check out this article and learn more about the exciting things going on at Feed Denver.

-Keysha Boggess, CSM Denver City Director

Learn how YOU can serve with CSM in Denver!

Tuesday, August 02, 2011

Serving for an Audience of One

"Serve wholeheartedly, as if you were serving the Lord, not men." Ephesians 6:7
I've gone to SEARCH (Service of the Emergency Aid Resource Center for the Homeless) a lot this summer. It's not always my favorite site to go to, but lately, it sure has taught me about what true service looks like.
When I went on my first CSM trip to Washington DC in February, I remember thinking the same thing about DC Central Kitchen. While I was cutting loaf of bread after loaf of bread, I remember getting bored and wanting to do something else. Then, Mo, a DC Spring Host, and I started talking about service and what truly serving the Lord means. It hit me that serving the Lord is not about being thanked or people thinking that I'm serving well. I had always had this thought as head knowledge, but it had never transferred to my heart. That cold February morning in the DC Central Kitchen basement, it finally transferred to heart knowledge. I was serving only one thing and that was my God.
SEARCH continues to teach me about serving wholeheartedly for an audience of one. Lately, my groups and I have been washing walls and windows. I tell you every window and wall, inside and out, in that 4 story building is as clean as it will ever be. While I still don't exactly look forward to washing walls and windows (I'm not sure I ever will), I now sing and dance while I'm doing so because I know I'm not washing for nothing, I'm washing because He first washed me and my sins away. Now, every time I squirt that Windex bottle and wipe a window, I view it as just a way I can show the Lord that I am so thankful for Him not just cleaning a part of me, but all of me.
Lord, thank you for continuing to teach me what true service is and for places like DC Central Kitchen and SEARCH that you use as avenues of learning.
-Crystal, CSM Houston Summer 2010 City Host

Learn how YOU can serve with CSM in Houston!

Monday, August 01, 2011


All of the ministry sites I go to are draining, usually because we are physically working, but also because we are using a lot of emotional energy.

But the one that always hits me the hardest is Epworth Men's Shelter. At the end of this month, it will be the only emergency overnight shelter for men in northern Chicago. Basically, that means that only 70 homeless guys will have a safe place to stay out of the hundreds on the streets.

There are plenty of places for women and children. But not men. It always hits me hard.

Men with one backpack of belongings.
No one to take care of them.
Jobless. Homeless.
Most of them didn't even have a razor to their name.
But not friendless. Many of them have a community, hang out with each other, and protect each other.

I saw a kid my age who was on his own.
I watched a dude return to the shelter for the first time after three years. No luck.
I met guys who had come for the first time; guys who had been here for 20 years.
I heard about one of their friends who died recently due to overdosing on heroin.
I met an ex-lead singer in a hardcore band who had a serious brain injury.

Tough guys. But not entirely hopeless.

-Kara, CSM Chicago Summer 2011 City Host