Monday, December 23, 2013

Another year, another adventure

I have been so blessed to be able to continue serving Denver as I work with CSM as one of this year's apprentices...

So much has happened in the past two months since I've returned to Denver. I have a new roommate and co-worker, Amanda, who I am so blessed to be able to grow and learn with for this next year. We have an adorably small studio apartment so getting to know each other well hasn't been too difficult. Amanda and I have been working on lots of different projects and coming up with new and exciting things for our groups to experience as they come into the city.

We've also had the privilege of hosting three groups in the past couple of months and it 's such a great reminder of why I fell in love with Denver and CSM in the first place. This is a picture of my Utah group and I serving at Capitol Hill, a lunch soup kitchen that serves about 200 of our homeless friends everyday.

My favorite moments in life are the ones when God jumps into your daily routine and surprises you with something or someone totally unexpected, like Marie...

Marie is a 10 year old little girl who loves to color pictures, eat candy, and play with friends. We have a lot in common, except for one thing, Marie is homeless. Earlier in the day I had bought a coloring book and crayons for myself while waiting on a group to finish an activity. I had no idea that God would use that coloring book as a way for me to start a conversation and spend an hour with such an incredible little girl. When we finished coloring, she simply thanked me for being her friend and left. God is constantly teaching me that all He requires is that I'm available and ready to do whatever it is that He asks of me, even when it's as simple as sharing my coloring book.

- Brittany Johnson, CSM Denver Apprentice

Learn how YOU can serve with CSM in Denver!

Friday, December 20, 2013

Inequities across Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) Stations

Living in Oakland, a commonly known fact is that the "flats" of Oakland have many more children with asthma compared to children living in the hills. This article uses BART (Bay Area Rapid Transit) stops to show huge differences between life expectancy, household incomes and childhood asthma hospitalizations of people living next to each other in The East Bay. 

I'm thankful CSM has the opportunity to work alongside organizations involved in community development, like the SF Reserve, author of this article. 

- Kim Foster, CSM San Francisco Bay Area City Director

Learn how YOU can serve with CSM in the San Francisco Bay Area!

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Roots of homelessness in Chicago

Here at CSM Chicago we focus on a lot of the reasons why our ministry partners such as homeless shelters need to exist. The homelessness issue in Chicago is deeply rooted in Chicago Public Housing. In this segment, NPR digs up the causes of why it is so hard to get ahead, to get housing, and to ultimately get a job while living in urban areas.

- Lauren Maniaci, CSM Chicago Associate City Director

Learn how YOU can serve with CSM in Chicago!

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Bike Club Opens Up World of Possibilities

What a wonderful example of how to open up children's imagination to a world outside of gunshots and limited possibilities. Terry Key exemplifies what can happen when you trust and seek Gods restoration in your own life and your community.

Thank you, Edgehill Bike Club! "South Side. Let's ride!"

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

DC Mission Relocates

The Central Union Mission has been on of our ministry partners in DC for years.  They provide gospel-centered assistance to those living on the streets.  We frequently send groups there and are excited about their move. 

Our staff in DC has already received tours of the new location.  It's truly amazing to see the blessing God has provided for them as an organization and the people they serve.  Check out the video! 

- Chris Zwakenberg, CSM Washington DC City Director

Learn how YOU can serve with CSM in Washington DC!

Wednesday, December 04, 2013

Beautiful Boston

Experience the true beauty of Boston in this video by filmmaker Joerg Daiber. From incredible views of Boston's skyline to the Charles River to the beautiful fall foliage - how could you not LOVE Boston! Boston truly is America's most beautiful little big city! Learn how you can experience this beauty for yourself by signing your group up for a trip to Boston with CSM. Email us or call 267-928-2620 to find out what dates are still available!

- Chris Nazareth, CSM Boston City Director

Learn how YOU can serve with CSM in Boston!

Monday, December 02, 2013

Christmas Is Coming!

Advent is here!  

In a season filled with decorating, gift shopping, and  travel planning, the last thing we usually think of scheduling is time to be still.

But that is what we are called to do.  Advent is a time for us to be still, reflect, and prepare ourselves to be a dwelling place for God's presence here on earth.

It is during this same season CSM-Nashville does tithe visits; when we give a portion of our groups' payments back to our ministry partners. I treasure these times because they force me to step away from the busyness of managing a ministry and go to the places where Jesus is being born in our city each day.  Through their unconditional love,  creative programming, and steadfast commitment, these ministries have prepared themselves as dwelling place's for God's presence.  It is encouraging and I am thankful that I have the opportunity to pause and celebrate them every year.

- Jes Williams, CSM Nashville City Director

Learn how YOU can serve with CSM in Nashville!