Thursday, July 09, 2015

Where in the world is Dan Reeve? BOSTON!

Hello from Boston!

It's a busy week here for everyone. We have a bunch of groups from all over the East Coast serving this week with CSM Boston. I spent some time with one of the leaders from Trinity Episcopal 
Church,  Reverend David Canan. I always appreciate when the senior minister comes with his/her group, but that wasn't the only reason I wanted to mention David. During our conversation, David told me about why he does urban mission trips; he talked about being in a suburban church that has "adopted" a small, struggling congregation in an at-risk community in Philadelphia. Trinity isn't just treating this Philly congregation as a "welfare case", but they have a mutually beneficial partnership that helps both congregations grow missionally and build genuine reconciliation bridges.
During my time here, I also have met Jeanette Merren, Director of Greenwood Shalom MCAS. You know that I have a very high value for church-based, wholistic ministry and that's why Jeanette's program is so special. Her main mission is to assist in literacy, writing, and math skills for students who are failing in school, but she is so much more involved. Jeanette talked about how angry so many of the young kids are when they come to her. This is a chronic issue among kids from dysfunctional homes and communities. Jeanette has a wonderful plan for helping kids face their anger rather than just trying to stay calm. I watched as she and some of our group took part in "table talk", an exercise where kids can safely process their feelings and learn some skills to manage them. The main task of our CSM participants in this is to be caring and loving "ears". It was an amazing experience!

Another one of our favorite ministry partners is the Emmanuel Gospel Center. The Emmanuel Gospel Center offers many different programs to serve the community. Today, I met Arvelle Adamson, the Outreach Director, who works with all of the clients in the residence; but more than that, Arvelle spends hours each week out on the street, leading groups that care for those without homes, guiding them to shelter, and sharing Jesus' love in work and in action. Arvelle's outreach is called Starlight Ministries and their tagline is "taking the Church to the Streets". Today, I watched Arvelle take the time, as he always does, to process homelessness with our group before they serve. He described homelessness as a process that winds people right into a hurricane of messes (health, social isolation, unemployment, and all of the poor coping mechanisms people apply in order to cope). Arvelle explains that the only way to help anyone caught in a hurricane is to "pull them out" and that's what Emmanuel Gospel Center does. Then they can address each of those issues that a person faces, including their spiritual needs. Look at Arvelle's photo and you'll see the joy and compassion on his face.

You can be praying for our Boston ministry as it faces a number of housing challenges. Pray that God would provide us with sustainable housing that is year-round.      
From here, I'm off to Chicago and then to Detroit. I'll make sure to let you know what's going on there!


Dan Reeve
CSM President and CEO

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