Sunday, March 17, 2013


Bible Center Church staff and students
While CCO staff are out and about the country leading students on Spring Break trips, I wanted to share with you a new project that I have had the privilege to work on this year. SUMO (Summer Urban Mission Opportunity) is joint program of the Bible Center Church in Homewood and the CCO. Professor John Wallace who holds the Phillip Hallen Chair in Community Health and Social Justice at the University of Pittsburgh and pastors the Bible Center Church wanted to offer college students an opportunity to experience first hand the issues facing many urban communities and how one church is seeking to bring about shalom, or flourishing, to its neighborhood. Working with Dr. Rodger Woodworth, the CCO's director for multi-ethnic ministry and Kerri Clauser Landes, the CCO associate staff at Bible Center Church who runs the discipleship house for college students, Dr. Wallace has been planning a week-long life-transforming immersion into the community of Homewood. I was invited to come alongside this group of visionary leaders to help shape and design this learning experience for the college students who will arrive in May. 

The theme of the week is food insecurity or the reality of hunger in a historical yet poor neighborhood of Pittsburgh where no grocery chain will open a supermarket. During the intensive week of SUMO, a group of students will experience the challenges and opportunities that many residents of urban neighborhoods face. They will meet with people for whom following Jesus has meant taking their skills and expertise and serving the church as it seeks to be an agent of God's Kingdom in the restoration of the community. Along with classroom teaching and panels of speakers, the students will serve in the community of Homewood and in the church by working at the food pantry, helping with the after-school program and going on home visits. What an opportunity! 

If you want to find out more about SUMO, check out the following links:   

If you want to learn more about the work of Bible Center Church, check out this article in the Post Gazette:

If you want to learn more about food insecurity, check out this brand new documentary:

and if you know a college student who would benefit from attending SUMO, please let me know.

Thank you for your prayers and support which allow us to continue our work with the college students and the CCO. Please pray for all the students returning from Spring Break this week may they be able to apply what God has shown them this week back on campus.

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