I Hate Foot Clinic Mornings

I say that each and every month on the 3rd Saturday, around 8:15am when my alarm starts to go off. Today marked the completion of 3 full years of monthly foot clinics held at The People’s Church’s sanctuary. All in all, we’ve seen WELL over 620 community members in 3 years.  That mean’s we’ve cut… Read more »

Dead in a Park

One of the most important parts of my week is eating dinner with the community at the soup kitchen at the local parish. Tonight I walked into the soup kitchen with my own worries and concerns heavy on my mind and visible on my countenance.  I felt anything but friendly and had no desire to… Read more »

Violent Realities Part 1

This has been a traumatic week in the life of our community.  Before I spend time giving some of my deeper thoughts, this was my experience of the first 30 hours: ____________________________________________________________ Monday, in the middle of one of the neighborhood’s soup kitchen, a passing car unloaded dozens of bullets towards a group of folks… Read more »

Changes and Transitions

July 2013

I Found Him in the Bushes

Literally. I just found Lawrence in the bushes. And if I had not gotten a flat tire on my bike, I would have missed the opportunity to help. _______________________________________________________ When I first visited 4942 N. Kenmore Ave, I had an experience that is forever etched into my heart and made it very clear that this… Read more »

Fool’s Gold(en Rule)

One of the all-time most made comments about the work of JUSTembrace in Uptown has got to be: “I could never do what you do!” The first time I heard this, I cringed – but I wasn’t exactly sure why. I understood what people were saying – the “types” of people we’ve been building community… Read more »

From Service to Hospitality – a Community Conversion

Hospitality means primarily the creation of free space where the stranger can enter and become a friend instead of an enemy. Hospitality is not to change people, but to offer them space where change can take place. It is not to bring men and women over to our side, but to offer freedom not disturbed… Read more »

Coffee, Violence, Theft, Addiction = HOPE

I just got inside from spending a few hours at the front gate giving away Gevalia coffee to passers by. We were also passing out invitations to the foot clinic we are hosting on Saturday. It was so neat to hear Maureen belt out “Free Coffee!!” to people as they passed by or exited the… Read more »

Uninvited to Speak

I knew one day I would have one of these stories.  I really didn’t want to have a story like this so soon, and definitely not for what has caused this, but none the less, it is what it is.  I want to share this story because, well, I’m learning a lot through it and… Read more »

Reflections: Yard Sale

I was very grateful during the weeks leading up to the yard sale to have the help of one of my housemates to simplify my life and subsequently, the life of JUSTembrace.  Truthfully, there’s a LOT more we could have gotten rid of, but I have this deep desire to hold onto things “just in… Read more »