We have several updates we would like to share with our broader Salvation Army community!
First of all, our center update. Unfortunately, this is the less pleasant update for us to share. We have had to scrap our plans for building the center in Chicago’s Lakeview East community. As resources have continued to be difficult to find and increasingly expensive to purchase, we realized that our plan was no longer fiscally possible. We were facing a significant increase in cost for much less building and space than is needed for us to fulfill our purpose of educating, equipping and engaging the broader Salvation Army of the Central Territory.
Yet this update does come with a significant silver lining. We are still exploring the best options for a location to establish the Center for Social Justice and City Mission. With this in mind, we are seeking to identify a location in which we will be able to truly accomplish our department’s priority of making a deeper, more sustainable impact on the lives of suffering people and struggling communities than the provision of social services can achieve alone. We are able to truly look at potential locations with regard to where we can most broadly connect and collaborate with partners. We are striving to identify a location in which we truly can be neighbors living and working in community.
Secondly, did you notice the easter egg for our second update? Hint: It’s in the name. Center for Social Justice and City Mission. That’s right, we have had a name change. While this may seem like an insignificant change, we think that it is an important one. What do you picture when you hear the term “urban” – is it a big city? One with a very large population? And something that feels “far away” from our smaller cities and towns across the Midwest?
Over the past 3 years since our department was established, we have sought to continue exploring our call to engage in intentional ministry within our cities. We want to make sure it’s clear to all of us – we are all working within cities and communities that have a need for intentional social justice efforts. We hope that this clarification will invite us all into this effort to work towards justice, address concerns, and support each other.
Let us work to advance God’s Kingdom on earth as it is in heaven.