Archive for the ‘Social Justice’ Category

March 2017 Update

Posted 28 Mar 2017 — by nick
Category GCM, Illini Life, Jesus, Ministry, News, Photos, Social Justice, Spirituality

Hello friends below you should find our update letter for March 2017.

Download (PDF, 125KB)

On Mission in Haiti and Memphis

As some of you may have noticed in our last update letter Illini Life sent off two different missions teams over Spring Break this week. Amy is currently in Memphis, TN with a team of 30 Students and 5 Adult leaders serving and sharing in the community there with SOS. They arrived on-sight Sunday afternoon.

Another small group of 15 headed to Haiti around 2:00AM CST today. They’re working with Mountain Top Ministries just outside Port-a-Prince. One of my ministry passions is helping engineering students find places to serve in the church and use their gifts. This trip allows quite a few of them to do just that. The 15 are divided into 3 groups:

  • One group will be helping to set up a school’s computer lab & provide training for the equipment.
  • One group will be working alongside a Haitian construction team to build a hospital.
  • One group will be partnering with a team from UIC-Chicago to run a medical clinic.

We’re excited to be providing 15 laptops and wireless internet in the computer lab. You can have a look at some pictures a few of my friends took as they prepared the computers for travel and lab installation. If you’d like to follow along with the Haiti trip subscribe to the trip blog.

March 2011 Update

Posted 10 Mar 2011 — by nick
Category GCM, Illini Life, Jesus, Ministry, Social Justice, Spirituality, Technology

Hello friends below you should find our update letter for March 2011.

Download (PDF, 370KB)

February 2011 Update

Posted 10 Feb 2011 — by nick
Category GCM, Illini Life, Jesus, Ministry, Photos, Scripture, Social Justice, Spirituality

Hello friends below you should find our update letter for February 2011.

Download (PDF, 264KB)

I and Love and You

Posted 22 Jun 2010 — by nick
Category music, Poetry, Social Justice, Spirituality, Videos

Changing mood, aiding worship, motivating – the power of music. For as long as I can remember music has been an integral part of my life. From the days of grade school freedom listening to The New Kids On The Block or the happiness and hope of the country Christmas music of my family and childhood to the depression struggles in college with Damien Rice and Jeff Tweedy singing my sorrows. There also was the teen-angst phase of loud punk rock. These days I find myself listening to a lot of creative lyrics and unique musical arrangements; the likes of The Avett Brothers, Derek Webb, Josh Ritter, Spoon and of course Sufjan Stevens streaming past my ears.

Some have said, and I tend to agree, musicians are the prophets of our times. They have the power to bring up social issues, draw our hearts and attention to injustice and call for a higher way to live.

Lately the song “I and Love and You” by The Avett Brothers moves me to think and reflect. The story I hear is one of a man looking back at his life, how easy it was to fight and be harsh with his words and how overtime it wore him down. Left chasing after empty things and seeking fulfillment in nightlife, he comes to the realization that Love has been what he’s after, yet the simple three words, the most powerful words we can speak are hard to say – I and Love and You.

The whole album is beautiful, I highly recommend it.

Super Tuesday: Vote Today!

Posted 05 Feb 2008 — by nick
Category News, Social Justice

Just a quick and friendly reminder that today is Super Tuesday, so if your state is holding it’s primary today, go vote. I’m not an expert on all this stuff – voter registration, the primaries, elections – but I do know I get to voice my choice for potential presidential candidates for the upcoming election today and I did so this morning.

If nothing else, they give you a sticker. Would be nice to get a sucker too, but oh well.

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Now playing: Derek Webb – A King and a Kingdom
via FoxyTunes

Blog Samples: Jesus

Posted 04 Feb 2008 — by nick
Category Blogs, coffee, Jesus, Scripture, Social Justice, Spirituality

Thanks to Ben for sharing this post on google reader. Its from Jesus the radical pastor, John W. Frye’s blog. Reading this I felt convicted as I sipped on my Morning Blend Starbucks coffee. I resonate with John here, I don’t think Jesus would like me much, nor I Him. Much has been given me, what am I doing with it?

Would the Radical Jesus Like You?
“In the Gospels I usually identify with all the people Jesus serves. I think that he both liked and loved them. But if I am honest, I should see myself in those groups that didn’t like Jesus and I don’t think he liked them very much, either.”

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Now playing: Ray LaMontagne – Be Here Now
via FoxyTunes

Being Made Right

Posted 17 Dec 2007 — by nick
Category Jesus, Light, music, Social Justice, Spirituality

I keep coming back to this song lately – starting my mornings with it, rooting myself in it’s truth in the hard hour or so after work when life seems especially heavy and overwhelming. I find beauty in how simple it is, just a guitar and a voice.

“people love you most for the things you hate
and hate you for loving the things you can’t keep straight
people judge you on a curve
and tell you you’re getting what you deserve
and this, too, shall be made right”
Derek Webb – ‘This Too Shall Be Made Right’

Derek has long been a hero of mine, mostly due to his passion for seeing The Church fully realized and fearlessness in speaking up about how we don’t have things quite right.

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Now playing: Derek Webb – This Too Shall Be Made Right
via FoxyTunes

Free Rice

Posted 30 Nov 2007 — by nick
Category Friends, Fun, Light, Social Justice, Technology

While working intently on his paper, Ben came across this website: Free Rice I thought it a wonderful idea – I play a game (and develop my vocabulary) the outcome of which feeds hungry people around the world.

Now, I don’t need a game to remind me that my vocabulary isn’t much larger than that of a high school senior, but I’ll do my best to feed the poor and needy.

I played for about 10 minutes this evening and donated 300 grains of rice and received a vocab score of 42. Watch out Freerice.org, tomorrow is a Friday and I have a full work day to spend donating rice 🙂

A World in Disorder

Posted 21 Sep 2007 — by nick
Category Blogs, Darkness, Jesus, Light, News, Podcasts, Social Justice, Videos

I arrived at work this morning like usual and browsed my podcasts. NPR story of the day, The New from Lake Wobegon, Pandora podcast, This American Life, etc. “‘Jena Six’ Case Prompts Mass Demonstrations” – the NPR headline seemed to leap out. Clicking ‘play’ I found my heart beating faster, an anger welling up and sadness deepening.

Initially I was angry that racism could still be so prevalent in this little town in the south. Then I began to admit it’s not just in the south, in this little town. I see it in my upbringing, I see it at home, I see it on this campus, I see it in my life – through my white privilege and learned behavior.

In the darkness of racism it becomes so apparent to me that Jesus is the hope of the World and that he is putting it all back together again. We simply can’t fix things apart from God.

NPR was my first exposure to this issue – the whole story feels like something out of a text book describing the 60’s. You can read more here at BBC.

One of the more interesting bits of the article to me is how the community is described as a “mixed community” about 85% White and 12% black, yet the churches are not so ‘mixed’ nor are the neighborhoods or even the barber shop.

Continuing my morning routine I noticed a blog post by JR Woodward about this topic. As usual it’s worth reading.

Here is a brief YouTube Photo Story:

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Now playing: Derek Webb – A New Law
via FoxyTunes