Urban Mission & Ministry Congress

   Campus News | Posted on August 29, 2018

The first-ever Urban Mission and Ministry Congress (UMMC) will be held September 6–8, 2018, on the campus of Andrews University in Berrien Springs, Michigan. This unique event features plenary speakers from backgrounds as diverse as pastors, social activists, ministry leaders, politicians, authors and church organizational leaders.

Speakers include Emanuel Cleaver II, who began his vocational life as a church pastor and now is serving his seventh term representing Missouri’s Fifth Congressional District. He is a member of the House Financial Services Committee, the Ranking Member of the Subcommittee on Housing and Insurance, and also a Senior Whip of the Democratic Caucus.

Noel Castellanos, who served on President Obama's Council for Faith and Neighborhood Partnerships, and is chief executive officer of Christian Community Development in Chicago, will be addressing issues of community service and engagement.

Erica Ford, founder and CEO of LIFE Camp, Inc. (Love Ignites Freedom Through Education), will lead conversations on urban violence. LIFE Camp provides at-risk inner-city youth in New York valuable tools to stay in school, commit to anti-violence and stay out of the criminal justice system. Erica’s dedication to reducing violence has garnered awards by public figures such as former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, Reverend Al Sharpton and hip-hop mogul Russell Simmons.

Richard J. Perry Jr., professor of church and society and urban ministry, Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago, will speak on matters of the Christian voice in public life. His experience in urban and multicultural ministries was honed as director of inclusive ministries for the North Carolina Synod of the Lutheran Church in America.

Tim Wise will address issues of racism in America. Wise is among the most prominent anti-racist writers and educators in the United States. He has trained corporate, government, entertainment, media, law enforcement, military and medical industry professionals on methods for dismantling racism in their institutions. Wise has been featured in several documentaries, including the 2013 Media Education Foundation release “White Like Me: Race, Racism and White Privilege in America.” Wise appears regularly on CNN and MSNBC to discuss race issues and was featured in a 2007 segment on 20/20.

“The city is not the culture that gave birth to evangelical Christianity from which American evangelical faith developed,” says Skip Bell, chair of the event steering committee and professor of church leadership in the Seventh-day Adventist Theological Seminary at Andrews University. “Christianity as we experience it today was deeply formed by the culture of the small rural town, identifying with the worldviews formed in the culture of those areas. The city is different.”

“The reality is that there are millions in cities, especially in western cultures, who have no belief that God is attempting to communicate with us or that we can look in scripture to know truth,” says Bell. “There are many, many people who simply do not believe in God at all. That’s why we need to re-set and re-frame our service. We must re-set and re-frame the vision for what it means to be a Christian carrying the gospel of Jesus in the city.”

For details and to register, visit urbanmissionandministry.org.

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