This form does not yet contain any fields.

    CFUM Grants Awarded

    posted December 2014

    In this season of Expectation and Birth, our Center for Urban Ministry, Inc. is in a season of closure and farewell.

    After praying over and wrestling with many grant applications, the Board of CFUM, Inc. announces the distribution of our remaining assets through grants to the following recipients:
    • Christian Fellowship Congregational Church (UCC), San Diego, CA for seed funding for a Children's Defense Fund Freedom School.
    • The BEACON, Inc., an outreach ministry of Christ Church Cathedral, Houston, Texas for expanding their Beacon Law Ministry for persons seeking housing.
    • Washington United Church of Christ (UCC), Cincinnati, Ohio for educational curriculum for many mission groups making pilgrimage to this inner city church to assist, learn, experience and re-create in their churches.
    • First United Methodist Church, Sacramento, CA for a Culinary Arts Program assisting underserved people in their year-round arts program. This involves education and gardening for production of their own healthy food.
    • St. John's Episcopal Church, Columbus (Franklinton), Ohio to expand Growing Place program of food, education, community organizing for a teaching urban garden through partnership with nearby elementary school.
    • Central Cities Ministries, Inc., Fargo, SD for provision of emergency transportation for economically vulnerable people to receive needed services, many of which provided by CCM, Inc.
    • St. Anna's Episcopal Church, New Orleans, LA for the expansion of their health clinic to provide a free Children's Eye Clinic in Seventh Ward and Treme, their church neighborhood plagued by poverty, violence and children without access for eye examinations.
    • St. Mary's Episcopal Cathedral, Memphis, TN for the enlargement  of a Memorial Leadership Series for quality workshops for metropolitan clergy and congregational leaders in urban and social justice ministry.
    • Germantown Avenue Crisis Ministry, Inc. at First Presbyterian Church  Germantown, Philadelphia, PA for expansion of multi-services with at risk residents of Northwest Philadelphia.
    • Open Gym Outreach Program at Roseville Presbyterian Church, Newark, NJ. for expansion of basketball program, school tutoring, mentoring, meals, etc. for inner-city at risk young men and families.
    • Savage Memorial Presbyterian Church, Portland, OR for growth and creation of new food programs with nearby elementary school, and summer school food services.
    • Pullen Memorial Baptist Church, Raleigh, NC for expansion of transportation services for daily Round Table Fellowships with homeless and vulnerable populations.
    • Norma Phriem Urban Outreach Initiatives, Inc. of United Congregational Church (UCC), Bridgeport, CT for expanding fresh produce for low income and homeless families through church-based Farmers Market and Food Pantry.
    CFUM, Inc. extends enormous THANKS for the valued partnership with each of you in ministry. 

    Reminder: With closure of CFUM, Inc., I will be available for limited urban church consultations. You can email me at:  

    Wild, Worldly Emmanuel

    Posted December 2014

    C. S. Lewis is reported to have written: “God is wild, you know”. So come, wild Emmanuel!

    Crack open the eyes and hearts of our global
    and local villages. 
    Awaken the souls of churches who dwell
    within our cities.
    Emmanuel Season hopes for and celebrates
    our hidden, yet present God.

    In this season of Ebola, ISIS and raw Racism freshly revealed... In this season when unaccompanied children are on our borders... In this season when children are trafficked for sex and labor... We long for the Holy Child who meets “the hopes and fears of all the years" this night, this dawn, this afternoon.
    Come, wild Emmanuel. 

    Urge our churches to reflect authentic Light for “people who live in a land of deep darkness". Cause prophetic clergy and congregations to reveal the Voice and Body of “the Word become flesh” in city streets, in courtrooms and boardrooms, in healing and hurt, in loss and love. Come, worldly God. Make us a Godly world.

    When race and class cry out for treason, 
    When sirens call for war, 
    They overshout the voice of reason 
    And scream till we ignore 
    All we held dear before. 

    Yet I believe beyond believing, 
    That life can spring from death: 
    That growth can flower from our grieving; 
    That we can catch our breath 
    And turn transfixed by faith. 

    O Child of ecstasy and sorrows,
    O Prince of peace and pain,         
    Brighten today's world by tomorrow's,
    Renew our lives again;
    Lord Jesus, come and reign!
    (from Each Winter as the Year Grows Older)


    What Are You Doing with your "Dash" (-)?

    Posted November, 2014
    That riveting question fell from the presenter’s voice as he introduced one of the recipients of the 2014 Distinguished Alumni Awards event at Wake Forest University. The presenter explained that most cemetery tombstones and columbarium plaques reveal the names of the departed, followed by their birth date and death date, separated by a simple (–).

    He did not have to state the obvious. The (–) is the symbol for one's life. He just glanced over the large gathering and quietly asked us: “What are YOU and I doing withOUR (-)” The silence in the room was deafening.
    Living our (-) to the Fullest
    Every person in that dinner crowd had just been moved and mesmerized by the video depicting Karen Bruton’s compassionate and courageous work in Sierra Leone (this was prior to the EBOLA virus). Karen received her MBA from Wake Forest University in 1984 and would become one of the outstanding leaders of a quality investment firm on Wall Street. Still, there seemed to be a hole in her (–).

    Click to read more ...


    Reflections of a Legacy Bearer

    Posted October 2014
    This month's reflection is courtesy of Rev Nancy E. Muth
    For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven.
    -Ecclesiastes 3:1

    I recently retired as the minister of The First Presbyterian Church in Germantown (FPCG), a diverse urban congregation in northwest Philadelphia. It was the end of a nearly 15 year relationship, but also a new season for that church and for me. 

    Now after 15 years of strengthening ministries and inspiring urban church leaders the Center for Urban Ministry (CFUM) and the Rev. Dr. Doug Bailey are facing new seasons. 

    Although CFUM will no longer formally exist, its new season will be in the capable hands of those of you who have benefited from its ministry over the years. You are being asked to continue the legacy! To assist you in this effort CFUM is offering you seed money grants for an urban ministry in your community.         

    During my ministry at FPCG I had the privilege of attending three City of God for American Cities conferences in Washington DC. I learned so very much and enthusiastically returned home each time filled with so many ideas for urban ministry. 

    I also returned filled with stories from the people I met during the conference: participants, conference leaders, those from the pilgrimage ministries, and those many stories from Doug and Carolyn Bailey. 

    Click to read more ...


    Urban Ministry Spotlight: Staging A Miracle

    posted September 2014

    One of our CFUM, Inc. legacy bearers is a remarkable arts ministry called STAGING A MIRACLE. “SAM" is the soul justice and social justice ministry conceived and offered byFirst United Methodist Church, Sacramento, CA (FUMC). 

    In June 2007, the Senior Minister and the new Director of Children's Ministry of FUMC were keen participants in our “City of God" conference. They were inspired by a pilgrimage to the stunning Sitar Center, an innovative children's center for the arts in the under-served Adams-Morgan neighborhood of D.C. Their creative juices and hearts were “strangely warmed". A brilliant dream was born for Staging a Miracle!

    SAM targets low income children in the midtown and beyond of Sacramento. Initially, it provided a unique five-week summer theater program for children, culminating in free city-wide, packed out performances on an elevated stage built in the church courtyard. They also hosted an encore performance after worship services on the last Sunday of SAM. 

    SAM has now grown into a fabulous year-round program with leadership and coaching by respected artists from the Sacramento fine-arts community. Hundreds of Sacramento families have been transformed. CFUM, Inc. is inspired to be “partners" with SAM in Sacramento. It is mutual inspiration. Readers, visit their website for your inspiration!


    True North on the Christian Compass

    posted September 2014

    The radical Jesus of the Gospels offers a terrifying and timeless invitation: “Come, bring your cross (a metaphor for your death) and follow me. If you want to find your life, you must first lose it. In losing your life for my sake, you will find authentic life."

    Prophet, theologian and martyr, Dietrich Bonhoeffer, writes that Jesus’ consistent admonition is: “Come, follow Jesus; it will require the death of you."  Good News?? NO, says church-ianity. YES, declares Christ-ianity.

    Dying to self is True North on the follower’s compass. It makes us cringe. It is the most difficult centerpiece for the Christian journey. Yet, it is the singular promise for NEW life.
    CFUM, Inc. is not fraudulently claiming martyrdom. Yet we are dying by bringing closure to our ministry. Hopefully by now you are aware that, in our closure, the Board of CFUM, Inc. has made the courageous decision to make seed grants available to you. Information andgrant application forms are available on our website. Effective September 15th, grant applications will be received. Closure for grant applications is October 24, 2014. Our Board members will be the readers and decision-makers regarding grant recipients.

    We hope to be challenged by the receipt of quality grant applications for urban/social justice ministry in the cities of America. Have you submitted your grant proposal? We intend to live our new life through you!


    CFUM Grant Program

    posted July 2014

    You will recall that our CFUM, Inc. closure process includes a Grants Program.  

    Grant Guidelines for applications will be posted on our website on August 112014.  

    CFUM, Inc. is entrusting our legacy to you through our grants to your urban ministries.We look forward to reading your applications. Final Grant decisions will be made by our entire Board.