Rescue and Advent

A Taxi Full of Grace

According to family lore, my grandmother was once voted the meanest woman in Mishawaka, Indiana. She was a tiny woman with an equally small measure of patience for her three children. One year when my Dad was 5 years old, my grandmother went out to buy the family Christmas gifts and somehow she lost the money and returned empty handed. No one knows if she accidentally dropped the money somewhere or if it was stolen but the upshot was that it was Christmas and there were going to be no gifts or tree that year. My grandfather had just joined Alcoholics Anonymous after a long career of binge drinking (he gave my aunt the wrong name at her birth because he was too drunk to remember the agreed upon name – he was that guy). This was a family that was rough around the edges, to say the least. Somehow my grandpa’s AA group heard about their predicament and hired a taxi, filled it with enough groceries for a week, gifts, and a tree, and sent the taxi to their home. They sent it all in a taxi so that my grandparents would not know exactly who had sent the gifts and would have to accept them. Thus a taxi hired by recovering alcoholics, filled with gifts, arrived unexpectedly at their front door on Christmas Eve. And the meanest woman in Mishawaka and her family celebrated the birth of Jesus despite having done very few works that could be called “good” in the preceding year.

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Jesus People: The View From Eight Years

Tressa reflects on the challenges and joys of community.

When I first heard the phrases ‘living communally’ and ‘intentional community’, my interest was piqued. Those phrases have always made me think of two words: community and belonging. Both of those words have been buzzwords for quite a long time, but before that, they were simply two words that meant a lot to me, since they highlighted what I really wanted: connection and being seen.

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Aunt Karen’s Potatoes

Cooking and the Gifts of Community

One of the many joys of living in community is being with people who share their various gifts with all of us. These gifts may come in the form of talent at leading worship services, preaching, creating stunning art that brings people a better understanding of God. Sometimes a person’s gifting is in the realm of hospitality through cooking amazing food that elevates the everyday experience of eating dinner together.

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A CCO Back-to-School Rally Story

For kids at a shelter, going back to school is a really big deal.

Streamers and balloons begin to appear in the dining room of Cornerstone Community Outreach.  Tables and chairs are rearranged to make room for something special that will soon happen.  Children are wide-eyed with anticipation and intrigue as they walk through this bustling activity on their way to the local Target store where they will each pick out a brand new pair of shoes to start the school year.

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EnneaLife at Jesus People

An Enneagram Expert Analyzes Jesus People

I discovered The Enneagram in 1995, when my spiritual director suggested that it might help me better understand my approach to life, work, relationships, and spirituality.  Understatement of the decade!  Learning about and embracing my 7wing8-ness has been an ongoing journey of thrills and tears that eventually landed me here at Jesus People in the summer of 2019. Lots of numbing details could be delved into here, but I’ll spare you.  Just to say that in the fall of 2018 God nudged me toward a new adventure (which we 7’s are all about!) of living in an intentional Christian community with 180 folks in Uptown Chicago.

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Sunday Cookouts Jesus People Style

It's Not About The Meat

On Sundays in the summer we have “Grill Your Own” for dinner. It’s a great time to get together in nice outdoor weather (fingers crossed it’s not raining because there is no “Plan B”) and make food together as one big family. 

I love grilling. I really love to BBQ (the right way) – spending hours maintaining the proper temp and keeping the conditions perfect so those ribs turn out just the way you want them – juicy, delicious, and flavorful.

Grill Your Own is not like this at all.

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Introducing the Uptown Garden Collective

Gardening Locally Using What We Have

Ecology and sustainability may conjure up images of agriculture, recycling, and saving the oceans. As an urban community, Jesus People seems far removed from caring for natural resources when in reality it’s all about doing what you can right where you are. We formed the Uptown Garden Collective to address some of these issues together, asking the question, “What can we do, with our limited space and resources, to be part of the solution instead of the problem?”

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Greyson and the Jesus People

Raising a Child With Autism in Community

For a week my husband and I had been sitting in that unknown space that exists when waiting for a diagnosis. Our doctor was obviously emotional when she said it. With a quivering voice she said the words I was dreading: “Your son has classic autism.”

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Jesus People Podcast

One of the best things about living in community is having the chance to sit down with your neighbors and talk about what’s real.

These conversations tend to be wide ranging, covering everything from who sells the best deep-dish pizza in Chicago to hearing about why someone has been living in community for the past two decades. The Jesus People Podcast was begun because we know that so many people would love to have the opportunity to hear about what’s going on at Jesus People but live too far away to show up, plop themselves on a couch, and hear about life in community.

If this sounds like something you’d like to be part of, follow this link and take a listen.