2011 Congress on Urban Ministry
Seminary Consortium for Urban Pastoral Education
March 1-3, 2011
Hyatt Regency McCormick Place
2233 S. Martin L. King Dr.
Chicago, Illinois 60616
In 1968, the Kerner Commission called violence “as American as apple pie.” They claimed that violence was imbedded in our culture. Some 40 years later, our cities serve as prime evidence supporting this claim.
As the theme of the 2011 Congress on Urban Ministry, Peacemaking in a Culture of Violence implies that violence doesn’t just exist on our streets but in our hearts, in our systems, in our public policy, and in the very way we live together as humans. To look at urban ministry as Peacemaking is to see the gift of the gospel as a great potential for affecting us in our everyday lives and in an increasingly globalizing web of inter-connectivity.
This year’s SCUPE conference believes that peacemaking takes many forms, and has identified themes that will solicit provocative discussion and engage participants in developing strategic approaches to working in urban communities. One of these themes is violence to the environment.
Eco-Justice Collaborative has been selected to present a workshop on this theme, which we’ve called:
Asleep at the Switch
Violence to America’s Heartland and
A Wake Up Call to a Just Energy Future
Our highly developed western lifestyles bring us unparalleled comfort and convenience, but also isolate our actions from their consequences. With the simple act of turning on a light switch, we set in motion a chain of events that destroys farmland and forest, poisons drinking water, pollutes the air we breathe and displaces entire communities.
This is happening in America’s heartland and projected to dramatically increase. How are we called to respond as people faith? What can we do to stop the violence to God’s creation?
What is the Congress on Urban Ministry?
The Congress on Urban Ministry is a biennial event organized by SCUPE in partnership with organizations, agencies, and denominations doing urban ministry. Over its 30 year history the Congress has proven itself as a premier, international gathering of hundreds of pastors, practitioners, academicians, students and people with a passion for social justice who come together to take part in educating, celebrating, and collaborating towards God’s reign in our cities. This diverse group of participants is committed to finding creative ways to prepare and resource individuals so that their ministries may better confront the issues and needs of their communities.
The Congress will host nationally-renowned speakers as well various networking events, evening worship, site visits, and social actions that put theory into practice. There will also be opportunities for attendees to participate in art, prayer, concerts, and informal discussions with the presenters and the grassroots practitioners who make a real impact in their communities everyday.
Attendees will have the opportunity to be challenged and inspired from nearly 50 workshops focusing on such topics as: asset-based community development, resisting economic violence, peacemaking with urban youth, restoring urban communities, faith-based public policy advocacy, urban &suburban partnerships, time-banking, immigration theology, hip-hop as a theological paradigm, and ecological peacemaking.
The event will be co-chaired by Rev. Dr. James A. Forbes, president and founder of the Healing of the Nations Foundation and Senior Minister Emeritus of Riverside Church, and Rev. Dr. Michael Pfleger, pastor of the Faith Community of Saint Sabina.