Category Archives: updates

We’ve Moved

SCUPE just finished a complete revamp of our website and we’re so pleased with it that we’ve consolidated all of our previous/alternate blogs.  So now, everything will be located in one good ‘ole spot.  That spot is here: www.scupe.org

SCUPE website

In the coming year we will be ramping up our efforts to make available many of the resources in urban analysis, intercultural and interfaith relations, and contextual theology that our faculty and staff are known for.  So please do pay us a visit on the new site.


In Session

The 2011 Congress on Urban Ministry is


Neighborhood pt. II

the Lexington Hotel - Al Capone's headquarters

The 2011 Congress hotel, the Hyatt Regency McCormick Place is considered part of the Near South Side.  The Near South Side, located just south of downtown, has probably seen as dramatic change and redevelopment as any Chicago community.  For a good brief on its unique and turbulent history check out the Electronic Encyclopedia of Chicago entry.

The Hyatt McCormick Place is also just north of Bronzeville, part of the South Side.  Chicago’s South Side has long had a distinct identity.  Often identified in the second half of the twentieth century with the city’s African American population, it has actually accommodated remarkable diversity.  For a good brief on its unique and turbulent history check out the Electronic Encyclopedia of Chicago entry.

2011 Congress Hotel - Hyatt McCormick Place

We encourage participants of the 2011 Congress on Urban Ministry to reserve a room at the Hyatt and take advantage of the wonderful facilities and proximity to all of the Congress program and events.  It will be the hub of all Congress activities and of the gathered community.


Early-bird Gets the Worm

To put it lightly, we’re keen on the group of speakers we’ve put together for the 2011 Congress on Urban Ministry.  We think they are the right people to lead us as we wrestle with the issues of violence that people in our communities face everyday.

2011 Congress on Urban Ministry speakers

It’s crucial to have speakers who can help us envision a way towards a more peaceful existence.  How far we are able to go in tackling these issues though, depends on who shows up.  How’s that saying go?  The one about decisions being made by the people who show up?

Will you join us on the path to peace?  We’re making it easier for those early-adapters out there to participate in the Congress.  While our registration costs are already heavily subsidized to keep them low, we understand the expense in travel and lodging and the commitment it takes to be a part of a 3 and a half day conference.  So, to help out a bit more, we’re offering an early-bird rate that is 25% off.  The last day to register at this rate is Monday, November 15.

While hopping on board now won’t guarantee you the best seats, it will guarantee you the best price.

Congress on Urban Ministry Early Bird


Co-Chairs for the 2011 Congress on Urban Ministry

2011 Congress Co-Chairs

We are more than thrilled to announce 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, as the Co-Chairs for the 2011 Congress on Urban Ministry!  These two gentlemen have proven themselves intrepid pioneers of what it means to be peacemakers in a culture of violence.  SCUPE is incredibly excited for their vision, passion, and leadership to shape and guide the 2011 Congress.

Rev. Dr. James A. Forbes, Jr. is Senior Minister Emeritus of Riverside Church and President of the Healing of the Nations Foundation.  Riverside Church is an interdenominational, interracial, and international church built by John D. Rockefeller Jr. in 1927. The church, whose pulpit has often served as the Conscience of the Nation, is where Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. delivered his landmark speech “Beyond Vietnam – A Time to Break Silence”.  The 2,400-member church is affiliated with the American Baptist Churches and the United Church of Christ.

Forbes, who was installed as the fifth Senior Minister of Riverside on June 1, 1989, and retired on June 1, 2007, was the first African-American to serve as Senior Minister of this multicultural congregation. He is an ordained minister in the American Baptist Churches and the Original United Holy Church of America.

Upon his retirement, Forbes founded the Healing of the Nations Foundation to promote the healing of our nation and the recovery of the moral and spiritual values that inspired its founding by fostering a level of spiritual awareness that empowers individuals and communities to become a compassionate voice and a committed force that takes action for peace, justice, interfaith partnership and environmental responsibility.

Rev. Dr. Michael Pfleger is pastor of the Faith Community of Saint Sabina.  In 1981, at the age of 31, he became the youngest full pastor in the diocese when he was appointed to Saint Sabina in the Auburn Gresham neighborhood of South Chicago.  Since that time Pfleger has become well-known as a social critic, prophetic preacher, and spiritual leader.

Pfleger has been recognized nationwide for his fight against alcohol and tobacco billboards, drugs, gun proliferation, video gambling, the degradation of women, and racism in numerous magazines, newspapers, and television programs.  As an outspoken voice against violence he has organized hundreds of social actions promoting peace and community values in the face of violence.

As a minister, Father Pfleger has sought to break down the walls of racism and denominationalism by building unity among all people founded on truth and based on Jesus’ command to love one another.  Pfleger was inducted into the International Civil Rights Walk of Fame in 2009 and was honored with the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Office of Racial Justice of the Archdiocese of Chicago in 2010.


Every New Beginning

Welcome to the blog of the 2011 Congress on Urban Ministry: a web-based platform that aims to be both a pulpit and a round table… a soap box and a listening post… for those concerned/involved/passionate about working for the Kingdom of God in urban contexts.  Join the conversation around all things urban ministry and beyond by reading, posting, and sharing as we gear up for the 2011 Congress on Urban Ministry.

You can read about SCUPE, the Congress, and the contributors to this blog in the Pages section.  If you would like to submit an article, essay, poem, work of satire, short story, photograph, cartoon, song, or anything related to God’s working in the city, please click here (available soon).

The next Congress on Urban Ministry will take place on March 1-4 of 2011 at the Hyatt McCormick Place in Chicago, IL.  Look for more information in the coming months/weeks/days/hours.