Category Archives: Member Churches

Different Kingdoms – Reflection from Pastor Ryan

Pastor Ryan Donoho, senior pastor at First Baptist Church of Lafayette, recently published this thoughtful Lenten reflection in his parish’s March newsletter.

Special thanks to Pastor Ryan Donoho for this timely reflection.


Different KingdomsPicture-of-Ryan-Donoho-225x300

Are you more American or Christian?  What is your primary allegiance?  The church is a community of people who live under the reign of God in the kingdom of God.  Although we might be natively born in the United States of America (USA), if we are followers of Jesus Christ our primary citizenship is in the kingdom of God.  And, although natural citizens of the USA, we are called to live as foreigners and strangers even in our homeland.  Each church is to be a little pocket of the kingdom living amongst the world.

1 Peter 1:17-23 (NIV translation)

Since you call on a Father who judges each person’s work impartially, live out your time as foreigners here in reverent fear.  For you know that it was not with perishable things such as silver or gold that you were redeemed from the empty way of life handed down to you from your ancestors, but with the precious blood of Christ, a lamb without blemish or defect.  He was chosen before the creation of the world, but was revealed in these last times for your sake.  Through him you believe in God, who raised him from the dead and glorified him, and so your faith and hope are in God.

Now that you have purified yourselves by obeying the truth so that you have sincere love for each other, love one another deeply, from the heart.  For you have been born again, not of perishable seed, but of imperishable, through the living and enduring word of God.

The values and culture of Lafayette, Indiana, USA are not always in line with the values and culture of the kingdom of God.  And, at those points where they differ, the Church is called to live by the values of the kingdom of God.  Every church starts with the culture that they know and live in (we can do no other), and then discerns how they need to be transformed into the likeness of Christ and the values of the kingdom.  Churches should not be stagnant, but always transforming and always changing to more closely align with the will of God.  Each church is a work in progress, doing their best to embody the kingdom of God.

The church is called to be conformed to God and live differently from the ways of the world, and not the other way around.  Yet, it is compelling to try and make the church more American to more easily attract Americans to join the church.  To be able to effectively communicate the message of Jesus to a culture, like the American culture, there needs to be some familiarity with that culture.  Christians need to be able to speak the language of the average person in the society around them.  However, the purpose of this is to help call them into something different, a different way of living in the kingdom of God under the Lordship of Jesus Christ.  The church and its gatherings should remain distinctly Christian.

There is a difference between living as strangers in the world because we live with an outdated version of American culture, and living as strangers in the world because we live as citizens of the kingdom of God.  Things like the style of music (is it 19th century American or 21st century American?) and the technology used (is it 1980s technology or 2015 technology?) are not really the bigger issues.  Those are not the types of things that make us uniquely Christian.

The types of things that make us uniquely Christian are values like loving God, caring for those who are marginalized and forgotten by society, living simply and generously, loving our enemies, and looking to the interests of others above ourselves.  These things should instruct how we gather and live together as the church in the world.

However, it has become commonplace for churches to take up the practices of consumerism and follow American business models that at their core have values that are not in line with the kingdom of God.  Consumerism is largely based upon selfishness and many American business models are based upon growing in size and profits in competition with other similar service providers.  These are not the goals of the kingdom.

Even if the heart of the church’s desire to use consumerism and American business models is to bring more people into the kingdom and spread the message of Jesus, the medium and strategies used to communicate are a big part of the message themselves.  The way the message is communicated also communicates.  If we preach a message of loving, giving, and considering others above oneself, but present it in a medium that encourages selfish consumerism; then we are defeating ourselves and the message we preach.

It is tempting to reach for the consumeristic model of church, because it “works.”  It draws a crowd.  It can help pay the bills, and make us feel like we are being a successful church.  It is also natural and comfortable for us as Americans.  Yet, by what standard do we measure success?  Is it success according to the values of our American society, or success according to the values of the kingdom of God?

You may be wondering, “what does a consumeristic model of church look like?”  It is when a church tries to attract religious consumers to attend their church and consume their religious goods and services without calling them to the deep commitment of submitting themselves to God and one another as they live out the values of the kingdom of God in a community together.  It is when a church does some form of market research (formally or informally) to determine what consumers of religious experiences are interested in, and then shapes their gathering around those marketable experiences; instead of first considering the values of the kingdom and shaping their gathering around those values.  It is when a church tries to draw a big crowd to an attractive worship experience with a self-help message, but makes no intentional efforts at moving the people from the crowd into a smaller communal group where discipleship, mutual submission, mentoring, and practices of the faith take place.  It is when a church tries to draw a big crowd but does little to try and care for the “least of these” within their church or out in the world.

Choosing to form a church around the values of the kingdom of God instead of forming it around the values of our American culture will likely result in a smaller church.  Can American Christians be ok with that, or does our American concept of success by size and numbers push us towards forming our churches around American values to draw a crowd?  And, what will we do with our buildings?

As American culture and Christianity continue to diverge from one another, the question for American Christians increasingly becomes, “will they choose to become more American or more Christian?”  In some ways the divergence is helpful, because it can awaken American Christians to the reality that American values and Christian values are not one in the same thing.  They never have been, but it is becoming increasingly obvious.

So, what type of church will we be?

Grace and Peace,

Pastor Ryan

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Music Ministries Concert Benefits LUM


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First United Methodist Church of West Lafayette is sponsoring a live Music Ministries Concert on Sunday, February 22, 2015  with a free-will offering, half of which benefits Lafayette Urban Ministry.


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The Music Ministries of First United Methodist Church Concert will feature 11 church ensembles with children, youth, adults, choral, instrumental, and handbell —  including:

  • Aldersgate Handbell Choir
  • Celebration Chimes (children’s choir)
  • Chancel Choir
  • Collision Youth Band
  • First Church 4 (men’s barbershop quartet)
  • H.I.S. – (women’s trio)
  • Jubilation Bells (handbell quartet)
  • King’s Choir (children’s choir)
  • MorningStar (women’s ensemble)
  • Sonshine Kids (children’s choir)
  • WIRED Band

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The Concert details are as follows:

  • Music Ministries Concert
  • Sunday, February 22
  • 1:30 p.m.
  • First United Methodist Church, 1700 State Rd 26 W, West Lafayette

Refreshments will be available after the concert. Free-will offering will be requested which benefits both Lafayette Urban Ministry and Habitat for Humanity.  It will be a wonderful afternoon of music and worship — all for a great cause.

For more information call 765.74.1285 or email ewilson@fumcwl.org.


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Hunger Hike 2014 – Best Ever


Hunger Hike 2014 – Most Raised in History – $95,000


Hunger Hike 2014 - BR - 199


It’s Still Not Too Late to DONATE to Hunger Hike 2014

  • To donate to a Hunger Hike TEAM, CHURCH team or individual fundraiser, click HERE
  • To donate directly to Hunger Hike 2014, click HERE
  • More information — go to www.hungerhike.org

This year’s Hunger Hike raised more money to date than all past Hunger Hike events. Hunger Hike 2014 this past weekend was filled with excitement, energy and good will. The weather was perfect for both the HH5K Run on Saturday and the Hunger Hike Kick-off event and 3K Walk on Sunday. Hundreds of caring individuals walked, ran, hiked, and donated funds to the Fight Against Hunger.

Thus far approximately $95,000 has been pledged and donated to Hunger Hike — which exceeds ALL past years for the amount of money raised.

The crowd gathered together in Riehle Plaza with one goal in mind – Fighting Hunger. The event this year was special from beginning to end — starting withIMG_1579 the National Anthem sung by Janelle Davis & Annalise Drake from the Harrison High School Performing Arts Program, Zumba with Emily from Parkwest Fitness — and closing with a Hot Dog & Chips picnic for all participants — and music throughout the entire event by DJ Powder from Rat Pak Mobile DJs.

The plaza was also filled with information tables focused on the issues of hunger, voter registration available courtesy of the League of Women Voters, face-painting from the Unlimited Smiles Clown Ministry, and massages from Essential Touch Massage. To welcome the hikers and to kick-off the hike, special guest speakers (see below) offered remarks which included information, words of inspiration and blessings to the hikers just before the main event.

Purdue Pete, the Purdue Crew Team, Purdue Women’s Basketball Team, and Purdue Volleyball Team led the hikers to the route along the Wabash Heritage Trail. The event was successful in bringing much needed attention to the battle against malnutrition, food insecurity and hunger.


hungerhike_HEROStayed tuned for the results for the following Hunger Hike awards: Top Individual Fundraiser, Top Church Fundraiser, 2nd Highest Church Fundraiser, & Top Team Fundraiser (non-church). Along with these winners — next week the Hunger Hike Heroes will be announced — those individuals who participated in both the HH5K Run and the Hunger Hike 3K Walk.



Hunger Hike 2014 Acknowledgements


left to right, standing, are West Lafayette Mayor John Dennis, Lafayette Mayor Tony Roswarski, K105 Radio’s Shamus, Purdue Women’s Basketball Coach & Hunger Hike Co-chair Sharon Versyp, Gerald Thomas from Food Finders, Fr. Patrick Baikauskas from St. Thomas Aquinas Center, Joe Micon from Lafayette Urban Ministry; and in the front row: Purdue Crew Coach & Hunger Hike Co-chair Dave Kucik and Indiana State Representative Sheila Klinker.

left to right, standing, are West Lafayette Mayor John Dennis, Lafayette Mayor Tony Roswarski, K105 Radio’s Shamus, Purdue Women’s Basketball Coach & Hunger Hike Co-chair Sharon Versyp, Gerald Thomas from Food Finders, Fr. Patrick Baikauskas from St. Thomas Aquinas Center, Joe Micon from Lafayette Urban Ministry; and in the front row: Purdue Crew Coach & Hunger Hike Co-chair Dave Kucik and Indiana State Representative Sheila Klinker.


Just before hundreds of Hunger Hikers hit the Wabash Heritage Trail for the 3K Walk, several local dignitaries shared their excitement and offered remarks on the importance of this event.

Our Hunger Hike dignitaries were West Lafayette Mayor John Dennis, Lafayette Mayor Tony Roswarski, K105 Radio’s Shamus, Purdue Women’s Basketball Coach & Hunger Hike Co-chair Sharon Versyp, Gerald Thomas from Food Finders, Fr. Patrick Baikauskas from St. Thomas Aquinas Center, Joe Micon from Lafayette Urban Ministry, Purdue Crew Coach & Hunger Hike Co-chair Dave Kucik and Indiana State Representative Sheila Klinker.

Special thanks to all of our dignitaries and K105 Radio for their continued support of Hunger Hike.



Hunger Hike 2014 Sponsors


Special Hunger Hike Thanks to our Top Sponsors.


Hunger Hike Gold Level:


Wal-Mart Sams Logo


Hunger Hike Silver Level:


  • Alcoa, Inc. IMG_1556
  • American Health Network
  • Endocyte, Inc.
  • Evonik Corporation -Tippecanoe Laboratories
  • Frito Lay
  • Greyhouse Coffee & Supply Co.
  • Lafayette Savings Bank
  • Subway (Purdue/West Lafayette & more)
  • Tipmont REMC

Hunger Hike 2014 - BR - 153Hunger Hike Bronze Level:


              • Bar Barry Liquors
              • Caterpillar, Inc.
              • Duke Energy
              • Instant Copy Printing
              • RatPak Mobile DJs
              • Subaru of Indiana Automotive, Inc.
              • System Concepts & Consulting, Inc.
              • Wabash National Corporation
              • Wintek Corporation

Hunger Hike Friend Level:


  • Allure Dental
  • Aqua Systems
  • Awards Unlimited, Inc.
  • Essential Touch Massage
  • NeoVision Optical
  • Oscar Winski Co., Inc.
  • RamZs Emporium
  • Soller-Baker Funeral Homes, Inc.
  • Speedpro Imaging
  • University Book Store
  • Williamson Eye Institute


Hunger Hike Photo Memories


  • Hunger Hike Photos — To view, click HERE
  • HH5K Run Photos — To view, click HERE

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Special thanks to our official Hunger Hike photographers:

  • Melanie Papariella Arvin,
  • Brenton Russell &
  • Zoe Malavenda.

Share your photos from Hunger Hike weekend and use #HungerHike.


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“Every step makes a difference in the fight against hunger.”

Locally-Regionally-Globally


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30th Anniversary of the LUM Shelter


September 2014




Dear Friend,

This year marks the 30th anniversary of the opening of the Lafayette Urban Ministry Emergency Shelter for the homeless.  Started as a joint effort between St. Thomas Aquinas Center and LUM, the shelter’s first location was on the second floor of the old Reifer Parsonage at Central Presbyterian Church.  We started with seven beds.

St. Thomas Aquinas Center

St. Thomas Aquinas Center

In 1987 we moved to the old Franciscan Convent at St. Boniface Church – 22 beds. And in 1995 we moved into the shelter’s current 42 bed location on North Fourth Street in downtown Lafayette.

For each of those years, our shelter has been a place of warmth and safety for those in our community who have nowhere else to turn – a place whose doors are always open.

First LUM Shelter (1984-1987)

First LUM Shelter (1984-1987)

And since 1984, more than 10,000 different individuals have been our guests at the shelter a combined total of 200,000 times!

Some of those guests have lost their jobs and been evicted from their homes. Some are estranged from family because of mental illness or addiction.  Others have been temporarily stranded in our community due to breakdowns or mishaps during travel.

Each is valued in God’s eyes.  And at LUM, each is extended Christ’s hospitality and compassion.

But over the years, we have become more than just a well-run emergency shelter. Our primary focus is to help the homeless move off the street, out of our shelter and into a home of their own.  We have helped literally thousands of homeless men and women to make a fresh start.

  • Like the woman who was dumped by her abusive boyfriend into a snow bank in our parking lot. We provided her a safe place that night and in the morning a bus ticket to return home to her parents.
  • Or the homeless vet who stayed with us while he was being connected to VA health services and enrolled as a resident at the Indiana Veterans Home.
  • Or the twenty guests each week that receive job coaching at LUM. A full one-third of our homeless guests are employed, staying with us until their first paycheck arrives and they can move into a home of their own.
  • Or the Purdue PhD graduate whose mental illness worsened after she lost her university-sponsored mental health care and prescription drug benefits.  She stayed at the LUM shelter until we were able to connect her with a new psychiatrist and therapist.  She found a job and moved into an apartment.

It is not easy work.  And not every story is a success story.  But for 30 years, we have been absolutely committed to helping our homeless neighbors move on to more productive, self-sufficient lives.

Second LUM Shelter (1987-1995)

Second LUM Shelter (1987-1995)

I hope you will join me in supporting this important work with your dollars…

  • $250 will operate our shelter for one day.
  • $100 cover the costs of our case management services for one day.
  • $50 will provide food, drink, and personal grooming items for our 280 overnight guests each week.
  • A gift of $1,000 will pay the shelter’s heat, water and electric bills for one month.
  • $500 will cover our shelter’s monthly maintenance, repair and fire protection costs.

Your gift to the LUM emergency shelter program will celebrate thirty years of serving the homeless with dignity and compassion.  It will keep our doors open in the here and now, help our guests to become more self-sufficient – and it will assure that this important work continues into the future.

As we search for new ways to reunite our guests with the support of family and friends, help equip them for employment in a shifting economy and search for better avenues for mental health and addiction services, your help is needed more than ever.

Current LUM Shelter (1995-present)

Current LUM Shelter (1995-present)

Perhaps you’ve been part of this remarkable effort by serving as a volunteer case manager, overnight shelter volunteer or volunteer meal provider.  Perhaps you’ve been supportive through your prayers or words of encouragement. My hope is that you will join me now in supporting the LUM shelter program with a generous financial gift.

Place mail your check in or give online at www.lumserve.org.


Gratefully,
Joe Micon Signature
Joe Micon
Executive Director
Lafayette Urban Ministry


P.S. — Help us to celebrate 30 years of shelter ministry at LUM. Your gift of $50, $100, $250, $500 or $1,000 will allow us to help the homeless in our community move off the streets, out of our shelter and into a home of their own.  Please, may we hear from you today? Give online at www.lumserve.org.



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Clothing Drive Benefits LUM

St. Mary CathedralIt’s time to gather up those clothes you no longer need and donate them to the St. Mary’s Goodwill Clothing Drive.

For each bag of clothing, Goodwill will give the Cathedral of Saint Mary of the Immaculate Conception a $5 voucher, and St. Mary’s has pledged to pass along the $5 vouchers to LUM to assist clients with clothing needs such as back-to-school clothes, winter coats and employment-related clothing.

Here’s what you do…

  • Gather your clothes donation (clothing items only, please)
  • Put them into 13 gallon bags (please don’t over fill the bags or use ripped bags)
  • Please bring your bags of clothing to the lower level of the Social Hall building.
  • Drop off bags of clothes to the Cathedral of Saint Mary of the Immaculate Conception (1207 Columbia Street, Lafayette) as follows:
    • Friday, August 8th — 8 a.m. to 1 p.m.
    • Saturday, August 9th — 4 to 6 p.m.
    • Sunday, August 10th — 7:15 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and 5 to 7 p.m.
    • Monday, August 11th — 8 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Open your hearts – clean out your closets – & have a direct impact on LUM clients in need!
If you have any questions, please call Janet Reust at (765) 714-2462.



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LUM serves on Minimum Wage Forum

Raising the minimum wage was the topic of a forum held yesterday at the Unitarian Universalist Church in West Lafayette, Indiana. About 40 people were in attendance. Panelists included Derek Thomas, a senior policy analyst for the Indiana Institute for Working Families, Joe Micon, Lafayette Urban Ministry executive director and Don Scheiber former labor liaison to the United Way of Greater Lafayette.The program was sponsored by several groups, including Rebuild the American Dream Coalition of Greater Lafayette, Unitarian Universalist Church Social Justice Committee, Lafayette/West Lafayette Branch 3506 of the NAACP, AFL-CIO, Tippecanoe Building Trades and the UAW-CAP Council.Micon listed perks of raising wages according to a 2003 study from the University of California, Berkeley, that looked at the San Francisco Airport.

“Reduced turnover, increased morale, increased work performance, better customer service, to name a few” Micon said. “Raising the minimum wage is not the answer to all of our problems, but it’s a sensible place to start.”
Pictured L to R are forum panelists Derek Thomas, Joe Micon and Don Scheiber.

Pictured L to R are forum panelists Derek Thomas, Joe Micon and Don Scheiber.



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Hunger Hike 2013 – Exceeds Goal


Hunger Hike 2013 Raises $92,685


HH13 Media Event 001Today at a media event at Lafayette Urban Ministry, the Hunger Hike 2013 committee was thrilled to announce that the $90,000 goal for this year has been reached.

The Hunger Hike committee has been working hard for the past three months to raise money for the event. It was announced on September 19th that the fundraising for the Hunger Hike event held on Sunday, September 15, 2013, fell $30,000 short of the $90,000 goal. A decision was made following the event to extend the fundraising through December 1, 2013, in an attempt to reach that goal.

The goal was not only reach but it was exceeded. The Hunger Hike committee is pleased to announce that Hunger Hike 2013 raised $92,685.


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Hunger Hike 2013 Acknowledgements


Special Thanks to the McAllister Foundation for their generous donation of $5000 to Hunger Hike 2013


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The following companies and organizations donated $1000 toward Hunger Hike 2013:

  • Edocyte, Inc.
  • Evonik Degussa Corp.
  • Franciscan Alliance
  • Greyhouse Coffee & Supply Co.
  • Global Impact/Alcoa Employees
  • Tipmont REMC
  • Sisters of St. Joseph
  • Sisters of St. Francis Health Services, Inc.
  • Subway
  • System Concepts & Consulting, Inc.
  • Walmart Foundation

The Hunger Hike Committee also wishes to thank and acknowledge the:

  • 53 Hunger Hike 5K Run Donors
  • 75 Hunger Hike Donors
  • 38 Hunger Hike Sponsors

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“Every step makes a difference in the fight against hunger.”


hungerhike_benefactors



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Hunger Hike — Meeting with Media

2013-09-19 Hunger Hike Media Conference 005 (2)

In a media event last week, the coordinators of Hunger Hike announced the “bad news” and the plans to continue fundraising until December 1, 2013.

St. Thomas’ pastor, Fr. Patrick Baikauskas, shared that

“Hunger Hike is the single biggest source of funds for St. Tom’s Haiti Ministry. This shortfall will have a serious impact on our efforts, which is quite frankly unacceptable to our Haiti Committee. We save lives — countless number of lives— because of our efforts to bring them clean drinking water.”

It was the general consensus that the impact on Food Finders Food Bank, Inc. was concerning especially in light of the push in Washington to reduce federal funding for food assistance programs. Elected officials are expecting nonprofits like Food Finders and St. John’s/LUM Food Pantry to bridge the gap — and without the Hunger Hike funding it may not be possible to maintain let alone expand their programs.

Joe Micon, LUM executive director, urged the community to

“dig a little deeper — take a few more steps — and those who did not give yet have another chance — to make a difference in fighting hunger and malnutrition.”


hungerhike_benefactors


Please help us to raise an additional $30,000 for Hunger Hike 2013. Help us to meet our fundraising goal and keep our commitment to those who are experiencing hunger.  How much should I donate? One helpful suggestion is to consider a donation equal to 10% of your monthly food budget or the cost of fast food meals for a month. To donate to Hunger Hike, click HERE.



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Central Catholic Seniors Serve LUM


CC Senior Service Project


2013-05-18 CC Senior Service - Group final


This past Saturday, dozens of seniors from Lafayette Central Catholic Junior Senior High School worked all morning doing a variety of jobs at LUM. Each year the Central Catholic senior class members raise money for and take an annual Senior Trip – this year to St. Louis, Missouri – and participate in a Senior Service Project as a part of their trip.

2013-05-18 CC Senior Service 076 (2)For their Senior Service Project the seniors chose to do their service with LUM. Students worked with the LUM staff to do everything from wash the LUM buses to wash windows in the Emergency Shelter. The students also cut the lawn, trimmed bushes, weeded and raked flower beds, edged the sidewalks, and swept. Inside the students cleaned furniture and offices, dusted, vacuumed, washed doors and baseboards, and stuffed envelopes for a LUM mailing. Mrs. Michelle Hruskovich and Principal Joe Brettnacher from Central Catholic also attended service day and worked alongside the students.

Principal Brettnacher shared with pride that “the Class of 2013 seniors enjoy giving2013-05-18 CC Senior Service 044 (2) back to the community and were delighted to help out LUM – an organization that gives so much to the needy in our community.”

Mrs. Hruskovich – who is the sponsor for the Class of 2013 and has had the unique opportunity to work with these students for years and watch them grow – stated, “This is a magnificent group of young women and men who I am confident will make significant contributions to society.”

After their service day at LUM, the seniors had just one hour to get cleaned up and 2013-05-18 CC Senior Service 102 (2)reassembled at the school. They departed from the high school at noon for St. Louis; and first thing on their Senior Trip agenda — attend Saturday evening Mass once they arrived in St. Louis.

Special thanks to the hard working seniors from Central Catholic Junior Senior High School for including LUM in their Senior Trip and Senior Service Project. LUM hopes the CC seniors had a fabulous trip to St. Louis — and wishes them great success in the future.


To see more Pictures from Central Catholic Senior Service Project at LUM, click HERE.



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Meet the LUM Executive Council – Tricia Sembroski


Treasurer: Tricia Sembroski

 


tricia

Tricia is an at-large member of the LUM Board currently serving as LUM’s treasurer, and a member of St. Andrew United Methodist Church.

Tricia is an administrative assistant at Trinity United Methodist Church and works part-time at St. Andrew United Methodist Church. She and her husband, Glenn, have a married daughter who has three children, and a son who lives in Indianapolis. Glenn works in the physics department at Purdue. Tricia enjoys dancing, singing, writing, painting, working with numbers, and even doing taxes!

She is active in Family Promise, the LUM Tax Assistance Program and looks forward to becoming even more involved through her service to LUM as treasurer.

 



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