Other News

Community or Ministry?

Community or Ministry?

Jesus People USA is a community… and a ministry. We live together so that we can minister more effectively, yet our lives together are about more than ministry. Sometimes, I’m nervous when people talk about our shared lives as if we do this only for pragmatic reasons. There is more than pragmatism involved for me. I find community to be […]

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JPUSA and the Homeless in Uptown 1980: Includes interview w/ Maria James

JPUSA and the Homeless in Uptown 1980: Includes interview w/ Maria James

Marie James, long-time friend of JPUSA; member Jane Hertenstein would later write a book about Marie’s life called Orphan Girl. Photo copyright 2011 Jesus People USA. All rights reserved. It’s 3:30 p.m., time to prepare for dinner. Some of the brothers are getting the food and the utensils together. Others are setting the tables or separating plates, readying them to […]

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Cornerstone Classic: JPUSA Gets Caught in Chicago Snowstorm of ’79

Cornerstone Classic: JPUSA Gets Caught in Chicago Snowstorm of ’79

[Historical note to this 1979 article: It details JPUSA surviving the infamous Chicago blizzard of ’79 and using it as a witnessing opportunity, and it also details our purchase of the 4707 N. Malden building (JPUSA was at this time living at 4431-33 North Paulina Street in a converted six flat).] JPUSA WINTER At first it was simply a lot […]

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Gangs, Violence, and Living in Uptown: One JPUSAn’s Memories, Reflections

Gangs, Violence, and Living in Uptown: One JPUSAn’s Memories, Reflections

  In 1978, when Jesus People USA first moved into Chicago’s Uptown after a few years in the Ravenswood community, I was one of the “single brothers” picked to move into our new 4707 N. Malden digs. Only a few months after the move, three of us were playing cards on a hot summer night. Suddenly, we heard the unmistakable […]

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Lessons from Carol Elaine

Lessons from Carol Elaine

Today, our twenty-fourth anniversary, I share just a few of the things my Carol Elaine Durkin Trott is to me. Teacher, Teacher I jump out of my skin When you touch me with your existence I cannot learn enough about you And the brilliant gold Of you, completely real, real. History happens, Regardless of philosophy or books Events progress inevitably […]

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Seasons of Life in a Commune

Seasons of Life in a Commune

One of my dearest friends sat in the chair across from me. He’d just verbalized ideas I thought of as the perfect article for this blog. I said so… and his response took me off guard. I’ll paraphrase some of how I remember that conversation. “We’re getting older,” he began, with a half-smile at the obvious comment. “I don’t think […]

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Maggie’s Culottes and My Usefulness to God

Maggie’s Culottes and My Usefulness to God

Maggie huddled on the hallway floor, tears running down her face. Her sobs were audible. As I came around the corner into the small niche formed by a secondary school exit, she seemed to squeeze herself more closely together. “Are you okay,” I said — surely the stupidest question that moment on planet earth. Maggie began turning away from me, […]

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WILD HISTORY (Literary Aside #3): Henry Justin Smith’s “Down the Shore to ‘Uptown’”

WILD HISTORY (Literary Aside #3): Henry Justin Smith’s “Down the Shore to ‘Uptown’”

Yet again! Wilson and Sheridan Avenues draw some less than wholly complementary (if not wholly critical either) attention from a lion of literature… or more properly in Henry Justin Smith’s case, journalism. Mr. Smith, along with having written some dozen books (the majority of them addressing the art of journalism), was also managing editor of the no longer extant (1875-1978) […]

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WILD HISTORY (Literary Aside #2): “Home Girl” by Edna Ferber, 1922

WILD HISTORY (Literary Aside #2): “Home Girl” by Edna Ferber, 1922

  (Edna Ferber, left, in 1922.) This article continues our “Wild History” series about 931-939 Wilson, now the Wilson Abbey, as well as the neighborhood directly around it.   East of Wilson and Sheridan Avenues’ intersection in 1922, the eighteen story Sheridan Plaza Hotel had existed on the north corner for one year; a few doors east on Wilson toward […]

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Wild History (Literary Aside #1): Ben Hecht’s “Nirvana”

Wild History (Literary Aside #1): Ben Hecht’s “Nirvana”

Could Ben Hecht — famous newspaperman, novelist, Hollywood Screenwriter, and for a time a Chicagoan — have visited a tavern at 931-39 Wilson and been inspired to write a story as a result of that visit? (See “Wild History” Parts 1 and 2, and JPUSA’s “official” Wilson Abbey page.) It would hardly be fair to claim outright that the “cabaret […]

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