The story of any one of us is in some measure the story of us all. ~Frederick Buechner

  • Wally Bytnar herding geese and goslings from the Weiss Hospital parking lot in Chicago.

    Goose on the Loose!

    The call went out one Saturday morning for help at the emergency room—that is the parking lot where Wally Bytnar was trying to corral a herd of birds. Specifically a family of…

  • I am Reminded

    I keep a blog on writing and memories. One of my treasured memories is Deeply Rooted, a weekend event for women. Deeply Rooted for me was a sanctuary (ironically there was a theme…

  • The Saint With the Straight Edge

  • Nolan the Star Thrower

    Fifteen years ago, I went to the hospital with some abdominal pain. I wasn’t sure what was happening, but what I thought was happening was an ectopic pregnancy—a…

  • Standing at the Door

    At the end of her sermon a few weeks ago, Wendi Kaiser spoke the words of Revelation 3:20 “Here I am, I stand at the door and I knock, and if anyone hears My voice and opens…

  • Goose Herding Makes the News!!

    Last month we brought you the story of Wally and Linda herding geese from the Weiss Hospital rooftop garden. This month we bring you their story reported by NBC News!! Click to…

  • Funnel Cake and Friendship

    Funnel Cake, n. fried dough, a kind of celebration, about coming together, see for no good reason It was decreed that this past Friday was to be Funnel Cake Friday. What does this…

  • Summers in Chicago

    Jumping off the rocks at Montrose Harbor. Nights around the patio campfire roasting marshmallows. Gallery openings at Everybody’s Coffee. Experiencing a resident from the…

  • God Means to Make Something of Us

    Quote from Knowing God by J. I. Packer “The same wisdom that ordered the paths which God’s saints trod in Bible times orders the Christian’s life today. We…

  • Goose Herding

    Six baby geese hatched high up, living precariously on the edge of the Weiss Hospital rooftop. Because it can take anywhere from 2–3 months until they learn to fly, there is a…

  • Why I Stayed: Anastasia Bird

    Having lived here for a year from 2005-06, I moved back to Wales, to get a degree in Biology and watch my siblings grow up a little longer. My degree took three years to ascertain…

  • Being Present in the Need

    I traveled to Guatemala in April with a team of writers for Children’s Hope Chest. We were there on a Vision Trip, visiting communities, schools, homes, and after-school…

  • Peep Wars

    Some days we make mountains out of molehills—and some days this isn’t just a euphemism. You see, this week a mountain of donation Peeps appeared in our JPUSA dining room. As…

  • Ways to Serve at JPUSA: Internships

    There are so many ways you can serve at JPUSA. If you’re local, we can help you become a volunteer at our local shelter, Cornerstone Community Outreach. If you want more of…

  • Deeply Rooted for Women: May 21, 2016

    Community, connection, tribe. These are online buzz words used by many of us and more often than not it is because we are looking for it, not because we have it. Women especially…

  • Fest 4 Us 2016!

    Every year Jesus People USA has a huge celebration over Easter called Fest 4 Us. We have dodge ball tournaments, karaoke, Legos, art, ping pong, Mario Kart, board games, face…

  • Triumphal Entry Breaks the Internet

    Palm Sunday is a time for celebration and little kids in church distracted by palm branches and swatting their brother or sister over the head with a flimsy leaf. But it also…

  • Wilderness and Transformation

    I went to mass for the first Sunday in Lent at St. Scholastica Monastery in Chicago, and one of the sisters, Patricia Crowley, spoke about the wilderness. She talked about how…

  • What is JPUSA?

    Ever wonder what we really do in community? We’ve made this video for you! A five minute explanation of community life.

  • Making a Loud Noise

    Psalms 98:4 reads: Make a joyful noise unto the Lord, all the earth: make a loud noise, and rejoice, and sing praise. But what happens the noise you make isn’t loud, but more…

  • Momma Shopper is Coming to Town

    She’s making a list And checking it twice Momma Shopper is coming to town! They close down their registers when they see her coming. One young employee actually quit on…

  • Mr. Rice Socks

    The kitchen just got a new recipe from a guy who will never be on the Food Network. Eric Clayton. His recipe? Just two ingredients. An old sock and rice. Don’t worry, it’s not…

  • Planting Seeds

    “God writes the Gospel not in the Bible alone, but also on trees, and in the flowers and clouds and stars.” ~Martin Luther I love flowers. They say what our emotions can’t,…

  • Relish the Moment

    Sometimes, if you’re like me, you can get so busy doing your job that you forget the big picture. Like when you stay late for work to help the customer who snuck in the door…

  • King of the Grill

    Every second, five hundred and fifty hot dogs are eaten in the United States. According to Pete Sawallisch, a good amount of them are consumed at Lakefront Supply between 10:30…

  • Reepicheep Chick

    Odd you might say, that her classroom has no number. Instead, you follow the winding halls of the top floor of the Wilson Abbey to a mysterious door tucked away in a corner. And…

  • Faucet Man

    “I think they wanted me to be a plumber because of my last name. “It’s pronounced Faucet.” Ben Fosset, the man with as many hair styles as hats, was…

  • Your Fingers Are Not a Serving Utensil

    Watering Camels. Washing Feet. Being delegated to clean the elephant quarters on the ark. The Bible is full of dirty jobs, many of them taking as much faith as elbow grease to…

  • Dirty Jobs: JPUSA Edition

    We’ve experienced amazing fulfillment and divine opportunities as the hands and feet of Christ in our workplaces. Our shelter helps people find jobs and apartments. Our…

  • A Reflection on 40 Years

    The ride in the car took only about 30 minutes through Chicago’s congested and noisy streets. My mother and I sat mostly in silence. There was simply not much else to be said.…

  • Dreaming of IKEA

    I often have this dream: church as IKEA. A place where I’m wandering around in a state of consumer euphoria. Enchanted by all the clean lines. Stimulated by the newness.…

  • Git Yer Hands Off My junk!

    “Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ … for each one should carry their own load.” (Gal 6:2&5) My brother and I are…

  • In the Red Room

    Tony and Eileen moved into Jesus People when they were well along in their years. Tony had been in the Navy and used to sport a fisherman’s cap. When he passed away, Eileen gave…

  • Poetry for the Common Man

    a moment of relief given to me like Everybody’s hot steaming chai a man at the dog park talked to me about Oregon and the dried flowers he saw there. I thought about other…

  • Noise

    Noise is a big part of community. It takes some getting used to. First there is the noise of the city. Sirens, trains, car horns, traffic, bus brakes, garbage trucks banging…

  • Faith, Humor, and Hand Sanitizer

    My name is Ginger MacDonald or  麦静洁 which translates into Pure and Peaceful Hamburger Bun when you put it into Mandarin Translators. I know this because I lived in…

  • The March

    Today was a good day. We marched a funeral march, mourning the loss of lives, a humility march, ashamed of my white privilege, ashamed of the system. a prayer march, begging for…

  • Staying

    After reading Rebecca’s post, it reminded me very strongly of my re-entry back into the community in 2009. Having lived here for a year from 2005-06, I moved back to Wales,…

  • Freedom

    You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.” – Inigo Montoya It seems to me that Americans in particular are very lazy when it comes to…

  • Elevator Lady

    For several years now the Lord has been working on my attitude toward those around me. Lately, He has been impressing upon me to love the unlovely. It is difficult, and I fail…

  • The Walk

    Through my life the steps that I’ve taken on freshly cut grass so gentle and fragrant soft, green blades pushing up against my feet between my toes, reaching up to tickle my…

  • Community Part II

    The loss of whole days to incapacitating back pain ultimately cost me my freelance design job (understandably so, the man who hired me was truly sorry but he needed his work done…

  • Community Part I

    Community living is loud. At any given moment, doors are slamming, kids are shouting, sirens are blaring on the streets below, the sounds of guitars and violins fill the spaces…

  • Jean Vanier

    What made me join JPUSA thirty years ago, and would I do the same thing today? That thing I was looking for back then is the same thing I’m looking for today. Affirmation,…

  • Why I Stayed

    I first heard of intentional community when reading the book Jesus for President by Shane Claiborne the summer after my freshman year of college. That book completely rocked my…

  • The Intimacy of the Lord’s Prayer

    Sometimes I zip past the first line like a runner anticipating the sound of the gunshot to ring in the air signaling the start of the race. There are times I have to mentally come…

  • When I Remember You

    It’s been a while, since you left this earth. It was on a Tuesday and I remember that the sun was shining. When I saw you laying there in your bed, I was rather filled with…

  • Everybody Loves Stewart

    A few years back there was a CCO newsletter that had a profile entitled “Everybody Loves Stewart!” For those not in the know, Stewart Brown is one the most popular…

  • Where O Where Is The Pumpkin Man?

    It’s October and I’m tooling around Upper Michigan, on vacation with my wife, looking for pumpkins. October has many virtues, but my absolute favorite among them is finding,…

  • A Good Rule of… Napkins?

    My name is Hannah. I’m a Barista . . . and I have a photographic log of napkins. More specifically, photos of napkins that have been crinkled up and abandoned to float in…

  • We Are Community.

    We’ve been working on this for a long time and we are so excited to share it with you!

  • Community is What You Make of It

    I’ve been told many times since my arrival to JPUSA that, “Community is what you make of it.” As I understand, community is the wide-reaching term meaning to live with…

  • Universal Love

    I stumbled upon a Chrome web experiment the other day that allows users to focus in and out of various points in our galaxy, the Milky Way. As I instantaneously zoomed around the…

  • Some Great Thing

    I spend a lot of time thinking about healing. Not only because I want more of it in my life, but also because I have experienced so much of it. A story in John 9 stands out to me…

  • Joys of Croquet

    Good God Almighty, I love croquet. For me, it is the perfect game. I enjoy many games, but I prefer those that maximize personal interaction: Monopoly, Risk, Diplomacy, D&D. I…

  • The Only One

    Struggling with emotions I don’t want to feel; Thinking about them makes my head reel. Hiding my thoughts, the pain that I feel; The things that I’ve been through,…

  • It’s Going to Be Okay

    Sometimes I am frustrated and miserable and unable to be comforted, and then, like a furious little girl, I throw myself on the couch and bury my face in the pillows and…

  • Through the Eyes of Children

    Our daughter was born with a cleft lip and palate and requires frequent visits to the craniofacial center. Every time we’re there I’m humbly reminded how fortunate we…

  • Being Known

    A wiser person than myself told me once: “To be in community is to be known.” This has become my latest truism. I have come to realize recently that I am truly blessed to have…

  • It’s the Small Things

    Just small things. Today was a hard day. My middle son, who has autism, was having a rough day, and my youngest needed lunch. He also needed me to be present, mentally. I was…

  • The Search for True Beauty

    “I want to see beauty. In the ugly, even in the kitchen sink, in the suffering, in the daily, in all the days before I die, the moments before I sleep.” –Ann Voskamp, One…

  • Mornings

    Mornings are my least communally-minded time of day. I don’t like most people right then—and I definitely don’t like talking to them. I wake up, and my deepest wish is to be…

  • To Slip Between the Trees and Rocks

    I  have a new appreciation for the apostles in Gethsemane. Just when they should have been at the height of their learning from Jesus they experienced one of their greatest…

  • Summer in Chicago

    Summer can be hard in the city. Especially for a Minnesota girl. The land of 10,000 lakes. And grass, trees. The pine trees. The birch trees. Just trees. Loons. And the smell of…

  • Rebuilding Through Pain

    I am new to this, and I do not understand it. A month ago, I went running with my husband. (My dream come true, to run together.) I planned to run the Merrill Down and Dirty…

  • Interview with Ami Moss

    Ami Moss & The Unfortunate Ami Moss and most of the Unfortunate live and serve at Jesus People USA. They are playing a free show at Wilson Abbey this Saturday. How would you…

  • Saved By Words

    Last month I attended the Festival of Faith and Writing in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Really it should be called the Festival of Faith and Reading. For twenty years all the authors…

    Strangely Comfortable

      It was a rainy day, and chilly. I was hurrying back from Walgreen’s with my son’s prescription and a lot on my mind. As usual,…

    Time

      As a young Christian I questioned my use of time. What if I wasn’t investing in kingdom building? I worried if it was all for…

    The Two Trees

    Just about everybody has heard about that ancient tree in the Garden of Eden which bore the fruit that lured the first parents of the human…

    Welcome

    I recently read the poem “The Guest House” by Rumi and wrote my own poem in response: Welcome, welcome, welcome Fear of Future. Sit down with…

    The Unexpected

    When I moved into Jesus People, I moved into a room two doors down from another woman named Sarah.  Sarah was, and is, one of my…

    Ugly Mugs

      At JPUSA we have a tradition of collecting and using “ugly mugs” from thrift stores in our neighborhood. Our use of tableware has gone through…