Guat Kids

I am on the Pastoral Staff at Elmbrook – a large Christian congregation in southeast Wisconsin

This weekend began our annual Harvestfest.

This is probably my favorite week of the year. In my opinion, it is Elmbrook at her best.

What is Harvestfest?

For me, Harvestfest is a week set aside to discover and celebrate what God is doing around the world. It is a time when the congregation intentionally steps away from focusing on self and turns to Gods wonderful healing mission in the world.

Last year’s focus was on the Middle East. We heard amazing tales of how God was moving to connect with people. Many of the stories challenged our assumptions about God and the people of that region.

Two years ago the focus was on Urban Poverty. While we looked at national and international cities, we also took a deep look at Milwaukee. Many in the congregation began to realize the challenges of urban poverty here.

This year’s Harvestfest Theme is Children at Risk. The scripture used for the week, at least on the promotional materials, is Psalm 10:17-18.

Lord, you know the hopes of the helpless.
Surely you will hear their cries and comfort them.
You will bring justice to the orphans and the oppressed,
so mere people can no longer terrify them.

This year’s Harvestfest promises to be another challenging and inspiring week with both global and local implications.

Please join us for a night of even the full week!

For more information about Harvest Fest, or to follow the blog, sessions, and workshops, follow the link below:


GuatemalaCityDump Kids

Let’s buy a house together!

We can can buy a house next to the Guatemala City Dump for only $4,000.

Not interested in living there?

OK. We can give it to one of the thousands of families who already live there without a home.

Worried about giving a hand out that might harm do more harm than good? 

Do not worry – this will be the smart kind of gift

The church that I am a part of, Elmbrook, has a long standing partnership with an organization in the Guatemala City Dump. Potter’s House is a Guatemalan Christian Organization committed to ministry to the 11,000+ people who live around the city dump. Potter’s House has history and relationships in the city dump neighborhoods. They will work with community leaders to identify the family that should receive the house.Potter’s House will then continue to their holistic care for the family.

I have seen how a house can change the future for a family in the Guatemala City Dump. A house obviously provides the family with shelter from the natural elements and some of the crime in the community. The house also gives the family the stability needed to break the cycle of extreme poverty. I have even seen families use their homes to launch innovative businesses so that their survival is no longer dependant upon picking through the city dump.

If you would like to help me buy a house for a family living in the Guatemala City Dump, please print out, or copy, the section below and send it with your contribution. Checks can be made out to Elmbrook Church, as they are coordinating the effort. Please include the code 99gu36 on the memo line of the check. Do not include my name on the check.

Thank you for partnering with me in this life saving gift


ELMBROOK CHURCH: Guatemala City/ Potter’s House Mission  (99gu36) 

Refered by Jim Vining

Gift Amount:


Mailing Address:

Email Address:

Mail to: Attn – Elmbrook Church Finance Office   Elmbrook Church 777 S. Barker Road Brookfield, WI 53045


Elmbrook church has been mentioned in some national news sources this week. I want to briefly share the position of the church for those readers who have questions. As the disclaimer to right clarifies, the views of this blog are my own and not necessarily that of Elmbrook church. This particular post will include a statement of the position of the church on this situation.


A lawsuit has been filed against two public schools for holding graduation ceremonies in the auditorium of Elmbrook church.

Church Position:

“Elmbrook Church has always tried to be a good
neighbor and a resource to the community. A wide variety of schools
and other organizations have asked to use the Elmbrook facility for
graduations, music events, and other community functions, and over the
years we have heard widespread gratitude by these many groups for what
they were able to accomplish in the facility.”

My Thoughts:

I agree with the position that the church leadership has taken.

We are a church.

We have a nice facility that we have chosen to make available for other groups to use.

Outside groups make the choice if they want to use the facility. In this case, the school boards have the job of making that choice.

People have the freedom to protest that choice.

It appears that a court will now have the job to decide if the school board’s choice is in line with the laws of the land.