fire escape on outside of an old urban building

Letter from the General Editor: Volume 4, Issue 1

Welcome to the new issue of Journal of Urban Mission!

You may be puzzling over the appearance of a new issue on this site though (I hope) you are glad to see it, since we announced the merger of JofUM and the New Urban World last year. We did produce a joint issue for November 2014, and you can watch out for it on the International Society of Urban Mission site. However, due to unforeseen developments, all agreed that it would be better for us to remain separate journals after all. With a growing multiplicity of voices advocating urban mission around the world, it is my prayer that this important field will gain the attention it deserves and that these voices will edify and energize a variety of creative urban mission efforts around the world.

In this issue, I am excited to introduce you to, first, the husband and wife team of Carl Ellis, Jr. and Karen Angela Ellis (who is actually no stranger to this publication–she has previously written an excellent article, “Identity Satisfaction in a World of Cultural Dissonance,” for this journal). They approach Ferguson and the constellation of issues surrounding it from a united vantage point, yet with different emphases and timbres, in “Racism Alone? – Reflections on the Current National Divide,” and in “‘Step Out The Boat’: Following the Urban Disciple Maker.” You will appreciate their commitment to Scripture, experience in on-the-ground realities of urban ministry, and clarity of vision which is nevertheless nuanced, and which frees them from the trappings of easy answers that have too often been offered in the national discourse.

I am also thrilled to include Ryan Kellermeyer’s wonderful reflection on the biblical text of Jeremiah 32 that weaves his experiential knowledge of city tax foreclosure laws, community development, exegesis, and biblical theology: “Restoring Shalom in the Citadels of Dead Capital: The Church and Vacant Land.” It is an exciting study of how an ancient prophetic act could open up new vistas of possibilities for imagining urban discipleship in the context of urban problems today.

Speaking of experiential knowledge, how can theological education be better suited to the realities of urban ministry? Many will agree that we have a long way to go. My last introduction for this issue belongs to Easten Law’s case study, “Praxis Education for Ministry in Urban Contexts: A Pedagogical & Programmatic Review of Wesley Theological Seminary’s Urban Fellows Program.” He explores how pedagogical perspectives of experiential and praxis education are incarnated in the practice of the Urban Fellows program of Wesley Theological Seminary. This case study could prove helpful for all who are wrestling with the question of theological education that is fit for the realities of urban, global 21st century.

Please enjoy, think, converse, imagine, and act. And may we as his people more faithfully respond to the call of the missionary God.
Kyuboem Lee, D.Min.
General Editor
Philadelphia, January 2015

1 thought on “Letter from the General Editor: Volume 4, Issue 1”

  1. Greetings Dr. Lee:
    I have enjoyed reading your journal and have a question. I am part of MissionFest Pretoria South Africa. We are looking at speakers for our conference and wondered if you do conference speaking and would be willing to travel? Our next years conference dates look to be Sept. 7-9, 2017. I have been impressed with the work that is being put out by your magazine and want to recommend you to our organisation if it would be of interest to you. Our goal is to spread the role and mandate of missions to the local churches. I am a missionary from the US (Indiana) myself and am very interested in educating the local church in reaching out to their areas of influence.
    Grace and Peace
    Jason Shrock
    Coordinator, Teen Missions South Africa

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