AGRM Publications

Please enjoy AGRM's many publications. If you have questions or would like to submit information to one of our publications, please email Director of Communications Brad Lewis.


View our most recent issues:


Street Smart

Street Smart: August 17, 2015

Posted: 08/17/2015
Final chance to register for AGRM’s CEO Summit; AGRM team travels to Jacksonville for convention planning; AGRM President visits Miami Rescue Mission; homeless piano player offered full college scholarship; survey reveals America’s three most deadly drugs

Street Smart: August 3, 2015

Posted: 08/03/2015
AGRM expecting a crowd at CEO Summit; task force turns over recommendations to AGRM board; register for your district conference; free IDs open possibilities for homeless people; not all who live in subsidized housing need it 

Street Smart: July 15, 2015

Posted: 07/15/2015
CEO Summit spots filling up fast; position statements task force to meet in Detroit; AGRM to evaluate education tracks; finding water becomes a life-or-death matter in Phoenix; big corporations trying to boost jobs for young people 

Street Smart: July 1, 2015

Posted: 07/01/2015
CEOs signing up for “The Summit”; new family facility opens in San Fernando Valley; fundraising group meets today to plan for movie release; program helps veterans get back on their feet; charitable giving rebounds following economic recession 

Street Smart: June 1, 2015

Posted: 06/01/2015
High energy at AGRM’s annual convention; AGRM work continues at Pine Ridge; save the dates for summer and fall events; Texas storms affect area’s homeless people; U.N. says hunger declines globally

Street Smart: May 15, 2015

Posted: 05/15/2015
Annual convention bursting at the seams; AGRM President John Ashmen hits the road again; association membership continues to grow; one city tries fighting crime by fighting hunger; tobacco becomes the vice of choice worldwide 


Street Smart: April 15, 2015

Posted: 04/15/2015
Cut-off considered for convention registration; AGRM president abroad with meetings at city missions; convention exhibit hall sells out; nation’s first homeless hospice opening soon; poverty slows children’s brain development 

Street Smart: April 1, 2015

Posted: 04/01/2015
AGRM convention registrations keep pouring in; don’t miss out on convention ‘Tourinars’; video stories demonstrate power of rescue mission ministry; nonprofits work to feed kids during spring break; fewer on disability for first time in more than 30 years

Street Smart: March 16, 2015

Posted: 03/16/2015
AGRM signs on to letter rejecting senators’ assumptions; National Geographic Channel campaign highlights AGRM; key partnership means progress in Pine Ridge; California state bar proposes pro bono legal help for the poor; substance abuse by senior adults is growing 

Rescue Magazine




Rescue Magazine: January/February 2015

Posted: 01/01/2015
Cover Story: A Climate of Security and Peace (by Dick Druary)

Rescue Magazine: January/February 2014

Posted: 01/01/2014
Cover Story: Homeless Youth: An Overlooked Population (by Alice Colegrove)

Rescue Magazine- 2011 May/June

Posted: 01/31/2011
Rescue Magazine- 2011 May/June

Executive Session Blog

                                                                                      
   

 
   
 
August 2014
 
     
 

On Behalf of the Conquered
By John Ashmen

I just drove away from Pine Ridge Indian Reservation and an all-day meeting of 15 influential leaders of the Oglala Lakota Nation. While sitting beside and across from Native Americans including Wilbur Between Lodges, Paul Iron Cloud, Rebecca Chief Eagle, Doyle Pipe On Head, and Duane Shot With Arrow, the ideas flowed and the excitement rose.

Selena Hayle, AGRM’s director of member engagement, and I were there at the invitation of the Tribal Housing Council and native social workers to discuss various ways AGRM might be able to bring help and hope to 40,000 people who are living in what is generally agreed to be the worst poverty in the Western Hemisphere, outside of Haiti. (If you are not familiar with the conditions at Pine Ridge, note the statistics at the bottom of this article.)

Throughout the day, I jotted down some of their quotes. They were heartbreaking and caused me to ponder deeply.

  • “The Sioux were really sent to this place to die. Pine Ridge was supposed to be a death camp, but we have survived…if that is what you want to call it.”
  • “It’s not just the historic treaties from Washington that have been broken. It still goes on. Help that we were promised to get as recently as last year still has never arrived.”
  • “Church youth groups who come here pity our people…for a week. Then they return to their normal suburban lives and forget about us.”
  • “You have to understand that we are a conquered people. That is why so many of our men hide in a bottle.”

I wondered what I could say that would show that I understood their situation and could empathize with their pain. But as my friend Leon Blunt Horn explained to me on a prior visit, feeling empathy for the Lakota is a nearly impossible undertaking for an ordinary white man. The Bible alone can best speak into the life of the conquered.

I recently read an insightful article that explains why this is generally the case. I strongly encourage you to not skip this link below, but click it and read why Brian Zahnd says he, as an ordinary white man, has “a problem with the Bible.” I believe Brian’s discernment will help you put your arms around the perspective of the enslaved and persecuted, past and present.

Please go now to “My Problem With The Bible,” by Brian Zahnd.

May the blood rush to your head.

 ________________________________________________________

It’s difficult to be in Pine Ridge (S.D.) and White Clay (Neb.) and not get torn up emotionally by the devastation and poverty. Here are some of the statistics:

  • Reservation size: 2 million-plus acres (11,000-plus square miles)
  • Population: Approximately 40,000
  • Number of houses (including trailers): Approximately 4,500
  • Median annual income: $3,200 
  • Unemployment rate: 85% (summer) to 95% (winter)
  • People below federal poverty level: 97%
  • School dropout rate: 71%
  • Teen suicide rate: 150 times the national average
  • Homes without electricity: 39%
  • Homes infested with black mold: 66%
  • Families affected by alcoholism: 80%
  • Rate of diabetes: 37%
  • Cervical cancer rate: 500% higher than the national average
  • Life expectancy: Age 48 for men and 52 for women
  • Infant mortality rate: 300% higher than national average

 
 
   
     

There’s Still Time to Register for the CEO Summit
You don’t want to miss the CEO Summit, September 9–11 at Mount Hermon Conference Center in the Santa Cruz Mountains of California. Executive directors from across North America will gather to reflect on the current condition of rescue mission ministry and to ponder emerging trends and changes in our culture. They’ll also discuss how savvy followers of Jesus can get serious about the issues affecting our ministries.

During the three-day event, participants will dig down into the theological and legal aspects of some major cultural shifts and how they will affect what missions do every day.

AGRM will also release information at this event about two new initiatives, including one that involves citywide prayer initiatives in multiple locations.

Can you really afford to miss this opportunity to meet, fellowship, and brainstorm with your peers and the astute consultants that will be on hand?

Go to the CEO Summit event page for all the details and to register. Time is short, so register today!

Prayer Is Key: Introducing Robert Loggins
You’re hearing a lot these days from AGRM about HUD-driven approaches to housing, gender-neutral accommodations, data collection, best practices, and other matters related to government relations, public image, and operational expertise. It would be easy for someone to surmise that the association’s spiritual agenda has taken a back seat to various aspects of professional practice.

Nothing would be further from the truth.

AGRM’s mission statement includes the phrase: to accelerate quality and effectiveness in member missions. As we strive to live out our purpose, many of the areas where we offer services will focus on professional practice. But make no mistake, the core of AGRM is—and will continue to be—the gospel of Jesus Christ that has the power to change and redirect lives that have gone terribly off course.

Still, the more we work on professional practice, the more we need to be devoted to prayer—for thanksgiving, discernment, protection, resources, and more. To remind us and assist us in this area, we have recently asked Rev. Robert Loggins, Sr., to join the AGRM team as minister-at-large. Many AGRM members met and engaged with Robert at our convention in St. Louis. He spoke briefly in the first general session and was visible at various times throughout the event.

Originally from Winona, Mississippi, Robert received his bachelor’s degree from the University of Southern Mississippi and his master’s of divinity from New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary. He is presently enrolled in the doctor of ministry program at Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary.

Robert served as a pastor in several states and most recently was the African-American Strategist for The St. Louis Metro Baptist Association, working in church planting and racial reconciliation. He has also served as professor of New Testament Greek, Baptist History, and Philosophy at Union Theological Seminary.
He presently serves as founder and president/CEO of RF Loggins Ministries and as executive director of Mission Metro St. Louis. Previously, Robert was the prayer and spiritual awakening specialist for the Missouri Baptist Convention and the North American Mission Board. Additionally, he served as the national prayer coordinator for the National African American Fellowship of the Southern Baptist Convention.

As minister-at-large for AGRM, Robert will focus on five areas:

  • Being a pastor-at-a-distance for members who need divine guidance and would like to process heart matters with someone who is both spiritually savvy and “safe.”
  • Overseeing a healthy prayer network throughout AGRM, keeping us focused on the purpose and power of prayer, and keeping us informed and encouraged by regularly communicating what God is doing in our association. 
  • Representing AGRM at various denominational and quasi-denominational meetings, ensuring that the cause of the poor and powerless is a priority “agenda item” in the work of the church in North America.
  • Preparing the cities where our annual conventions will be held by connecting with pastors and Christian organizations’ lay leaders, and forming prayer teams to support our events in critical behind-the-scenes efforts.
  • Contributing to AGRM publications by writing white papers, articles, and columns on subjects that pertain to matters of the heart. 

You’ll see Robert at various AGRM events. In the meantime, you can connect with him at rloggins@agrm.org, or call him at (573) 301-7439.

 
 
 
 
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Executive Session: On Behalf of the Conquered

Posted: 08/01/2014
I just drove away from Pine Ridge Indian Reservation and an all-day meeting of 15 influential leaders of the Oglala Lakota Nation. While sitting beside and across from Native Americans including Wilbur Between Lodges, Paul Iron Cloud, Rebecca Chief Eagle, Doyle Pipe On Head, and Duane Shot With Arrow, the ideas flowed and the excitement rose.

Executive Session: The Mission District: Map View

Posted: 03/01/2014
I recently sketched out a conjectural map. It’s how I envision every city’s Mission District. By "Mission District," I mean that conceptual community throughout the city—in reality, it doesn’t have to be contiguous—where intensive programs and services outlined in Matthew 25:34–36 are offered, or from where they emanate.

Executive Session: Coming to Terms with Housing First

Posted: 02/01/2014
Very few issues have dogged traditional rescue missions in recent years more than Housing First. Looking only at the schematics, one might assume a sole reason why: Housing First steps around the conventional continuum of care, taking homeless individuals straight from the street and putting them into government-run or government-subsidized apartments.

Executive Session: The Next Big Thing (Part 2)

Posted: 08/15/2013
Earlier this month, in Part 1, I pointed out that homelessness has worked its way into the everyday vocabulary of rescue mission leaders. It’s front and center on the stage we’re viewing. But as history has shown us, at some point, we are going to rotate past homelessness to the next big thing. So what might we be moving toward?

Executive Session: The Next Big Thing (Part 1)

Posted: 08/01/2013
The primary assignment of an association is to be prophetic. Unquestionably, producing relevant resources and advocating on members’ behalf are essential tasks. And setting a spiritual tone for everyone connected is a fundamental charge. But prophecy is job one.

Executive Session: Coming to a Church Near You

Posted: 04/01/2013
It’s a typical suburban church building in a typical suburban neighborhood. It sits on a sometimes-busy street lined with ranch-style houses. But what’s going on these days at Redemption Church in Olathe, Kansas, is far from typical.

Executive Session: Dust in the Wind

Posted: 01/01/2013
My brother traveled to Schopfloch, Germany, to explore the hamlet of our ancestors. His tour of the medieval town brought him to the Lutheran church cemetery. When he couldn’t find any headstones for Eshelman—our family name before colonial relatives Americanized it—he asked the vicar where they might be. Gesturing like a song leader with fidgety fingers, he said, “Sie sind pulver in der brise.” Translation: They are powder in the breeze.

Executive Session: A Christmas Gift for Your Board

Posted: 12/01/2012
For this last Executive Session of the year, I decided to give you a present you can re-gift and stick under your board chair’s Christmas tree. It’s something I hope is not needed anytime soon (especially for your sake). And unfortunately, it’s something he or she might not want to accept from you at the time it is needed. My present is six “don’ts” wrapped in advice gleaned from 30 years of experience in association management.

Executive Session: Righteous or Obnoxious?

Posted: 11/01/2012
The midday sun was intense and the midtown sidewalks were crowded. Smartly dressed office workers wove their way through the onslaught of oncoming humanity in search of a quick sandwich and a brief respite from daily duties. Atop a milk crate near a crosswalk, head and shoulders above all the passersby, stood a wild-haired man in a dark wool blazer, dress shirt, and clashing tie. Sweat poured down his face as he waved a closed Bible.

Executive Session: A Sprinkling of Notes

Posted: 08/01/2012
Earlier this month, Willow Creek Association held its annual Global Leadership Summit. An estimated 160,000 church and ministry leaders attended via satellite linkup in various cities. Several antidotes and one-liners from keynote speakers hit their mark with me.

Executive Session: A Burning Passion to Serve

Posted: 07/01/2012
This issue of "Executive Session" is coming to you from a Starbucks located on Alpine Shadows View in Colorado Springs. The landscape outside the window is as black as the Grande Americano I’m sipping. Just a few blocks away, the recent Waldo Canyon fire did some of its heaviest neighborhood damage.

Executive Session: Meanwhile, in Another Part of the World

Posted: 03/01/2012
The month of March has been a blur of distant airline terminals, littered city streets, and a whole lot of unfamiliar faces. I’ve been gone more than I’ve been home. That’s never fun, but it comes with the job. But the lessons I learn on the road are particularly powerful. For this issue of Executive Session, I thought I would take a different course and share two special experiences from my March travels abroad—and the thoughts God impressed upon me.

Executive Session: They Found Dave Dead

Posted: 11/01/2011
Every night on my homeward commute, I notice more and more houses adorned with colorful blinking bulbs. With Thanksgiving now a memory but Christmas looming large, there seems to be a scramble in the neighborhoods to illuminate lawns and brighten spirits. Despite the lights and the abundance of public festivities, psychologists tell us that the end-of-year holidays yield the most depressing days of the year for far too many people.

Executive Session: Praising from the Proper Position

Posted: 09/01/2011
Nebuchadnezzar II excelled at grandiose expressions of anger, beauty, and pride. He was the unassailable king of the Neo-Babylonian Empire who destroyed Israel’s first majestic temple, built the wondrous Hanging Gardens of Babylon, and set up a nine-story image of gold on the Plain of Dura, commanding everyone to worship it.

Have You Met Your New Director?

Posted: 07/29/2011
No one can deny that we live in changing (and contentious) times. In this issue of Executive Session, I discuss the need for leaders to change with the times, or face the possibility of being replaced. Incidentally, this topic is something that will be on the table during the AGRM CEO Summit, held next month in Colorado Springs. Also in this issue of the newsletter is a list of the CEOs who have already signed up for this important event

Executive Session: Looking Global

Posted: 06/30/2011
North America is not the rest of the world, and when we compare our missions to those in other countries, it is obvious that there are many differences. But this doesn't mean we can't learn from other nations---especially from places that have already experienced cultural shifts that are most certainly coming our way...

Executive Session - One’s the Limit

Posted: 02/28/2011
With millions of people across North America falling victim to abuse, getting caught in the grip of addiction, and finding themselves on the streets, the problems of those in need can be overwhelming. Fortunately, God—knowing our energy and our empathy have limits—called us to a specific community to reach out to certain individuals.

Executive Session: Words That Wound

Posted: 01/31/2011
The Scriptures speak of the untamable tongue, which some use to praise God and others to spread corruption. This is a truth we experience every day in a continent saturated by strong and loudly voiced opinions.

Executive Session - A Gift of Words

Posted: 12/08/2010
Meaningful giving at Christmastime sometimes gets lost in frantic shopping trips, stressful schedules, and commercial holiday hype.With so great a need and so many people demanding of your time and energy, it may be extra challenging to experience this aspect of holiday joy.

Soap Box Blog

 

Domestic Violence Among Leading Causes of Homelessness

Most Abuse Continues to Be Unreported


As rent skyrockets and waiting lists for public housing grow, many women trying to flee domestic violence are left with no place to go. This means some will go back to their abusers or live on the streets for years, according to a Huffington Post report

One in four women will suffer domestic violence in their lifetimes, although most of these crimes go unreported. Domestic violence is the third leading cause of homelessness among families, and because the victims are mostly women, they don’t always have access to money or a recent job history, and many have no family or friends they can turn to, says the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. 

To add to this problem, rent prices rose at a rate of 3 percent in 2014, which is double the pace of overall inflation. While affordable housing units are sometimes available, and voucher programs can help with housing costs, these types of programs typically have long waiting lists. This has led both King County in Washington state and New York City to work on solutions. King County, which includes Seattle, is using grant money and working through advocacy groups to help secure stable housing and help with living expenses for hundreds of families. 

Many abuse victims looking for homes in New York City face a waiting list for public housing that is 270,000 families long, with 170,000 more families waiting for vouchers that ease cost of living expenses. Some domestic violence survivors' applications were first filed a decade ago. The city has also seen a net loss of nearly 104,000 private rent-stabilized apartments over the past 21 years. And the median rent for a studio apartment in New York City is now about $2,500 a month, with a vacancy rate of 2 percent, according to real estate industry figures. To counter this situation, New York City is working on a rent subsidy program that, in part, will help domestic violence victims.
 

Photo: waiting for the train via photopin (license)


Domestic Violence Among Leading Causes of Homelessness

Posted: 08/20/2015
As rent skyrockets and waiting lists for public housing grow, many women trying to flee domestic violence are left with no place to go. This means some will go back to their abusers or live on the streets for years.

Justice Department Says Being Homeless Shouldn’t Be a Crime

Posted: 08/07/2015
Laws that make it a crime for homeless people to sleep in public places even when there isn’t enough room for them at a shelter unconstitutionally punish the homeless, lawyers for the Department of Justice said in a court filing on August 6.

American Obesity Rates Are on the Rise

Posted: 07/22/2015
Americans have become even fatter than before, with nearly 28 percent saying they are clinically obese, a new survey finds.

Map Shows Poverty Rates for All U.S. School Districts

Posted: 07/14/2015
To get a good idea of the plight of poor children in America, take a look at a new interactive map showing Census Bureau poverty rates in each of the nearly 14,000 school districts in the U.S.

Supreme Court rules in favor of same-sex marriage

Posted: 06/26/2015
The Supreme Court ruled on Friday (June 26) that the U.S. Constitution provides same-sex couples the right to marry. The court ruled 5–4 that the Constitution’s guarantees of due process and equal protection under the law mean that states cannot ban same-sex marriages. With the ruling, same-sex marriage will technically become legal in all 50 states.