Dear Friend,
The Christmas poem “Ring Out, Wild Bells” was written by Alfred, Lord Tennyson 168 years ago in England - but it could have just as easily been written in the here and now. 
As a child from a large and impoverished family, Tennyson would have seen and experienced first-hand many of the ills of mid-19th century England that he writes about in his poem. His words are a social commentary about the prevailing political climate and inequality of his times.
The poem cries out for social reform. Tennyson longed for the worst aspects of human nature to be corrected - for corruption, political ruthlessness, ambition, class barriers, poverty, and social inequality to be replaced by a more civil, caring, equal and compassionate society.
I think the poem could have been written in the here and now because these are the same longings so many of us hold for our own time and place. It’s why so many of us have chosen to support the work of the Lafayette Urban Ministry . We know that through LUM we are contributing toward a more caring and compassionate community.

A collaboration of 47 local churches, LUM serves as a social safety net for children and families who are experiencing difficult times. During the past year, the Lafayette Urban Ministry served more than 5,100 families through one or another of our 22 programs.
Two-hundred and forty-four at-risk youth learned and grew because of LUM’s 5th Quarter , LUM Camp and Enhanced After School Program .
LUM’s Overnight Shelter continues to compassionately serve the chronically homeless in our community. LUM’s shelter and overnight winter warming station will serve more than 900 homeless individuals during 2018.                                                                                                   
LUM’s Tax Preparation Program served 552 low-income workers, returning to them  $1 million in tax credits and refunds.                                    

LUM’s Good Samaritan Program serves up to 12 families each day - families that are in the throes of eviction, utility disconnects, health care or transportation emergencies. LUM has aided more than 2,000 such families so far this year.