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Grace in Action
Grace in Action


John Cummings


1539 Clark St.
Detroit, Michigan 48209


Ministry and life here in Southwest Detroit is a mix of both hope and hardship.  On one hand, we see abandoned or burned down homes all of over the city, violence is common, youth are involved in gangs, dropping out of school, and doing drugs, and city unemployment has risen to 15%. At the same time, there is immense hope in the people who come together here to support each other and their community. Parent groups meet regularly at schools to work on improving their children's education, youth are organizing public actions to reduce violence, countless small non-profits are working tirelessly to make a difference in the neighborhood, and many many families who could have left for other places that have more jobs and better schools have chosen to stay and work to make their community a better place for everyone.  
I recently met with a young man from the neighborhood who has since become involved as a leader in our new mission start.  He told me about how he grew up in Southwest Detroit, and how he was constantly surrounded by teachers and community members who supported him and helped him develop into the adult he is today.  He left briefly to study at a university in Texas, but has since returned to Southwest Detroit, is studying at nearby Wayne State University, and plans to be a teacher at a local Detroit Public School in the neighborhood.  For him, Southwest Detroit is home, and he wants to give back to the community that has given him so much.

One thing that we could use prayers for is our Jam Session on Friday nights which is hosted by local coffee shop Cafe Con Leche.  This Jam Session is an informal setting where people from the neighborhood can come listen to live music and contribute their own music, poetry, and art.  It is not a religious setting in itself, but we are hoping to use this as a starting place from which to begin reaching out to the community, creating opportunities for young people to express their talents and engage in conversations about their lives, values, and faith. 

-John Cummings, GRACE IN ACTION

Photograph by Marvin Shaouni Photography.

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  • The Skillman Foundation
    The Skillman Foundation is committed to providing resources to improve the lives of children in Metropolitan Detroit by improving their homes, schools and neighborhoods.