MICAH MINISTRY
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The Micah Ministry
(Monday Evenings, 5:30 to 7:00 p.m.)

“He has shown you, humankind, what is good; so, what does the LORD require of you, but to do justice, to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God…” (Micah 6:8)

The Micah Ministry is the urban, ecumenical outreach mission of Independence Boulevard Christian Church to the poor and needy in the historic Northeast area of Kansas City, Missouri. The Micah Ministry is a C.U.I.C. mission (“Churches Uniting in Christ”) designed to encourage Christian unity, end racism and “feed my sheep.” (John 21:15-17) It is centered around a table ministry of home-cooked suppers in which faith-based and civic volunteers partner and seek to embody the call to evangelism by heeding the words of the prophet Micah.

Urban Pastoral Counseling

Every Monday evening, for three hours, specially trained suburban-based clergy from 7 denominations donate their time to staff a free, urban core ministry of compassionate presence and pastoral support to disadvantaged neighbors of our church. Local pastors, chaplains, diaconal and retired clergy, and advanced seminary students work together in teams of 2 or 3 to envelop neighbors in need with focused listening and affirmation. We make available the sacraments, anointings, group problem-solving, good-conditioned used clothing and service referrals. Lay church members provide intake.

Alcoholics Anonymous combined with Al-Anon

We have a combined AA/Al-Anon group that also meets during Micah.

Supper Ministry “Robert's Cafe” & Clothing Pantry

Monday evenings from 5:30 - 7:00 p.m., free, nourishing dinners are provided to our neighbors in the church's capacious Fellowship Hall. This “cafe” ministry, drawn from Jesus' injunction that if we truly love him, we should “feed his sheep,” is principally staffed by church members, metropolitan civic and religious volunteers and advanced urban ministry seminary students.

Darrell and Sharon Cantrell are our Executive and Assistant Directors.
Our core cooking team and volunteers from all walks of life, serves excellent homemade meals and desserts and sets long tables decorated with tablecloths. Unlike most feeding ministries, we serve our guests at the table, rather than having them stand in a line to be fed.  Thousands of people have volunteered at Robert's Cafe over the years and this experience is always open to youth groups and other visiting friends who are passionate about justice ministry and developing their own servant leadership.
“Robert's Cafe” is named for the builder of our church, Robert A. Long, and one of our longtime guests from the neighborhood, Robert, who died in the winter of 2002 at 46, after sleeping outside overnight. All disabled guests are seated before regular serving begins.
While Independence Boulevard Christian Church provides a central core of the funding for the feeding ministry, many area ecumenical communities, businesses, youth groups and civic organizations generously provide the remaining financial support.  Without this, we would be unable to provide the 40,000 plates of hot, home-cooked suppers we served up in 2016.  With advance notice to our main office (816.231.0016 or ibcckc@gmail.com) we welcome Camp Fire, Girl or Boy Scouts and other groups to come, meet, feed and befriend our neighbors at Robert's Cafe.
Additionally, we maintain two well-stocked clothing pantries that are open most Monday evenings. Marsha Elbasani maintains our Children's Clothing Pantry, and Lori Taylor and Jean Mercer organize our Adult Clothing Pantry.  Volunteers from “partner” churches sew winter hats, blankets and booties and assemble "health kits" for the pantries. Clothing is dispensed as our guests eat at the table without appointments. It is not uncommon for us to hand out a thousand pantry items on any given Monday.

Health Clinic

In 2016, we implemented our clinic "Care Beyond The Boulevard" where doctors, nurses and nurse practitioners provide free, immediate care to our guests in need.

The Micah Ministry

Part of the 50-year-old "Churches Uniting in Christ" movement, Micah is focused on ministry to impoverished adults and children and justice work and racial reconciliation across denominational/ religious lines.

On Thursday, October 18, 2001, after six, intensive months of congregational revisioning and under the leadership of Sr. Pastor, Rev. Lee Chiaramonte, the Micah Ministry began with six trained Saint Paul School of Theology seminarians, two hospital chaplains, one security guard and Independence Blvd. Christian Church members committed to outreach to the poor, an ethics-based and “mom-to-mom counseling program and clothing pantry -- by unanimous vote of the Church Board. 

Six months later, and now on Monday evenings, the Micah Ministry added “Robert’s Café,” a free, table-based, restaurant-style supper ministry named for lifelong IBCC member, Robert Long, and a homeless guest also named Robert, who froze to death on KC streets in 2002. Suppers began in the Friendship Room with Ida Snyder as our 1st Executive Chef. Her assistant was Rose Alice Chandler, who became the 2nd Executive Chef the following year. That 1st Monday we fed 9 reluctant guests; the 2nd, 35, and by the 3rd Monday we fed 75 people a chili dinner. By May 2002, the Robert’s Café had moved into the church Fellowship Hall. Country Club Christian Church became our first partner-community, providing significant, recurrent volunteer and financial support.

In 2002, Independence Boulevard Christian Church gave Veronica’s Voice, a peer-based prostitution recovery program, a free office in the south wing and invited them to counsel at Micah; attorney Jolie Justus came on board to provide guests twice-monthly free legal advice; Micah counselors became chaplains to NewHouse Shelter for Battered Women. A G.E.D./life skills ministry was added, conducted by Rev. Laurie McKim, deacon of St. Matthew’s Episcopal Church. The clothing ministry expanded greatly. Free haircuts and manicures were provided twice that year by local hairdressers.

In 2004, graduate family counseling students from Friends University provided free psychotherapy to individual guests and families. Micah’s “Urban Work Camp” begins for US/Canadian youth to sleep over, learn and serve during 3- or 5-day summer stays at IBCC.

In 2005, 4 student interns from UMKC’s School of Pharmacology provided a year of legal drug counseling to guests. v by 2007, more than 40 seminarians had served field internships at the Micah Ministry. By year’s end, Darrell Cantrell became our 3rd Executive Chef. Rev. Sharon Cantrell becomes licensed and is 1st outside minister yoked to Micah.

By 2013, Micah is weekly serving more than 900 sit-down suppers on Mondays.

The Micah Ministry has become the largest urban mission of the Christian Church, Disciples of Christ, in the largest Christian Church Region of the US.

We strive to keep guests from standing in lines to receive ministries, as they often do with other services. We offer a radical welcome to all, including those suffering from substance abuse who are non-violent. We follow the non-violence ethics of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and offer a safe space made gracious by God’s abundant love and the warm welcome of thousands of generous volunteers.

Typically, we hand out about 1,500 items of children’s and adult clothing. Micah also includes an open-adoption referral program, AA, and pastoral counseling.

Over 50,000 plates of supper were served in 2019!

What YOU Can Do

  • Mail a donation to Micah Ministry: 606 Gladstone Blvd., KCMO 64124 or click on the Donate button below.

  • Individuals can sign up to volunteer at www.signupgenius.com/go/20f0449acad22a4f58-monday

  • Have a group interested in volunteering? Please email Sharon at sscantrell@yahoo.com to schedule a date!

  • Be a dessert diva; make homemade cakes: Contact Darrell Cantrell - 913-909-2125

  • Collect hygiene items – which are made into portable kits, or call or email Tashina at 816.231.0016/ibcckc@gmail.com  for clothing needs

  • Consider paying for ($600) or cooking a meal with our cooking team.

Thank you for your kindness!

816-231-0016

606 Gladstone Boulevard Kansas City, MO 64124

©2019 by Independence Boulevard Christian Church.