Cynthia Milsap, best known by our group for her involvement SCUPE (Seminary Consortium for Urban Pastoral Education www.scupe.com), had everyone’s attention as she shared the story of how the Lord called her to himself at a young age. She was born in Mississippi, the oldest of 4 children. Her family moved to Chicago when she was just 4 months old. Cynthia describes her family as “non-church” going Baptists. She attended St. James Catholic School at 29th and Wabash until her family moved to the Roseland neighborhood at 102nd street when she was 9. It was there that her family was able to buy their first home. When they arrived Roseland was in transition with 50/50 ratio of blacks and whites. Within one year she said 99% of the population was black. Not long after moving Cynthia’s mother was shot and killed while she was walking home from work. Cynthia remembers asking what she must have done wrong for this to happen. Did she not say enough prayers? Did she not say the right prayers?
Not long after her mother’s death, Cynthia was invited to a neighborhood bible class by a woman on her block named Gloria Redis. She recalled that ‘Sister Gloria’ was trusted and well respected by the people in her neighborhood. Cynthia remembers cookies and punch, games, the discipline of learning bible verses verbatim address included! Most of all she remembers that Sister Gloria taught her that God loved her no matter what, a relationship of love, not fear. She was invited to respond to Gods love for her. By age 12 her father had remarried and her stepmother began taking her to Baptist Church. She was so taken by the Sunday school program that she soon became a volunteer leader and now has devoted her life to serving the Lord through her work at SCUPE and many other causes.
This story is a great example of how we are called to obedience in mentoring the young people God puts in our lives, you never know when one of them might be a Cynthia Milsap!
Cynthia closed her time with us by encouraging the leaders in attendance to seek balance in their lives. She accurately referred to the School of the Prophets as a safe place where ministers and lay leaders could come and be refreshed. She invited all of us to sit quietly while a CD played calming worship music, an invitation to reflect on ways that our lives are out of balance. We were blessed by her leadership and encouragement.
Please consider joining us for our next gathering on Saturday October 7. We all benefit from being with one another!
In Jesus name,
323 West Chicago Ave., Hinsdale, IL 60521
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