Bethel-Bethany’s Urban Immersion program has been providing a rich exploration of ministry in the “big city” to non-urban church groups since the late 1980s. Utilizing an action and reflection model, visitors connect with UCC ministries in the Milwaukee area and experience cultural diversity through a weekend of worship, food, history and the arts.
A typical Urban Immersion schedule might include dinner with homeless people at St. Ben’s Community Meal in downtown Milwaukee, worship with the primarily African American congregation at Greater Mt. Sinai Church of God in Christ, a service project at an area shelter and a visit to the Islamic Society of Milwaukee to witness midday prayers.
In most cases, groups arrive at Bethel-Bethany in the late afternoon on a Friday, “camp out” in the Fellowship Hall of the church overnight, and depart on Saturday evening. Some groups, however, stay two nights, in order to participate in an expanded schedule of activities. Still others opt for a one-day experience, arriving early on Saturday morning and returning home late on Saturday evening.
All reservations and arrangements for Urban Immersion activities are made through the Bethel-Bethany office, and knowledgeable guides are provided to accompany groups on their experiences. Overnight accommodations include cots and sleeping mats for approximately 20, air conditioning, access to a large TV with a DVD/VCR combo player, and the use of the church kitchen and refrigerators. We charge a nominal per-person fee to defray administrative costs. Fees are also used to make donations to participating organizations.
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Download an information sheet here: Urban Immersion Retreat Program 2016
Download a registration form here:Urban Immersion Registration 2017