The MPD Chaplaincy Program is embedded in the Mental Wellness Team as a key component in addressing officer mental health and wellbeing issues. I serve as the lead chaplain of the program along with Andrew Stallworth, Steve Olson, Dale Racer and Ted Jansen who serve as assistants. All of us are former MPD officers and members of the International Conference of Police Chaplains.
I work with the 1800 officers of the department and their families regardless of rank or religious belief. I am able to provide spiritual guidance or counseling at the request of individuals and visit the various police districts offering support and when asked, pastoral care. In the course of my duties, I ride along with officers as they perform their duties with the purpose of forming relationships and to offer support. God has also allowed me to openly pray over the officers before they hit the streets at their daily roll calls.
Over the past several years I have been blessed to officiate at the weddings, baptisms and funerals of our officers, sadly four of whom died in the performance of their duties. The recent riots and anti-police narratives have caused many officers to question the purpose of their profession and their spiritual faith.
In an effort to provide officers and their families a source of hope and the love of Christ, I have created a Bible study group for the men and women in law enforcement. Additionally, there is now a “Blue Line Chapel” gathering held twice a month for area officers and their families. This chapel is offered on a weeknight since many officers are unable to attend Sunday services due to work schedules.
I also offer all officers a prayer card which has a prayer of protection on one side and a reminder of their mission on the other side which is spelled out in Psalm 82:2-3:
“Defend the weak and the fatherless; uphold the cause of the poor and the oppressed. Rescue the weak and the needy; deliver them from the hand of the wicked.”
I have seen God work in the hearts of many officers who have fallen away from their relationship with God. When they are at the lowest point they have reached out and asked for spiritual counseling. It has been a privilege to offer them the hope of the Gospel and then watch the restoration of their spirit as the Holy Spirit moves in their lives. There are also officers without any belief in God. I have seen what I can only say is His hand arrange a “chance” meeting with some of these officers allowing me the opportunity to share the Gospel and plant the seeds of faith that prayerfully will grow in His name.
I appreciate all prayers for this ministry because the evil one would like nothing better than to see our officers struggle with their mission to protect and serve.
All of these contacts and opportunities have confirmed to me that the hand of God is upon this ministry - God is faithful!
Join us in praying for George and his ministry with the MPD
By Nick Galezewski
"Now when Jesus realized what they were thinking, he said to them “Every kingdom divided against itself is destroyed, and no town or house divided against itself will stand.” Matthew 12:28
Greater Milwaukee is the most segregated major metropolitan area in the United States. This reality is reflected in both our neighborhoods and churches. But let’s be honest – Racism is not a skin problem, it’s a sin problem – and it divides us.
For the first time in the U.S. there are more people who identify as non-religious and unchurched than those who identify as Christian – and we can definitely see the effects of racism in our predominantly unchurched society.
But among those who identify as Christian, who worship the same God and have been saved by grace through their faith, instead of faithfully living out the love of Jesus, it often seems that there is even more divisiveness. Jesus warned us that a kingdom divided against itself is destroyed and no town or house divided against itself will stand. If we, who are Jesus followers, fail to bridge this gap between the dominant group and minorities within the Church, the world outside the Church has no chance!
Bridging these gaps begins by building relationships and building relationships begins with a conversation.
Front Row Seat, a ministry supported by BASICS, serves to do just that - to build relationships between people through conversation where minorities and non-minorities can gather in a psychologically safe place to engage in Spirit-led conversations and together, face the sin of racism.
On February 19th, for the first time in nearly 2 years, an in-person Front Row Seat took place when Eastbrook Church graciously opened its doors to host the event.
Through a generous donation, Front Row Seat was able to help foster that next step by offering coffeehouse gift cards to participants who agreed to meet within 10 days after the event. 1/3 of the participants took advantage of this offer!
The impact of Front Row Seat is making a real difference in Milwaukee. Since its inception, Front Row Seat has engaged over 700 people with representatives from nearly 30 different Churches in the Greater Milwaukee Area! But , as Levar Burton says: “You don’t have to take my word for it.” Here are things participants are saying about Front Row Seat:
While progress has still been made, there is much work left to do!
Join the Conversation!
To find out more about Front Row Seat, click here
If you would like to be a host site for an upcoming event, please contact Laurie Hendrickson at email@example.com or Nick Galezewski at firstname.lastname@example.org
There are a few dates still available for the Fall, but spots are filling quickly!
By Jane Turner
"Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up." Galatians 6:9
This has been a challenging time for MPS school staff. Educating students amidst the challenges often found in the city is difficult enough. Adding the complexities of the COVID era, teachers and administrators are often overwhelmed and discouraged.
When I took on this ministry, we served 3 MPS schools. Previous coordinators had laid a solid foundation, setting this ministry up for success. As a result, we’ve been able to grow and connect with 10 schools (with more potential schools waiting in the wings!)
A key factor in our growth has been our responsiveness to the principals and their individual school cultures. Rather than going in with a set program or Bible study, we ask the principal “how can we best serve you in prayer?”
This shows honor to the principal; after all nobody knows the staff and their needs better than the principal! We partner with the principal to help them support and encourage the staff in the way that works best for them.
God has worked in so many ways in each of our schools – we’ve had one miracle after another!
Why are we seeing so many answers to prayer? Prayer is more than asking for something, it’s standing in agreement with God’s purposes. When we bring our team to stand in agreement with the principal, harmony is created. When we’re in agreement with God and one another, it’s powerful! Teachers are asking our team to stop by their room – they say “don’t leave without praying for me!” One principal said after we prayed “I felt something different. I felt healing, love.”
Join God at work!
By Nick Galezewski
“Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and cloth you?’…The King will reply, ‘Truly, I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’" Matthew 25:37-40
For many of us, New Year’s Eve serves not only as a renewed reminder of the Hope that Jesus gave us, but hope that this next year will be better than the last – a better self, developing better relationships and becoming a better follower of Christ…in short, it renews our hope to thrive. But for many of us, the hope to thrive is a luxury superseded by the hope to simply survive.
This New Year’s Eve, as most of Milwaukee’s Soup Kitchens were closed for the day, BASICS Minister to Milwaukee and Executive Director of Genesis Lighthouse, Frank Woods, with the help of dozens of volunteers, once again served the City of Milwaukee’s homeless population during its annual New Year’s Eve Outreach #NYEO.
Of the dozens of people assisted that day, 3 stood out:
Carla, an elderly woman, who the night before slept outside without warm clothes, was blessed with a coat and shelter for the night at Joy House, a Christian Homeless Shelter. As she was leaving, she could be heard thanking God for his provisions.
Bea, a homeless atheist was also blessed with a warm meal and clothing. Despite prayer and gospel sharing she refused the help of a faith-based homeless shelter instead choosing to remain with friends.
Aside from his secular work history, Nick has also worked with both suburban and inner-city churches. In addition to serving as a resident at Southbrook Church in Franklin, WI and interning at Ephesians Missionary Baptist Church in Milwaukee, Nick has served as the Chaplain for the Milwaukee Milkmen – Milwaukee’s “other” professional baseball team since their inception.
Nick proudly comes from a diverse family. He is Lucia’s husband (a Latina immigrant from South America) and together they have 4 children – 2 of which are biological and 2 of which are adopted…but as Nick says…”I don’t remember which ones are which…all I know is they are Black, Brown and Beautiful and I’m honored that God has given me the privilege to be their dad.”
It should then come as no surprise then that Nick has a passion for connecting people and building bridges that most accurately reflect God’s creation. Black, White, Latinx, Asian, Middle-Eastern…”if we love Jesus, we need to bridge the gap that divides us”. Nick is fond of saying that “If we as followers of Jesus can’t get racial reconciliation right, the world outside of His Church stands no chance.” Nick believes that we need to build reconciliation and it starts within the Church to model to the rest of the world.
Nick will be focusing on Front Row Seat -we will be resuming in-person Front Row Seat events in early 2022 - click here to find out more about Front Row Seat and to be notified when registration opens for these events!
On Thursday August 16th, we had our first ever Mini-Golf FUN-raiser at Tee-Aire Mini-Golf in Brookfield, and it was a blast! The forecast promised rain, but God was faithful to hold it off until the moment we were just finishing packing up our cars!
We had a time of dinner and fellowship, worship and heard about the ministry of BASICS, how God has been working in Milwaukee.
We had special putting contests, a raffle, then it was time for Mini-Golf! While they were golfing, the attendees also had a chance to learn more about BASICS - there were facts about our ministry posted at each Tee Box, and each person was able to complete trivia questions based around those facts and turn in their sheet to receive a BASICS mug at the end of the evening.
We are so grateful for our friends, new and old, who attended and helped make our first Mini-Golf event a success! And special thanks to Alisa Novak who organized and planned this event for us as well as the other volunteers and staff who served!
We are grateful for our event sponsors!!
BASICS is thrilled to participate in the launch of a new online initiative to reach Milwaukee and beyond with the Good News of Jesus Christ!
ShareWith1 will be a national movement that is launching out of Milwaukee, WI! ShareWith1 is challenging you to perform 1 Random Act of Kindness and/or Share your Faith in God with 1 Person. No matter which you choose you are making a positive impact in someone’s life!
Follow and like ShareWith1 on Facebook.www.facebook.com/sharewithone
Or email email@example.com
**Are you interested in learning more about how you can easily launch ShareWith1 to your church? Please click here to download and fill out the form and then email it back to firstname.lastname@example.org
May the Lord bless you richly as you draw near to Him and reach out to others!
Laurie & Gary Hendrickson
BASICS in Milwaukee
Our very own Mark Mallwitz gave his testimony and it was shown at the 2018 No Regrets Conference. Check it out!
At our core, BASICS is brothers and sisters in Christ serving together through prayer, care, share and prepare, bringing the hope of Jesus Christ to Milwaukee.
Following God’s direction, Arn Quakkelaar and Mark Mallwitz have laid a strong foundation to impact Milwaukee, building relationships of trust and serving, linking urban to suburban, breaking down walls of racial divide and misunderstanding, and in their place building bridges of unity, friendship and love.
We see BASICS as the hub of a spinner, seamlessly connecting kingdom-minded churches and ministries, through ongoing relationships, fanning into flame their calling, helping them to fulfill the Great Commission, through connections, resources, experience and encouragement!
We need to continue to bridge bridges of opportunity to serve, where God can see His body gather together in unity. As we practice loving others in both practical and spiritual ways, the result will be changed lives and transformed families and culture.
Our objectives are to:
We are excited to work with this amazing team of staff, volunteers and Ministers to Milwaukee that God has put into place, as well as those He is about to bring for His Glory, in the city of Milwaukee! It is truly our privilege to serve with BASICS in every way HE allows!
“Let us therefore make every effort to do what leads to peace and to the building up of one another.” Romans 14:19
- Gary & Laurie Hendrickson, Co-Presidents
Write something about yourself. No need to be fancy, just an overview.