For as long as I can remember, my ears perk up and my heart pounds with desire to experience the Divine and to love people in radical ways. I can remember being a kid on the playground in 1st grade when a classmate began talking to me about her worries. My heart filled with compassion the way it still does today when people open up to me about their lives.
Voted by my senior class at a public high school as “most likely to become a missionary,” I think my friends knew something about me that I was not yet aware of. Perhaps it is because I inherited a legacy of spirituality including a grandfather who was a pastor, and parents who fervently love and serve God, that service comes naturally to me. My love of people compelled me to pursue an undergraduate degree in Psychology and after college, I began full time work with homeless youth on the streets of Denver with a ministry called Dry Bones. After 11 years of working and ministering among homeless youth, I felt a nudge from God to move on to something new, which has evolved into my work at Urban Skye.
I am also in the process of completing my master’s degree in Counseling at Denver Seminary and plan to graduate in May 2018. This has been an invaluable educational experience that has significantly impacted my ability to love others and guide folks in their journey toward healing and wholeness.
My work with Urban Skye:
My mission in life and ministry is to live out the Gospel in such a way that people experience the Kingdom of God right here, right now—on Earth as it is in Heaven. At Urban Skye my focus is ministering among former “street kids” who have transitioned from homelessness and supporting youth pastors as they help their students connect with what it means to love people on the margins of society. Both of these forms of outreach draw on my 11 years ministering to youth on the streets and in the wider church community. I enjoy creating sacred spaces in nature, coffee shops, and around dinner tables as contexts for connecting folks to God and to each other.
I live out mission by:
• Living my life in such a way that people are able to experience the goodness of God through me, trying to always be the “sweet aroma” of Christ (2 Corinthians 2:15)
• Embodying contemplative spiritual practice in balance with meaningful activism
• Meeting regularly one-on-one with folks who are bravely transitioning out of street life
• Supporting the development of life skills such as budgeting, accessing and navigating resources, and successful transitioning into permanent housing
• Hosting dinners where people can find encouragement, support, and connection with others who have transitioned out of street life
• Engaging in job coaching and leadership development
• Having a ministry of “presence” where I am engaged in meaningful relationships with the individuals I am serving—being available to talk or meet up to prevent or deescalate crises
• Meaningfully creating space for celebrating important milestones such as birthdays, sobriety anniversaries, graduations and more
• Coordinating and facilitating outings for groups and individuals to connect with God in the beauty of nature
• Mentoring and engaging pastors who minister among young people in the city
• Living in intentional community in a community house with 4 amazing women plus one sweet baby girl
Anyone who knows me will tell you that I get up to the mountains whenever possible! Whether I am trail running, biking, hiking, or just sitting by a river, there is nowhere I connect more naturally with God than in the beauty and wildness of nature. I love to read and learn (and I am SUPER pumped to finish my graduate degree and get to read more books for fun again!). I feel incredibly privileged to walk through life with a tribe of amazing people who continually encourage, challenge, and inspire me.
If you’d like to hear more, please reach out to me at duke.reb (at) gmail.com.