BUMP invites young adults to come to Buffalo for a year, live in community, train in ministry, and use their strengths and passions to serve at a non-profit organization or local church, furthering the kingdom of God in Buffalo.


In the spirit of the resurrection season, we are excitedly looking forward to the future as we prepare to follow God’s unique calling on each of our lives.


Our bump members were able to get away for a weekend retreat this past February to spend some time discerning the wisdom of God for major life decisions. While we had a blast playing games, sharing stories, going on hikes, resting, worshipping, and eating delicious meals, the highlight of the weekend was participating in “Clearness Committees.” A community-based approach to seeking God’s voice regarding a personal decision or problem, Clearness Committees provide the person struggling with intentional questions that help remove interference and confusion.


This approach was developed by the Quaker tradition in the 1600s when the local church community did not have clergy to help “solve” their problems. Instead, the Quakers decided to draw on their personal and communal resources for addressing their own struggles. Here’s how the committee works:


  • First, gather together a group of fellow believers (typically 4-6) who are wise, trustworthy, and good listeners.
  • Second, assign roles:
    • The Presenter is the person who has volunteered to share their struggle/decision with the group
    • The Facilitator leads the group by asking for God’s guidance in prayer and then opens up the time for questions.
    • The Participants pray, listen well, and then ask questions as the Spirit leads.
    • The Recorder (who can also ask questions), writes down all the questions asked (not the answers) for the presenter to consider later on.
  • Finally, begin the committee and allow for at least 2 hours to engage with the Spirit and ask the presenter questions.


We explained to the BUMP members that participants need to ask questions from a place of openness and curiosity. When participating in a Clearness Committee, it is important to abandon the pretense that we know what’s best for another person. It is also necessary to understand that the goal is not to come to an answer; rather, the goal is to allow the spirit to work through the group to provide wisdom and guidance to the presenter.


The retreat was an incredible blessing for the BUMP members, as the group attempted to help their fellow members discern the will of God. The BUMP members that presented shared after how they felt the questions were helpful in considering their problems from a different angle and that they enjoyed sharing their thoughts with the group. We are grateful for this group and their hearts for God and one another!


Moving forward, we will begin to work on the BUMP final projects, where members share the lessons they have learned from their service year through a variety of formats: performance, artwork, writing, producing a video, and other forms of creative presentations. We look forward to sharing some of their work with you in the coming months!




  • Please pray for future BUMP members as we begin to find placement sites for next year’s BUMP cohort.
  • Please pray for continued health and safety for our current BUMP members and leaders, as they continue to serve through the challenged and complicating impacts of COVID-19.



  • Know someone that may be interested in serving with BUMP? We are currently accepting applications! You can find our application on our website under “Take Action”
  • Know a young adult interested in living in community? We have openings in the two unique communal living spaces that we manage, one on the West Side and one in Black Rock. Please refer potential residents to smithstephaniee@gmail.com.
  • We are always open to additional BUMP ministry placement sites. Please contact us at buffalourbanmission@gmail.com for more information on becoming a placement site for a BUMP member.
  • We would also accept furnishing donations (i.e. couches, end tables, bookshelves) to improve the Rectory space, and retreat center space or meals provided in-kind for our two annual BUMP member spiritual retreats.