Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Communities of Shalom

Dear friends and colleagues:

I want to let you know that I will have a new position at Drew beginning January 1, 2008. After 12 years as Director of the Doctor of Ministry program, I will transition at the end of the year to give my full attention to my new position: Director of Communities of Shalom. My role will be to facilitate and provide resources for a grass-roots, faith-based, community development network of "shalom sites" in the USA and Africa, in connection with theological education at Drew.

Here's a link to the announcement by the United Methodist Church General Board of Global Ministries in New York:

Drew Theological School to Be New Home
Of United Methodist "Shalom" Initiative


If you are Methodist, you may remember hearing about "shalom zones" in the early 1990's. The United Methodist Church responded to the race riots and social unrest in Los Angeles by working with local congregations to create a "shalom zone" in South Central LA and poured a lot of resources into community renewal and development. That initiative sparked a movement of community development projects known now as "Communities of Shalom".

As announced yesterday by the General Board of Global Ministries, Drew University was selected as the new home-base for Communities of Shalom which now number over 250. This means Drew Theological School will 1) coordinate, support, and develop the network; 2) offer on-going consultation and training; 3)teach the theology and practice of faith-based community development; and 4) prepare and place students as interns in shalom sites as part of their theological formation.

I am delighted with the invitation to provide leadership for the Shalom Initiative, and will make the transition at the end of the calendar year.

Yes, I will continue teaching at Drew, but not administering the DMIN program. And yes, I will be able to continue my ministry in Malawi as part of my Shalom work. In other words, I have a new great job at Drew--teaching, training, mentoring, and supporting seminary students and prophetic leaders who are making a difference in their neighborhoods and community settings through faith-in-action and collaborative community development.

So, shalom to you my friends!