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Showing posts from December, 2008

Shalom Report:-- 4th Quarter 2008

In summary: we consolidated the Shalom network based at Drew and resourced Shalom conferences and sites nationally; built a national Shalom team comprised of staff, interns, and consultants; organized regional and conference Shalom trainings; equipped conference coordinators to equip their local Shalom sites; identified and nurtured new national training partner; found new ways to communicate and promote the Shalom brand of community development; produced Fall Nexus newsletter; continued planning process and trajectory work with Duncan Associates; and found seed funding for two new sites.

Building the Team:

• Attended monthly meetings with staff at GBGM as our major national partner of Shalom at Drew, and attended their national leadership training conference in Phoenix focused on online presence and organizational development. Met with the Advance Office staff and Assistant General Secretary for communications to coordinate Shalom branding and promotion. Met with Health and Welfare sta…

Shabbat Shalom

'Shabbat Shalom'שבת-שלום

"Shabbath"-שבת is the Hebrew word for "Sabbath." Saturday, "Shalom"-שלום means peace, welfare, health and wholensess. Shalom is also a greeting that means both "hello" and "goodbye," similar to the Hawaiian "Aloha" and the Indian "Namaste". Hence, "Shabbath shalom" is a greeting for the sabbath Saturday. Thus the person saying "Shabbat shalom" is wishing you a good and peaceful Sabbath filled with health and wholeness.

Communities of Shalom is a multicultural, interfaith network of community development sites in the USA and Africa committed to waging peace and welfare in their particular communities and neighborhoods. Initiated by the United Methodist Church, Communities of Shalom is somewhat of a movement--a grassroots movement that aligns assets and mobilizes resources, not a program that depletes funds and requires a bail out. Shalom offers hope for communit…

Let the Work of Christmas Begin

Howard Thurman was a mystic poet, pastor, theologian, and civil rights leader who founded the Church for the Fellowship of All Peoples in San Francisco, California. It was the first racially integrated, intercultural church in the United States.

Here's one of his poems:

The Work of Christmas

When the song of the angels is stilled,
When the star in the sky is gone,
When the kings and princes are home,
When the shepherds are back with their flock,
The work of Christmas begins:
To find the lost,
To heal the broken,
To feed the hungry,
To release the prisoner,
To rebuild the nations,
To bring peace among brothers,
To make music in the heart.

by Howard Thurman

Hope Home Orphan Care Report for November

My Friends: I beg you to remember the poor during this season of sharing. We are in the midst of a global recession that affects not only the USA but the world, and especially developing countries. I left my heart, as you know, in Malawi among the one million AIDS orphans and abandoned and vulnerable children and youth who suffer from food shortages and the ravages of AIDS (not just a dip in their retirement funds).

We are now caring for 80+ orphaned, abandoned and vulnerable children and youth (OVC) at Mzuzu United Methodist Church--in a wood and thatch sanctuary that holds about 100 people on Sunday and throughout the week.

Please join me in giving thanks for the fact that these kids are still alive and well, thanks to so many of you who continue to send a gift from time to time to WorldHope Corps, Inc. to sponsor a kid or help with the general need. Together, we are feeding 60-90 kids every day, supplying warm blankets during the rainy season, helping with some medical needs, an…

Muslim Feast of Sacrifice (Eid al-Adha)

I had never gone to such a feast before, but when Levent invited my family and me to join his Muslim community and interfaith friends to their Feast Day at the end of the holy season of Eid, in commemoration of father Abraham’s willingness to sacrifice his son (Ishmael), I responded with enthusiasm.

Levent Koç, Ph.D. is Executive Director of the Interfaith Dialog Center in New Jersey, and his organization has sponsored interfaith events at Drew and elsewhere, and takes people on cross-cultural trips to Turkey. In so doing, this progressive Muslim community helps us find common ground among the three Abrahamic religions in the spirit of shalom/salaam/peace.

About 75 people of good faith gathered in Carlstadt for the Feast of Sacrifice. Together, we shared in a common meal and gave thanks for the Lord’s provision of a ‘ram in the thicket’ as a substitutionary sacrifice instead of Abraham’s son—the sacred story of how the ancient people of God learned that human sacrifice is not requ…