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Showing posts from July, 2011

Background story on the Macon Shalom Zones

Macon, GA.   


The Macon Story of Shalom represents the first time in the history of Communities of Shalom that a local mayor initiated, hosted and facilitated ShalomZone Training in a city.


According to The Telegraph, a local paper in Macon, GA, Mayor Robert Reichert in 2009 called together more than 100 community leaders, pastors and residents and prodded them to organize small groups and begin revitalizing their neighborhoods block by block. Reichert’s idea is for residents to determine their neighborhoods’ needs — social, economic or housing related — and develop a plan to address them through Shalom Zones. Macon’s local TV station, FOX24, covered the event and aired a report on their nightly news. 

Mayor Reichert was introduced to the Shalom concept by United Methodist leaders in South Carolina. When Bishop James King, Jr., and Dr. Brad Brady, Macon District Superintendent, heard the Mayor’s vision for ‘creating safe zones in the city’ to reduce crime, rid neighborhoods of drugs, reb…

What Would Jesus Cut?

“Congress is paralyzed by toxic partisan politics while people suffer. Our elected officials are protecting corporations and wealthy individuals while shredding the safety net for millions of the most vulnerable people in our nation and abroad. Our faith won't allow us to passively watch this travesty unfold.”--Rev. Michael Livingston, past president of the National Council of the Churches of Christ (USA), arrested today praying and protesting at the US Capital.


Washington, DC:  Despite repeated warnings from police, eleven religious leaders refused to end their prayers in the rotunda of the the U.S. Capital and were arrested.  They prayed in protest that Congress and the Administration would not balance the budget on the backs of the poor. 
One of those arrested was Jim Winkler, the General Secretary of Church and Society—a peace with justice agency of the United Methodist Church.  Jim has been a prophetic leader on social issues for a long time, a friend of Communitie…

MALAWI ON THE BRINK

I received three urgent emails today from our friends in Malawi—Copeland Nkhata, Gabriel Msongale, and Dennis Singini-- asking us to pray for them in the political crisis and social unrest at hand in Mzuzu:
"…The country is plunging into real gloomy hours,"  writes Rev. Copeland Nkhata, pastor of the Mzuzu United Methodist Church circuit andWorldHope Corps leader in Malawi.  "Yesterday the nation went through anarchy and bloodshed. Mzuzu lost 7people in a clash with police and 47 wounded badly. All the cities had some people dead. This has disturbed and disrupted our work."
"I hope you have heard in News accross the World what just took place on Wednesday July 20th 2011," adds Gabriel Wesley Msongole, Director, CitiHope Malawi. "On Wednesday there were supposed to be peaceful demonstrations where by Civil Society Organizations and other concerned parties wanted to petition the President concerning a number of issues facing our country.
Unfortunately, th…

From SafeZones for ShalomZones in Macon

City of Shalom
“Your people will rebuild the ancient ruins and will raise up the age–old foundations; you will be called Repairer of Broken Walls, Restorer of Streets with Dwellings.”  —Isaiah 58:12
Macon, GA.  Mayor Robert Reicherthad a vision for "safe zones" in his city until he heard about how to create "shalom zones" in specific neighborhoods where community leaders are willing to come together and rebuild.  

See video clip:   http://www.cityofmacon.net/node/12394
“When I heard about Shalom Zones I thought it was a perfect fit.  How you ask the neighbors what want and empower the residents to join together.  And then you bring municipal government into the picture to connect the resources,” the Mayor told a reporter.
The Mayor invited Communities of Shalom, based at Drew, to offer Shalom Zone Training to city and community leaders in 2009.  After six months of training, led by Annie Allen, five new shalom sites were organized and began working for transformation in …

"What can I do to help?" By Gaius Charles

Hello friends and supporters of Communities of Shalom and World Hope Corps:
My name is Gaius Charles and I am a Master of Divinity student at Drew University where I have had the privilege of studying and working with Dr. Michael Christensen.  Recently I had the opportunity to participate in Dr. Christensen’s Shalom Zone Training in Uganda to support the interfaith work of Drew University’s Communities of Shalom Ministry in Jinja, Sesse and Mbale, in Eastern Uganda.   
The trip was extraordinary and it opened my eyes to the challenging realities that many Ugandans face every day. For example, at one school we visited, several kids were infected with HIV. At another school, the students listened attentively as we shared with them about AIDS prevention and also how God calls us into certain vocations and ministries.  They were delighted when we presented them with a simple soccer ball.
Since returning to the US after a week in Uganda, I've been asking "what can I do to help?"…