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Showing posts from April, 2012

On this very day...20 years ago

Today marks the 20th Anniversary Weekend of Communities of Shalom
Shalom on Facebook

UMCOM TV interview with Michael Christensen
This Very Day--Sunday, April 29—is the 20th Anniversary of Shalom!
Friends of Shalom are here in Tampa for the General Conference of the United Methodist Church. 
This afternoon, from 5-6, in the Big Tent (across the street from the Convention Center) hosted by the Methodist Federation for Social Action, friends of shalom will gather to sing, testify, pray, and tell stories of shalom work in their communities.
Bishop Joseph Sprague (Instigator of Shalom in 1992 and still active in the Greater Hilltop Shalom Zone in Columbus, Ohio) will offer inspiration followed by anointing with oil for the difficult work ahead. 
On Sunday night during the 7pm celebration of ministry service in the Convention Center, Communities of Shalom will present its Report to GC and show the new video “Shalom is still on the loose!”
Watch it live at the General Conference Live .

Origins of Shalom

On this 20th Anniversary Day for Communities of Shalom, I asked Bishop Joseph Sprague, Instigator of Communities of Shalom, to reflect on the origins of Shalom on April 29, 1992--the day of the social uprising in Los Angeles after the non-guility verdict for the officers who beat motorist Rodney King and the response of the General Conference of The United Methodist Church to create the first "shalom zone" in south central LA. 
Origins of Communities of Shalom (1992) By Bishop C. Joseph Sprague on the occasion of the 20th Anniversary of the Shalom Initiative at General Conference, April 29, 2012
There was a certain irony about how I got to General Conference in 1992.  As a pastor from West Ohio, I had been elected as a delegate at two prior General Conferences. However, this time Good News and IRD targeted me to not get elected, apparently because of some of my social justice stands.  Consequently, I was the last clergy delegate elected and seated.  As luck or Providence wo…

Seeking Shalom in Tampa this week

Our Shalom Team is in Tampa joining forces with other peace and justice ministries of the United Methodist Church in seeking the shalom of the city where we have been sent (Jeremiah 29:7). If you are in Tampa at General Conference, let me know. I plan to blog, tweet and link this week during the 20th Anniversary of Drew ShalomMinistry With the Poor - Media Explore what is going on in other communities and United Methodist churches around the world and share your stories about your ministries and/or ministry with the poor.

Why I attended OWS Spring Training

Call to Action:  99% Spring Training
With the goal of training 100,000 people this Spring in community organizing and non-violent direct action, the 99% Spring coalition hopes to gather a critical mass of people power to “draw a line in the sand and say ‘No More!” to the corporations and wealthy power brokers who collectively have hijacked our democracy.

Given last year’s Supreme Court decision granting corporations and superpacs legal provisions to spend unlimited money to influence the political process, I personally agree that its time to demand a “separation of Corporation and State.”  (See my earlier posts on OWS   for why I have supported this original and primary goal of Occupy)
A broad-base coalition of national organizations (initiated by Occupy Wall Street and invited community activists to today’s training session in various cities across the country. Several friends and supporters of Communities of Shalom registered for trainings in Harlem, Morristown, Oakland…

Time to Own Our Own Rig

WorldHope Corps Seeks Sponsors to Secure Well Rig Equipment in Malawi

Calling all sponsors.  We need $50,000 to start our own well-drilling ministry.  After five years of sponsoring village wells by hiring well rig companies to do the work, we are ready to secure our own equipment, employ our own crew, and run our own well-drilling business.   For more information on this new venture, and learn how you can help, please contact us at

WorldHope Corps began drilling boreholes in Malawi in 2008.  So far, we've managed to put in 18 deep water village wells in northern Malawi.  For five years now we have contracted with different drilling companies to install our sponsored wells.   Typically, we contract with drillers with rigs based in southern Malawi who are willing to bring their equipment to the north (and we have experienced considerable delays and obstacles in the process).  What is needed is a well-drilling business in the rural north, and a coalition of min…