Shalom ministry historically is rooted in the biblical prophetic tradition and a practical theological interpretation of Jeremiah 29:1-12. The United Methodist Shalom Initiative ignited in the spring of 1992, in the aftermath of the social uprising in Los Angeles following the not-guilty verdict for the police charged with Rodney King. The LA riots devastated the downtown neighborhoods and caused racial strife and violence between neighbors. Seven UM churches got involved in rebuilding the community and created the first "shalom zone." From there it spread to other jurisdictions of the United Methodist Church in the USA, Africa and Haiti. Today shalom sites are active in over 30 Annual Conferences and five regions if the USA.
The ministry is inclusive of other faith traditions. Currently, over 130 shalom sites minister across the spectrum: from after-school educational programs to economic community development projects; from immigration reform to reducing youth violence. Millions of dollars have been raised and leveraged to build houses, develop small businesses, develop new community leaders, organize for direct community action, offer health services globally, strengthen multicultural relationships, and minister with the poor. In 2008, the Shalom Initiative affiliated with Drew Theological School where it is energized and supported by the Shalom Resource and Training Center on campus. In addition to coordinating training and technical assistance, Shalom at Drew has sent 30 student interns to shalom zones in the USA, Malawi, Uganda, and Haiti. Drew also adapted the shalom training model to certificate programs, MDIV courses, and DMIN concentrations, as well as licensed its use in other schools and regional training centers. ShalomZone Training? organizes and mobilizes church and community volunteers to engage in issues and carry out the strategies that they have identified, and to weave the threads of Shalom. Those who live, work, or worship in a geographically defined area (shalom zone) are valued as the experts who provide the knowledge and wisdom, design the plan, and carry out the actions.
ShalomZone training covers the six ?threads? of the SHALOM acrostic: how to seek systemic change, focus on health and wholeness, do asset-based community development, encourage love for God, self and neighbor, organize the community for action, and strengthen multicultural relationships through community collaboration. Through regional training events and national Summits, shalom teams are equipped with strategies to transform their communities. In the last four years of Shalom at Drew, we have leveraged 1.7 million dollars for faith-inspired community development work in the USA and Africa. We started or re-activated 57 Shalom sites representing over 570 people involved in the Shalom movement. We've trained, commissioned and sent 30 student interns to 25 Shalom sites, and impacted thousands of residents in the places where Communities of Shalom is active. After 20 years, Shalom is still on the loose.
Goals & Objectives
1.) Shalom at Drew will re-develop the historic ShalomZone Training? with technologically enhanced features, web-based content delivery, and online applications. This will enable us to offer the training to a broader base of individuals and organizations ? who will, in turn, equip more local leaders to seek shalom in their communities. (New ShalomZone Training launched in October, 2012.
2.) Plan and produce the 20th Anniversary International Shalom Summit in Los Angeles (where the movement began), requiring a $150,000 budget and attracting 300 participants (Oct. 3-6, 2012).
3.) Certify seven shalom sites in 2012 and 12 new regional shalom trainers (for a total of 25).
4.) Achieve financial sustainability through cost-recovery and revenue generation utilizing the ShalomZone training product (measured in three month increments toward sustainability by July 1, 2013). This will require $200,000/yr budget.
1.) Toward this end we are mobilizing a design team with skills for the adaptation of a mostly paper-based training program into one that is interactive, technologically enhanced, web-based, and able to provide an EPIC (experiential, participatory, image-driven, communal) educational experience for all. We recently received an $85,000 curriculum development grant from the Jesse Ball DuPont Fund for this purpose.
2.) Working with the LA Planning Team to produce a stellar Shalom Summit co-sponsored by Drew, GBGM and LA Urban Ministry Foundation, each raising $50k for the event.
3.) Implementing the site certification piece of Shalom's Five Year Plan in consultation with Duncan Associates and the National Shalom Committee: Three sites seeking certification before Gen Conference; three before Shalom Summit (Oct). Planning the annual certification course for regional trainers in Ocean Grove, NJ (June)
4. The Shalom Resource Center at Drew is engaged in a Trustee-led 18-month process (January 1, 2012-July 1, 2013) to create a professional Business Plan to sustain, market, and promote Communities of Shalom and the new ShalomZone Training? product. In so doing, we intend to educate, train, equip, and certify annually at least 2,500 faith-motivated ministers and community leaders and sites in asset based community development for the transformation of the world one community at a time.