Here's your March 2014 issue of Shalom eNews

Current Shalom Trainings
We are pleased to hear about four ShalomZone Trainings currently in session:
Shalom Training in the San Francisco Bay Area started February 1, sponsored by the Cal-Nevada Conference of the United Methodist Church.  Led by National Director Michael Christensen and hosted by Epworth Berkeley UMC, session two on "Growing Healthy Communities--the H in Shalom" was completed on March 1.  The next session on Asset Based Community Development is scheduled for April 5.  

The New York Annual Conference of the UMC begins its Shalom Training Program at Clinton Ave. UMC,  Kingston, NY, with National Trainer David Cooper  this month.   The Six sessions are scheduled for March 15,     April 12, May 17, June 21, July 19, and August 23. To register, please contact David Cooper at

Uganda Shalom Zones are ready to begin their third class of coffee farmers, tailors and HIV/AIDS community workers in Jinja and in Hoima districts of Uganda under the leadership of Regional Trainers Baumu Moses and Julius Kasaija.

Our new Shalom Online course started on March 1 with open enrollment until May.  All eight sessions can be taken at your own pace on a Moodle online platform for a total of  24 contact hours.
For more information on Shalom Training:

Beauty for Ashes

A Lenten Journey to Shalom and Jubilee


By Michael J. Christensen,
Director, Communities of Shalom
This year on Ash Wednesday in Berkeley, CA, I plan to carry on the mission of Jesus by offering “beauty for ashes” in the morning on the street at the BART station in downtown Berkeley, CA.

Inspired by Sara Miles, a priest at St. Gregory of Nyssa Episcopal Church in San Francisco, I invited members of the local United Methodist Church I pastor in Berkeley to come on out at between 7-8am to support the ministerial staff as we robe for the occasion, process silently on the street, pray in public, and offer the opportunity to “get your ashes downtown.”

On Ash Wednesday, wherever you are, I encourage you to remember the vision of Shalom in the prophesy of Isaiah and the mission of Jubilee in the teaching of Jesus. And whether you receive your ashes on the streets or inside a church,

“Remember, child of God, from dust you were made, to dust you shall return, turn around, believe the good news, and participate in the mission of God."

On Ash Wednesday, March 5, Christians begin a 40-day journey called the Season of Lent. In the spirit of Shalom and Jubilee, it’s a time to refocus on the mission of Jesus, which has become our mission, too, in the world (See Luke 4:16-21).

Read More.


Looking at the Glass Half Full

By John McKnight
Our major institutions have focused on the emptiness of our neighborhoods and not on their assets. Universities quantify the emptiness (how many below code houses, how many pregnant teens). The downtown media which has portrayed (urban) neighborhoods as glasses that are half empty (by focusing on the deficits), and not on their assets. Read More.

City of God

by Sara Miles

Paradise is a garden…but heaven is a city. From the acclaimed author of Take This Bread and Jesus Freak comes a powerful new account of venturing beyond the borders of religion into the unpredictable territory of faith. CITY OF GOD narrates the events of the day in vivid detail, exploring the profound implications of touching strangers with a reminder of common mortality.Read More.

Joy and Hope for Lubbock, TX

This is the first program put in place when HOPE began.  Students from Dupre elementary across the street come for help with homework, tutoring, and a nutritious meal provided by Kids Cafe and the South Plains Food Bank.  We had 128 participants last year.  Lives are changed through the Individualized attention our caring volunteers provide. Read More.
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