Drew University Communities of Shalom training @ Ocean Grove

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The training @ Communities of Shalom in Ocean Grove, NJ was rich and wonderful.

The session that I led on the analysis of power (physical, social, economic, individual, political, and symbolic) sparked great conversation. We applied power analysis in community organizing (5 types from another of my sessions) and power systems mapping in terms of Asset Based Community Development.

I drew from my own research and a variety of resources that include Robert C. Linthicum’s Building a People of Power,  Kristina Smock’s Democracy in Action, F. Ellen Netting and Mary K. O’Connor’s 4 paradigms in Organization Practice, and the Asset Based Community Development Institute.


Shalom: what is it?

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What is “shalom” to you?

In his book, Building a People of Power (2005),  Robert C. Linthicum, writes of shalom, “In order to capture the nuance of the Hebrew word [shalom] as it is used in specific contexts, translators have had to use the following English words: weal, welfare, completeness, to cause to be at peace, to make peace, peace offering,  at rest, at ease, secure, safe, to finish well, to prosper, to be whole, to be perfect, to be victorious. In other words, in any given context, shalom can mean any of the above English words…Shalom is the theology of hope of Israel and of the early church, its vision of what the world would some day be”.

Communties of Shalom (www.communitiesofshalom.org) envision completeness and equity in the physical, social, economic, and spiritual spheres: http://www.communitiesofshalom.org/principles.html.

Finally, take a look at Isaiah 65:19-25 for a glimpse of a shalom community in which housing, jobs, health care, mutual support, environment, wealth and peace are inextricably woven ino a fabric of common destiny. Mutuality and shared power (power among) — not power over — are essential.

And so, what is shalom to you?



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Welcome to the Shalom-Makers website.

Take a look around and comment as you are so inclined.

Next week, I will be serving in my role as Program Associate and National Trainer for the Drew University Shalom Initiative at a train the trainer event in Ocean Grove, New Jersey. Please take a moment to familiarize yourself with the initiative: www.communitiesofshalom.org.

Also, you may learn more about Asset Based Community Development and the theology of shalom by visiting the Resources section of this website or contacting me.

Shalom to you! 

David Cooper