Can we get enough of that good-time stuff?

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In our consumptive society, we are programmed to have a voracious (but conservative) appetite for “things”; however, the counter-voices that motivate us to be good stewards (wise-caretakers) of our environment from which all “things” come are far less prominent. Why? One reason is that wise care-taking does not satiate the gnawing hunger created by consumptive desire: we just can’t get enough of that good-time stuff.

With regard to Scripture and what its messages admonish us to “do” toward care-taking are these (and more): to love one another (John 13:34), to set the oppressed free (Luke 4:18), and to be shalom-makers (Matthew 5:9).

Perhaps we consumers are the oppressed; yet, who will set us free so that we can truly love one another and fully participate in holistic care-taking as shalom-makers? What do you think? What will you do?

A strong thread of shalom-making is caring for the earth (creation) for which all humanity is responsible. For a well-researched and developed discussion of “shalom” and “shalom-making”, see Robert C. Linthicum’s The Shalom Community: The Thread That Ties the Bible Together: http://www.piut.org/papers.htm.

And, for a good article and additional resources on caring for the garden (earth) in which we live and for which we simply “must” care, see the winter 2009 issue of Divinity: http://www.divinity.duke.edu/publications/2009.01/features/feature5/index.htm.

Finally, this 2007 statement of support for environmental stewardship by an array of evangelical leaders and scientists is a testament to broad support of wise care-taking as a necessary component of responsible consumption: http://www.pbs.org/now/shows/343/letter.pdf.

Shalom-makers linking for mutual encouragement, education and improvement

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It began over two years ago with a small group of people who had the vision of linking practitioners of holistic justice (shalom-makers) to address three expressed needs: mutual encouragement, education, and improvement. These three common needs were those most often identified by a significant number of urban-dwelling shalom-makers, spanning across several denominations, faith traditions, and community-based organizations.

A thread that runs through these shalom-makers is their steadfast desire and work in transitioning away from — not to abandon — acts of charity (doing for others) and toward acts of justice (working with others to help community residents do for themselves with resources found mostly in their local communities). Shalom-makers apply community organizing and Asset Based Community Development principles, techniques, and strategies in relationships with community residents to insure that there is equity in the physical, social, economic, political, and spiritual systems within their communities.  

And now, in mid-2010, the vision that began formation in 2008 among a small group of shalom-makers in Southern California is emerging — enlarging the circle of community — as the Shalom-Makers Network offers mutual encouragement, education, and improvement for the shalom (well-being) of the places where we live, work, learn, play and worship.  

Are you a shalom-maker?