The class of 2015 Shalom Zone training started at 9:15. Travis Blackwell opened the training by welcoming everyone. He introduced/presented Mayor Robert Reichert.
Mayor Reichert expressed his delight in the attendance, regardless of the reason people were there. He quoted Isaiah 58:12 and stated that Mike Christian, National Shalom Zone Director, uses this as the motto of the Shalom Zone. Isaiah 58:12Your people will rebuild the ancient ruins and will raise up the age-old foundations; you will be called Repairer of Broken Walls, Restorer of Streets with Dwellings.
Mayor Reichert said that we are all VIP’s, and he hopes we will continue to be. He said that his VIP means Vision-seeing, Initiative-doing, and Perseverance-continuing to see and do. “It takes all three.”
He thanked the Shalom Zone leadership for coming down to do a refresher course. “You gotta have faith to do something, even if you think it’s small, it will inspire others.”
He introduced consolidated Macon Government that was present.
Travis came back up and introduced Rob Duncan.
Rob Duncan gave an overview of Shalom Zone. He gave a brief overview of the Shalom Zone. He told of how it got started because of the beating Rodney King took, the acquittal of the white cops who beat him, and the riots that ensued, as a result. He gave the definition of the Shalom as a grass-roots, faith-inspired, United Methodist initiated, community development network of shalom sites (also known as “shalom zones”) “We don’t retire, we refire.”
He made us aware that some of the training will be face to face, and some will be online. Participants will be emailed a username and password on Monday, June 1.
He said that we should seek Shalom. He asked us to share what this will mean to us personally. He had someone read Jeramiah 29:4-7. 4Thus says the LORD of Hosts, the God of Yisra’el, to all the captivity, whom I have caused to be carried away captive from Yerushalayim to Bavel: 5 Build your houses, and dwell in them; and plant gardens, and eat the fruit of them. 6 Take wives, and father sons and daughters; take wives for your sons, and give your daughters to husbands, that they may bear sons and daughters; and multiply you there, and don’t be diminished. 7 Seek the Shalom of the city where I have caused you to be carried away captive, and pray to the LORD for it; for in the Shalom of it shall you have shalom.
He presented the six threads of Shalom.
S is for the sustainable transformation that requires systematic engagement and structural change. Not simply a quick fix, nor program focused on immediate needs, sustainable transformation is the long-term improvement in community life – social, structural, and systematic changes that last. It often takes a generation to achieve and evaluate, and requires a long-term commitment.
Health, Healing, Harmony, and Wholeness
H focuses on community health, healing, harmony, and wholeness; Shalom in its fullness – for individual, communities, and the world. “Health is the state of complete physical, mental, and social well-being…not merely the absence of disease” (World Health Organization). The skill associated with the H in Shalom is how to grow healthy communities by understanding the determinants of health and applying health assets.
Asset-Based Community Development (ABCD)
A in Shalom stands for Asset-Based Community Development – an approach that begins with the existing resources and strengthens a community rather than on its needs and deficiencies. Moving from charity to systematic charge requires new ways of thinking about communities and the underlying causes of poverty. ABCD skills help communities identify, mobilize, map, and align internal resources and hidden assets. John McKnight, the originator of ABCD, explains the ABCD process “builds communities from the inside out.” This approach enables people to see their community as a ‘glass half full’ of assets rather than ‘half empty’ with needs.
Love for God, Neighbor, and Self
L is for loving God, Neighbor, and Self. Love is the heart, soul, mind, and strength of the Shalom approach to community development. The skills required are spiritual practices developed over time to demonstrate ‘value-added’ of Love-in-Action and faith-motivated community development.
Organizing for Community Transformation
O stands for organizing, a process where people who live in proximity to each other, or who share a common goal come together to form a coalition that acts in their shared self-interest. The practical tools and skills needed to organize for direct action includes how to analyze and work with power, assess self-interests, conduct individual meetings and networking. When speaking about the organizing methods of his movement, John Wesley, founder of Methodism stated, we “organize to beat the devil.”
Many Cultures, Many Faiths
M in Shalom stands for many cultures and many faiths working together to raise the quality of life in their community. Multi-faith, multicultural, multinational, and multifaceted collaboration can overcome past and present historic preconceptions and prejudices. It is the skill set required in order to mobilize assets, engage in community development, and build Shalom in our communities. By engaging systems, focusing on community health, mapping assets, loving God, neighbor, and self, organizing for transformation, and strengthening multi-faith, multicultural relationships, Communities of Shalom transform the world, one community at a time.
He shared how he moved to where he is now, and how he eventually got his whole family to move where he is. He shared the works that they are doing there. He also talked about the importance of living out what’s in Jeramiah 29.
Motto: “Transforming the world, ONE neighborhood at a time.”
Travis talked about we don’t just go to transform neighborhoods, we go to be transformed.
Rob introduced Jim Bergdoll, and gave some background information on him.
Jim Bergdoll said he was happy to be here, and gave an overview of what we will be doing. He introduced us to the African word Ubuntu. It means I am because we are. He talked more on Jeramiah 29, and how important it is for us to understand, and live by it. He pointed out 2 important things to keep in mind. 1. This requires prophetic leadership. 2. Shalom addresses deeper issues. We were asked to list some modern day people who help without thinking of themselves.
Jim talked about the online part of the training and gave out the web site address. Northwind.activemoodle.com. He reiterated that we would get a username, and password on Monday.
Introductions were made all around.
Took a break at 10:49, back at 11:00.
Travis talked about reciprocity. From Charity to Shalom. He used the give the man a fish analogy.
He divided us into groups of threes and told to write down different reasons we thought there was poverty. Lack of resources, poor self-image, and education were listed by all groups.
Jim Bergdoll gave us a getting to know you activity. He gave three leaders Frank, Travis, and Jim, a ball of yarn and four questions. We separated into three rooms. The leader threw the ball to a person and asked a question. The catcher answered the question, and threw the ball to another person, and asked them a question. And so on, until everyone had a turn. The four questions were: 1. What elementary school did you go too? 2. What is your favorite place in Macon? 3. What in your neighborhood gives you joy? 4. What is one gift people say you have?
After the activity, we came back to the classroom and Jim talked about intentional community. He explained that an intentional community is one where people of like minds, get together and form a community. He gave the things needed to sustain the community. He gave examples of such communities in GA.
Jim shared his contact information with us, and left saying he had to catch his plane.
Travis announced about the upcoming splosh meeting at the Frank Johnson Center.
Frank Austin talked about defining your Shalom Zone. He gave out maps of the Shalom Zone, broke the group up into their Shalom Zone, or the nearest Shalom Zone, with instructions to look at the maps and see if the zones needed to be extended, decreased, or stay the same.
We reconvened, and Frank told us the importance of participating in the zones, and how it can benefit us as an individual, and the city as a whole.
Everybody was thanked for coming. Frank deferred the leading of reading the Shalom Zone Creed to his son. He stated that the goal is to pass on what we have to the youth.