20th Anniversary Shalom Summit Underway in LA, Birthplace of the Movement; Plenaries to be Streamed Live
The 20th Anniversary Shalom Summit began Wednesday evening (Oct. 3) with a reception atop the "L.A. Live" entertainment complex, home of the Grammy Museum. Actor Gaius Charles (Friday Night Lights, Grey's Anatomy) – also a Minister of Shalom – acted as emcee, as guests with a variety of connections to Communities of Shalom – including congregational and community leaders from five countries – got acquainted and shared their stories. The Rev. Dr. Jeffrey Kuan, dean of Drew Theological, where Communities of Shalom is based, attended, along with the Rev. Dr. Michael J. Christensen, International Director of Communities of Shalom.
Plenary sessions of the Oct. 3-6 summit, will be streamed live at www.umcmission.org/live, beginning at 9 a.m. (PDT) on Thursday, Oct. 4.
"If you [missed getting one of the remaining seats] or cannot travel to Los Angeles, you are able to participate on line," Christensen said. "I'm so pleased the General Board of Global Ministries is willing to broadcast the plenary sessions."
Communities of Shalom is an international network of congregations and community partners that work together to transform their communities from the inside out. It began 20 years ago when the first Shalom Zone was organized in Los Angeles in the midst of the fires of social unrest. What started in one neighborhood in Los Angeles is now an international movement, with more than 150 Shalom Zones worldwide; and a training product that continues to equip new sites to transform their communities.
Trained Shalom teams engage congregations and communities to build a future of hope and peace together through multi-cultural, multi-faith, collaboration- and asset-based community development.
Participants in the Shalom Summit will remember the roots of the movement, renew, and retool for the continuing work of "Growing Healthy Communities."