“Shabbath”-שבת is the Hebrew word for “Sabbath.” Saturday, “Shalom”-שלום means peace, welfare, health and wholensess. Shalom is also a greeting that means both “hello” and “goodbye,” similar to the Hawaiian “Aloha” and the Indian “Namaste”. Hence, “Shabbath shalom” is a greeting for the sabbath Saturday. Thus the person saying “Shabbat shalom” is wishing you a good and peaceful Sabbath filled with health and wholeness.
Communities of Shalom is a multicultural, interfaith network of community development sites in the USA and Africa committed to waging peace and welfare in their particular communities and neighborhoods. Initiated by the United Methodist Church, Communities of Shalom is somewhat of a movement–a grassroots movement that aligns assets and mobilizes resources, not a program that depletes funds and requires a bail out. Shalom offers hope for community transformation, not despair that things will get worse before they get better. Let us individually and corporately trust in the truth of the season-that if God is with us, who and what can be against us, as we wage peace in the world.
On January 1, 2009, Drew University will complete its first year as the new home base for Communities of Shalom. Last January 1, 2008, 78 Shalom sites migrated to Drew from the General Board of Global Ministries of the United Methodist Church. Since then, we’ve equipped and added 14 new sites through training and reactivation for a total of 92 in the USA and Africa. Much good has occurred this year and there is momentum for a greater work next year.
If you would like a copy of the Fall 2008 ShalomNexus newsletter, an E-version is available on our website: http://communitiesofshalom.org/Nexus_Fall08.pdf
My fourth quarter Report as National Director of Communities of Shalom is available on our social networking site: www.shalomnexus.org
Stay tuned for more shalom updates in 2009.
And may God grant you shalom!