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Building Shalom in a New Reality

By Dionisio G. Salazar

We are all living in a new reality. The global pandemic has disrupted life as we know it.

It has brought suffering and loss to people throughout the world. It has exacerbated

much of the world’s inequalities. Poverty, unemployment, health and educational disparities have come into focus on a much greater scale. Countries and local communities are struggling to provide for the safety and

well-being of their citizens. Many people are experiencing uncertainty, confusion and fear.

We are also witnessing amazing acts of love, compassion, kindness and sacrifice by health care professionals, first responders, grocery store employees and many, many others. People are getting connected through technology in new and exciting ways. As people of faith, we know that we are not alone.

How do we do our work in a context of social distancing? How do we build Shalom during a time of crisis? These are important questions facing the Transforming Communities of Praxis (TCOP) program.

TCOP’s approach to congregational, leadership and community development is now important more than ever. Our focus on working with congregations and community partners offers unique strategies and approaches for responding to the pandemic crisis. These include asset based community development (ABCD), consensus building, teamwork, community partnerships, facilitative leadership and a biblical vision of Shalom. The program will continue to offer support, training and technical assistance to congregations and community partners. We look forward to working with our partners in in a multitude of new ways. Together we are stronger.

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