Toxic Charity: A Shalom Reflection

By Kory N. Turner From 2012-2013, I was a volunteer resident advisor with Covenant House’s Rights Of Passage (ROP) Program. ROP is an apartment-style housing facility that prepares youth ages 18-22 for independent living in their own apartments through case management and life skills training. I had one primary (a youth whose case I was in charge of) who struggled to keep food in his refrigerator, but refused to take

Shalom Makers: Enlarging the Circle of Community

By Dave Cooper The Hebrew word for whole-community well-being is “shalom”. While shalom encompasses much more than can be translated into English, shalom is manifested when there is shared power, equity and mutual beneficence among physical, social, economic, political and spiritual systems.Shalom is not simply a transcendent hope; rather, it is a concrete, tangible, proactive, investment of all resources to work in concert for the common good. Shalom-making is not

What is sweet for the Giver may be toxic to the Receiver

The first book we read at Drew Theological School when we take a Shalom course on community organizing and community development is Toxic Charity by Robert Lupton. The book is about why the system of charity is broken, and a better way to give and receive. I recently had the opportunity to hear Robert Lupton speak about “Toxic Charity: How Churches and Charities Hurt Those They Help (And How to

Celebrate Easter

Christ is risen from the dead, Trampling down death by death, And upon those in the tombs Bestowing life! My favorite Easter hymn is the ancient Eastern Orthodox Paschal troparion–a brief stanza often used as a refrain between the verses of a Psalm, but is also used on its own during the Easter Vigil. Its authorship is unknown. I first learned and practiced it in 1989 during a Holy Week