Staff Transitions at Shalom Resource Center

Shalomers at Drew:  J-P Dunan, Peggy Grow, Renae Blanchard, Michael
Christensen, Annie Allen, Laurel Kearns, Joshua Cough, David Best

Friends of Shalom:

I want to give you an update on staff transitions here at the Shalom Resource Center at Drew in our efforts to sustain Communities of Shalom in the long run.  

As you may know from previous reports, we’ve “reconfigured” Shalom at Drew, and focused our energy on promoting the movement, marketing the ShalomZone Training product, cost-recovery for curriculum development, and creating revenue streams in this challenging economic environment.   Our Annual Budget for FY 2013-14 is $200,000/yr (down from $350,000 in the previous five years).  We’re ‘lien and mean’ but ‘alive and well’ and Shalom in still on the move!

Shalom Staff:  Annie Allen, Peggy Grow,  Michael Christensen
My Administrative Assistant, Peggy Grow’s last day was on Tuesday, and she started her new job this week with Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in Basking Ridge, NJ.  We had a very fine send off on Tuesday, and Peggy (and her seeing-eye dog-in-training Kelly) are both very happy!  

Annie Allen’s position is funded for 2013, praise God, and she will be functioning as Associate Director in the New Year, managing the Shalom Resource Center at Drew, coordinating the Shalom Summer Internship program, and coaching over 40 regional shalom trainers in the network. She will be assisted by a new PT assistant (welcome Wendy Whiteside, Drew Certification student in Spiritual Formation) starting next week.

After five years on the job, I will continue to serve as International Director but will need to reduce my shalom load to half-time in the New Year. My Bishop, Warner Brown, is appointing me as Senior Pastor of Epworth Berkeley UMC and has worked out with Dean Kuan a “yoked appointment” to Communities of Shalom.  You may read this week’s announcement on our Shalom Blog .

 We need your help and support all the more in these days of transition for Communities of Shalom.  The Summit registrations are very good and we’re almost fully subscribed.  Just this week we received notifications of three new grants totaling $33,500 from three UMC General Agencies and ministry units (GBGM ($25k), UMCOR ($5k) and GBOD ($3.5).  Also special offerings from The Advance Fund for Shalom are coming in (over $30,000 so far this year!).  But we are a long way from reaching our $3 million dollar endowment goal at Drew for Communities of Shalom. 

I’ll post a full State of Shalom report next week, including the results of our Social Media campaigns, but wanted to post this staffing information now for our blogger friends of Shalom.
Yes, the best is yet to come!


P.S.  Please read this week’s news feature Communities of Shalom Turns 20 Amid Challenges” in the United Methodist Reporter.  I think its an honest and fair assessment of the state our 20 year-old-movement!  Not the whole story, to be sure, but a substantive piece of reporting.

I hope to see you in Los Angeles for the 20th Anniversary Summit!

Michael J. Christensen, Ph.D.
Director, Communities of Shalom
Drew University

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