More and more Christians want to seek justice and serve their city, but there still aren't many good websites out there with quality discussions geared toward urban ministry. I launched For Shalom to help fill that gap, and to share what I'm learning on this journey to "seek first the Kingdom."
To borrow a phrase from my spiritual director, think of this site as "one beggar helping another beggar find bread."
The content you'll find here is marked by a openness to draw from and engage with a wide range of approaches, both Christian and not: from John Perkins' 3Rs to E.F. Schumacher's new economics, Howard Thurman's mysticism to David Harvey's critical geography. We attempt to think theologically about things like political economy, urban form, the relationship between humans and creation, problems of race and ethnicity, and the practical challenges of seeking transformation. You'll notice a bent toward system change and a desire to hold the great issues of our time together -- including economic inequality, racial injustice, gentrification, and climate change. I hope to bring academic and technical discussions in theology, the social sciences, and the many streams of the justice movement into a form that's approachable and useful.
In all things, the person and work of Jesus is central. While his incarnation, life, death and resurrection sit at the heart of the dialogue, shalom provides as the backdrop. We will continually ask if our actions, organizations, and social structures are leading to shalom or not. And if not, what will?
I also use this website as a place to share resources that have been helpful to me in my education and career. You can find tools for "exegeting" your city, community organizing, the latest research on urban poverty, proposals for alternate economies, all kinds of book recommendations, and a much more.
I'm a country kid at heart, captivated by wild places and romanced by the city. I grew up in Texas, did school for a few years in California (Fresno and the Bay Area), and keep coming back to Colorado. Fresno Pacific Biblical Seminary gave me an MA in Urban Mission with a concentration in Community Development. Currently I'm the Program Director of Economic Justice at the Interfaith Alliance of Colorado.
My life was radically upturned by friendship at the margins. Resolving the dissonance between my beliefs, the presence of poverty and oppression, and my pursuit of Jesus has defined the journey I've been on the past ten years or so. I'm a husband, reading addict, Aggie, wannabe academic, even-more-wannabe rock climber, and mountain junkie. This blog is where I wrestle through my praxis of following Jesus and seeking shalom for the community of creation.
IN CHRIST. FOR SHALOM. THROUGH LOVE. WITH JOY. EMPLACED.
I also manage the site DiscipleshipandEthics.com with Prof. Mark Baker. It engages the personal and communal aspects of living like Jesus with an Anabaptist flavor. We'd love to have you come reflect on what's happening over at D&E.com.