Wednesday, December 14, 2011

first steps in spain

There are a number of countries around the world that are often called "missionary graveyards" because--after decades of effort--there is so little to show for all the investment. Spain is one of those countries.

One of the reasons a place like Spain experiences such resistance is because the gap between the church and the culture is so perilously wide. They don't speak to each other or even speak each other's language. And when the gap is that great, the church must be willing to radically recreate itself in the image of Jesus and take Him to the streets or languish in her buildings.

In November I spent a week with a group of young leaders in Spain who are determined to be a redemptive presence in the southern port city of Malaga regardless of the personal cost. They've embedded themselves in schools and universities and moved into the heart of the city to be Jesus with skin on. I teamed up with two long-time colleagues--Deric Moen and Randy Gonzales--to take these young leaders through our Life Compass training to help focus their efforts and encourage their hearts. Here are just a few of the personal visions that were birthed or refined during our time together; visions which I believe will bring deep and durable transformation to Spain:

  • I will use my gifts of filmmaking to reveal the beauty and truth of God so the blind might see and the weary will experience the love of the Savior.
  • I will create a sports center where young athletes will be developed emotionally and spiritually as they are taught to follow Jesus.
  • I will help people discover the unseen exit door in order to be free and to help others experience more fully God’s total salvation: economically, socially, physically, and spiritually.

Helping people see what God sees for them is an essential first step. Creating a mentoring community that would equip them to live into their visions is an intriguing next step, and one we're excited to pursue.

Wednesday, November 09, 2011

a new day is blooming

This past weekend our community had a sacred envisioning retreat down in Mexico. God graciously shielded and guided us through an exciting but also emotional time for our community. As with the human experience of giving birth, the birthing of a new community is filled with both joy and pain. Seeing a new life emerge is amazing, but there’s also the sobering reality that life will never be the same once it happens. That’s especially true when you’ve really loved your life the way it is and you’re about to birth not just 1, but 2, or in our case, maybe 3 or 4 new communities.

Over the weekend we fought hard to lean into our future, to release one another to God, but also to tend to the hearts and relationships that God has lovingly knit together. We sensed we would need to be willing to transition from being a singular, self-contained community to becoming multiple communities that are uniquely different but somehow connected and mutually complementing, but we just weren’t sure what that should look like. But here's a picture of what I sense God is doing:

Imagine a sunflower. At the center of the flower is a dark orangish brown eye, and around that center are lots of beautiful yellow pedals. Each part of the flower has its own unique look, texture, and function, but it's only whole when each part is connected. That’s a great picture of what God is forming here in San Diego and perhaps how our communities will grow around the world. From what was once just a one-size-fits-all center, (our intensive apprenticeship), we are about to birth several missional communities all around us. Like pedals on a sunflower they will be more pourus and accessible to our neighbors and extend our reach into the city and even beyond it. Whereas the apprenticeship focuses on forming people for missional life, these missional communities will be focused more on living out that life in the neighborhoods they inhabit. And like the sunflower, the apprenticeship and the multiple missional communities that radiate out from it will remain intimately connected to one another and deeply rooted in the missio dei—the mission of God, which we are honored to participate in.

Tuesday, October 04, 2011

sacred wounds

The English mystic Julian of Norwich wrote, "Our wounds become our honors." She didn't hide them. She didn't pretend her wounds would simply disappear. Nor did she allow them to debilitate or defeat her. She carried her wounds with dignity.

I recently had the privilege of having a gentle and wise pastor spend 3 hours examining my life and praying for me. Towards the end of our time together, he described the wounds that I've experienced in my life as "sacred wounds." Honestly, I didn't know what he meant by that, so he explained that a "sacred wound" is a wound that Jesus has entered into. It's a wound we can't pretend didn't happen or one that will magically disappear, but it is a wound that has been put in the hands of the Divine healer. It's a wound that can now be carried with dignity.

I think it's significant that the holes in Jesus' hands and feet remained intact in his resurrected body. Like it was in Jesus, Richard Rohr writes,
"I think we carry our wounds until the end; they do not fully go away but keep us humble, patient, and more open to trust. The healing lies in the fact that our wounds no longer defeat us or cause us to harm ourselves or others. Wounds become our daily offering to God, and they develop in us compassion toward the weakness of others."
May our wounds--our sacred wounds--become our honor.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

miracle on 22nd street

Ever since we sold our house in Orange County, we've been trying to buy a home in our neighborhood, including the house we've been iiving in. But we just haven't been able to close the right deal. But then--right in the middle of another purchase attempt and seemingly out of nowhere--we were offered an amazing opportunity to rent a beautiful old 4-bedroom Victorian house just a few blocks from where we live now.

We'll have 2 bedrooms we'll use and 2 bedrooms we can use as guest rooms. It's got a huge kitchen for community meals, it wlll make a great new hub for our ministry, and it will actually be an even better house than the one we're in now for hosting guests and assimilating new apprentices...and at less than half the rent of our current house!

There are 2 catches: 1) we have to move out of the house for two weeks each summer so the owners can come back and use it as their vacation home; and 2) we will manage the two 1-bedroom units next to it. But as much as we travel, getting out of the house a couple weeks a year shouldn't be a big deal, and managing the rental units actually gives us first crack at two nice apartments that our staff and/or apprentices might need, so that is actually a plus.

And this is pretty amazing too: after we met and told our prospective new landlords who we are and what we do, they checked out our website and they saw their house featured front and center on our San Diego site page. That picture was actually taken 3 years ago before we even moved to San Diego, and I actually forgot it was even there. But now here we are 3 years later about to move into this very same house (pictured here)!

We'll be moving in on Labor Day weekend and our guest rooms will be ready to roll soon after, so come down and see us soon!

Saturday, July 23, 2011


The longer I work with people, the more I'm inclined to believe that we are driven by our desires. We'd like to think it's our theology or our personal mission statement that animates our lives, but in the real time moments of every day life it's what we want that really affects what we do and the choices we make. And what we want—what we desire most—is shaped by the things we give ourselves to.

For those who follow Jesus, he tells us in his parables that there is really only one thing in this world worth pursuing at any cost—one thing that changes everything else—and he calls that one thing "the kingdom of God." That’s what Jesus wants us to want. That’s what Jesus wants us to give ourselves to. But what is it?

Dallas Willard describes the kingdom of God as the place where life is experienced as God intended it to be experienced. It’s the realm where what God wants to happen, happens. It’s life as it was meant to be lived in all its fullness and wonder.

We recently asked our community to personalize the kingdom and describe--in their own words--the life God invites us into. Here is some of what we wrote:

“You are invited to…

• show the world my goodness and extend my forgiveness.”
• step into your destiny and participate in the greatest story ever told.”
• be at home with me and invite others to come home.”
• feast with me at my table and rest in my courtyard.”
• leave the world of darkness and confusion and enter the light of God
which brings peace and clarity.”

That's what Jesus challenges his followers to pursue, and that’s what he invites us to extend to the world around us.

In our neighborhood, the kingdom of God is experienced and extended when the owner of a new bistro chooses to donate the profits from all his sales on Sunday to local development initiatives; when we gather leaders from other faith communities to join us in worship and prayer for our city; when we walk and talk with our neighbors who are recovering from addictions of all kinds; when a shop owner in our community helps feed families in Tijuana by selling their artwork in her store; when we share our homes and choose to live on less; and when we send those we have come to know and love to go and extend the kingdom of God in other neighborhoods, cities, and countries.

Like leaven in bread, these small kingdom acts find their way into our lives and begin to change who we are…and what we most desire.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

leading in the future

I think Bob Buford of Leadership Network accurately and succinctly describes what leading younger leaders and organizations will look like as we go forward:

• From hierarchies to networks
• From institutional learning to learning from best practices
• From good intentions to results and performance
• From tell 'em what to do to support their aspirations
• From catch & keep to catch & release

That kinda gets me excited!

Monday, May 09, 2011

soft sacrifices

There is a significant move under way for people to be increasingly present in their neighborhoods, and I think that's really good. When we are present, when we holistically inhabit a neighborhood, we begin to truly know our neighborhood--and our neighbors--and we become known. And when we know and are known, we've got a much better shot at actually helping to bring life as it was meant to be lived back to our neighborhoods.

But there's a cost to presence; a cost that sometimes causes us to compromise our commitment to truly inhabit a neighborhood. For me in my neighborhood, the cost of presence means I get a good cup of coffee around the corner instead of a great cup of coffee two neighborhoods over. It means I get an okay haircut down the street instead of a really nice haircut by the stylist across town. It means I pay a little more for a sandwich or a pizza instead of regularly driving out of the neighborhood to grab cheaper, more diverse food. It means I buy more groceries at the local store and farmers market and a little less at the big box store down the road. It means I pay a little more to the guy selling flowers down at the corner stand than ordering them online.

All those things cost something, but they are all an investment in my neighborhood. When I think of it that way--that it's an investment in my neighborhood and a down payment on life as it was meant to be lived, it motivates me to make those small sacrifices to be more present and inhabit my neighborhood.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

unusual words

In parts of the world today there is a quiet but expanding movement--often referred to as the "insider movement"--of Muslims who are becoming followers of Jesus but who choose to remain Muslim. No doubt it's a tricky path to walk and there are certainly people who simply don't think it's even possible, or that it's inherently contradictory to be a Muslim follower of Jesus. But still it's happening; there are a growing number of people all over the world who are finding ways of following Jesus with their whole heart without shedding all of their religious and culture heritage. It's a fascinating and beautiful thing to watch...something we've been privileged to watch up close and personal over the last few months.

A young Iranian doctor has been part of our community since last summer as he completes a fellowship at a local medical university. He has had several moving, personal experiences with Jesus through prayer and worship that have gripped his heart. It's almost like Jesus has sought him out even more than he has sought out Jesus. And now he simply can't shake him; nor does he want to.

The other day he told one of my teammates, a teammate who has been intentionally discipling him in the ways of Jesus, that he feels very safe at our house and that he feels the presence of God here. He went on to say that this is a holy place and that when he is here, it feels like he is walking into a Mosque.

I know to many ears that might sound strange. But to ours, it has a sweet sound. It sounds like God may be close.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

navigating tijuana

We've been privileged to take leaders from all over the world through a life-focusing, calling-clairifying process we call Life Compass. Ironically though we've never taken it just across the border to our neighbors in Mexico...until now. Over two back-to-back weekends last month we guided a group of leaders from all over Tijuana through this intense, destiny-discovery process. It was challenging, exhausting...and beautiful.

The first time you take an idea or a resource into another culture, it's always an adventure...and a lot of work. Every concept, word, and expression needs to be looked at through the lens of the new culture; through its behaviors, its values, its beliefs, and ultimately through its worldview. So in the weeks leading up to the workshop, Maria (a teammate of ours who was born and raised in Tijuana) and I labored over the translation of the Life Compass workbook. Okay, it might be more accurate to say that Maria labored over the translation. :-) What we labored over were the ideas, concepts, metaphors, and examples that filled the 25-page workbook and at least twice that many pages of teaching notes. We wrestled with questions like: How do you create an environment of personal discovery when "doing what my pastor says" is often all they have been asked to do? How do you help people dream when they haven't been invited to dream before? Or how in the world do you get through a time-sensitive, time-intensive schedule in a culture that views time pretty differently than we do!?

Well, by God's grace, (and Maria's incredible skills), it all came together and it worked powerfully. Maria and I did most of the teaching while Laurie and Shaun--Maria's husband--loved on the group, served them, and helped coach them through lots of new and challenging concepts. It was a team effort that left a deep impact on all our lives, and the fruit of that effort will soon be spreading throughout the region. Let me tell you about Oscar (pictured here) as an example:

Oscar served as our host for the Life Compass training and he's a powerful leader in Mexico. For many years he was the YMCA Director overseeing all of Latin America. Before we started, he pulled us aside and said, "I hope this isn't going to be one of those "change your life in 2 hours" kind of workshops...we don't really need more of those here." Oscar put us on notice...don't play with us and don't blow this. Fair enough. As we dove into the training I could feel Oscar testing our assumptions and pushing back on some of the concepts, but always in a good-natured, playful, albeit watchful way. But I also sensed he was enjoying it.

In the last hour of the last day, as we were wrapping up the workshop, Oscar took the floor and said to the whole group, "I need to say something." I immediately thought, oh boy, this could be really good or this could really go sideways! Oscar continued, "I'm 60 years old and I have travelled all over the world. I've been to hundreds of workshops, listened to countless sermons, and have sat on many boards. Honestly, I didn't think you guys would have anything new for me to learn. I was hoping it would be good for the rest of the group, but I didn't think I would get much out of this." After a pregnant pause, he continued. "Well, I was wrong. You guys surprised me. I discovered things these last two weeks about myself that I never knew. I've never looked at my life as a whole story before, as a puzzle that has lots of pieces that God has designed and desires to put together to form a beautiful picture. But now I see it, I like what I see, and it makes me want to spend the last days of my life doing only the things God has made me to do." He then asked, "If you guys do this again in Mexico, can I be part of it? I feel like there's more I'd like to learn and I would be interested in helping to teach part of it...would that be possible? This has been a powerful experience and I would like to help others experience it too."

Yeah, we'll be doing it again, and it would be an honor to have Oscar in the mix.

Monday, February 28, 2011

grace over karma : an interview with bono

Bono is a man and therefore imperfect. But he gets it more than most.

An excerpt from the book Bono: In Conversation with Michka Assayas

Bono: My understanding of the Scriptures has been made simple by the person of Christ. Christ teaches that God is love. What does that mean? What it means for me: a study of the life of Christ. Love here describes itself as a child born in straw poverty, the most vulnerable situation of all, without honor. I don't let my religious world get too complicated. I just kind of go: Well, I think I know what God is. God is love, and as much as I respond [sighs] in allowing myself to be transformed by that love and acting in that love, that's my religion. Where things get complicated for me, is when I try to live this love. Now that's not so easy.

Assayas: What about the God of the Old Testament? He wasn't so "peace and love"?

Bono: There's nothing hippie about my picture of Christ. The Gospels paint a picture of a very demanding, sometimes divisive love, but love it is. I accept the Old Testament as more of an action movie: blood, car chases, evacuations, a lot of special effects, seas dividing, mass murder, adultery. The children of God are running amok, wayward. Maybe that's why they're so relatable. But the way we would see it, those of us who are trying to figure out our Christian conundrum, is that the God of the Old Testament is like the journey from stern father to friend. When you're a child, you need clear directions and some strict rules. But with Christ, we have access in a one-to-one relationship, for, as in the Old Testament, it was more one of worship and awe, a vertical relationship. The New Testament, on the other hand, we look across at a Jesus who looks familiar, horizontal. The combination is what makes the Cross.

Assayas: Speaking of bloody action movies, we were talking about South and Central America last time. The Jesuit priests arrived there with the gospel in one hand and a rifle in the other.

Bono: I know, I know. Religion can be the enemy of God. It's often what happens when God, like Elvis, has left the building. [laughs] A list of instructions where there was once conviction; dogma where once people just did it; a congregation led by a man where once they were led by the Holy Spirit. Discipline replacing discipleship. Why are you chuckling?

Assayas: I was wondering if you said all of that to the Pope the day you met him.

Bono: Let's not get too hard on the Holy Roman Church here. The Church has its problems, but the older I get, the more comfort I find there. The physical experience of being in a crowd of largely humble people, heads bowed, murmuring prayers, stories told in stained-glass windows

Assayas: So you won't be critical.

Bono: No, I can be critical, especially on the topic of contraception. But when I meet someone like Sister Benedicta and see her work with AIDS orphans in Addis Ababa, or Sister Ann doing the same in Malawi, or Father Jack Fenukan and his group Concern all over Africa, when I meet priests and nuns tending to the sick and the poor and giving up much easier lives to do so, I surrender a little easier.

Assayas: But you met the man himself. Was it a great experience?

Bono: [W]e all knew why we were there. The Pontiff was about to make an important statement about the inhumanity and injustice of poor countries spending so much of their national income paying back old loans to rich countries. Serious business. He was fighting hard against his Parkinson's. It was clearly an act of will for him to be there. I was oddly moved by his humility, and then by the incredible speech he made, even if it was in whispers. During the preamble, he seemed to be staring at me. I wondered. Was it the fact that I was wearing my blue fly-shades? So I took them off in case I was causing some offense. When I was introduced to him, he was still staring at them. He kept looking at them in my hand, so I offered them to him as a gift in return for the rosary he had just given me.

Assayas: Didn't he put them on?

Bono: Not only did he put them on, he smiled the wickedest grin you could ever imagine. He was a comedian. His sense of humor was completely intact. Flashbulbs popped, and I thought: "Wow! The Drop the Debt campaign will have the Pope in my glasses on the front page of every newspaper."

Assayas: I don't remember seeing that photograph anywhere, though.

Bono: Nor did we. It seems his courtiers did not have the same sense of humor. Fair enough. I guess they could see the T-shirts.

Later in the conversation:
Assayas: I think I am beginning to understand religion because I have started acting and thinking like a father. What do you make of that?

Bono: Yes, I think that's normal. It's a mind-blowing concept that the God who created the universe might be looking for company, a real relationship with people, but the thing that keeps me on my knees is the difference between Grace and Karma.

Assayas: I haven't heard you talk about that.

Bono: I really believe we've moved out of the realm of Karma into one of Grace.

Assayas: Well, that doesn't make it clearer for me.

Bono: You see, at the center of all religions is the idea of Karma. You know, what you put out comes back to you: an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth, or in physics; in physical laws every action is met by an equal or an opposite one. It's clear to me that Karma is at the very heart of the universe. I'm absolutely sure of it. And yet, along comes this idea called Grace to upend all that "as you reap, so you will sow" stuff. Grace defies reason and logic. Love interrupts, if you like, the consequences of your actions, which in my case is very good news indeed, because I've done a lot of stupid stuff.

Assayas: I'd be interested to hear that.

Bono: That's between me and God. But I'd be in big trouble if Karma was going to finally be my judge. I'd be in deep s---. It doesn't excuse my mistakes, but I'm holding out for Grace. I'm holding out that Jesus took my sins onto the Cross, because I know who I am, and I hope I don't have to depend on my own religiosity.

Assayas: The Son of God who takes away the sins of the world. I wish I could believe in that.

Bono: But I love the idea of the Sacrificial Lamb. I love the idea that God says: Look, you cretins, there are certain results to the way we are, to selfishness, and there's a mortality as part of your very sinful nature, and, let's face it, you're not living a very good life, are you? There are consequences to actions. The point of the death of Christ is that Christ took on the sins of the world, so that what we put out did not come back to us, and that our sinful nature does not reap the obvious death. That's the point. It should keep us humbled . It's not our own good works that get us through the gates of heaven.

Assayas: That's a great idea, no denying it. Such great hope is wonderful, even though it's close to lunacy, in my view. Christ has his rank among the world's great thinkers. But Son of God, isn't that farfetched?

Bono: No, it's not farfetched to me. Look, the secular response to the Christ story always goes like this: he was a great prophet, obviously a very interesting guy, had a lot to say along the lines of other great prophets, be they Elijah, Muhammad, Buddha, or Confucius. But actually Christ doesn't allow you that. He doesn't let you off that hook. Christ says: No. I'm not saying I'm a teacher, don't call me teacher. I'm not saying I'm a prophet. I'm saying: "I'm the Messiah." I'm saying: "I am God incarnate." And people say: No, no, please, just be a prophet. A prophet, we can take. You're a bit eccentric. We've had John the Baptist eating locusts and wild honey, we can handle that. But don't mention the "M" word! Because, you know, we're gonna have to crucify you. And he goes: No, no. I know you're expecting me to come back with an army, and set you free from these creeps, but actually I am the Messiah. At this point, everyone starts staring at their shoes, and says: Oh, my God, he's gonna keep saying this. So what you're left with is: either Christ was who He said He was the Messiah or a complete nutcase. I mean, we're talking nutcase on the level of Charles Manson. This man was like some of the people we've been talking about earlier. This man was strapping himself to a bomb, and had "King of the Jews" on his head, and, as they were putting him up on the Cross, was going: OK, martyrdom, here we go. Bring on the pain! I can take it. I'm not joking here. The idea that the entire course of civilization for over half of the globe could have its fate changed and turned upside-down by a nutcase, for me, that's farfetched

Bono later says it all comes down to how we regard Jesus:

Bono: If only we could be a bit more like Him, the world would be transformed. When I look at the Cross of Christ, what I see up there is all my s--- and everybody else's. So I ask myself a question a lot of people have asked: Who is this man? And was He who He said He was, or was He just a religious nut? And there it is, and that's the question. And no one can talk you into it or out of it.

Wednesday, February 09, 2011

reclaiming ground

Over the last few months there has been a significant spike in violence in our neighborhood. These shootings and stabbings, coupled with a noticeable rise in tagging by gangs and other emerging groups who want to leave their mark, has caught our attention.

The world of tagging is new to me, but as I walk through our neighborhood and see the distinguishing marks on bus stops, street corners, and on the garage doors in our alleys, I get the sense that our neighborhood is in the midst of being rebranded. Tagging feels like a way to claim ground; to stake it out; to take it over--or to take it back; to brand it as yours. And it feels like there are a handful of groups who are now competing for our neighborhood.

But we actually think this neighborhood is God's neighborhood, and if it is going to have a brand, we hope it bears the mark of God's love. So this morning a handful of people from our community walked the streets of our neighborhood. We stood at the corner of 2 recent murders, and through prayer we reclaimed our neighborhood for God. We asked God to make our neighborhood a place of peace; a place of divine encounter; a place where people would collaborate for goodness rather than fight for control.

May this neighborhood be branded as holy ground.

Monday, January 31, 2011

sending +

We're a sending community, so it's normal for us to develop people and then let 'em go to make their mark on the world. That's what we do. But something a little different has been happening the last few months and it's pretty cool.

Last night Colin--one of the guys in our community--invited a couple of his friends to join us for our common meal and worship time. We get lots of guests on Sunday nights so that wasn't unusual. Nor was it unusual that his friends were on their way to Malawi for the next couple of years. Okay, not all our guests are on their way to Africa, but it does seem like more and more of the people who visit our community are wrapping up one chapter of their lives and are in-route somewhere.

Now here's the cool part. We get to bless them and send them even when we've just met them. It's not planned or choreographed. We just do it. It's who we are. And we seem to be doing a lot of it lately. Last night we prayed for Ryan and Michelle and sent them off to Africa with God's blessing. Last month we sent Danny off to London. It's almost like God is using our little community to be part of the sending process with people who have not even travelled with us. And if it helps them thrive and be good news wherever they are going, we'll gladly keep on doing it.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

our covenant

This weekend we're taking off to Rosarito Beach on the Baja for our annual covenanting retreat. It's a time for each person in our community to recommit to the shared life that defines us and guides us. It's big. It's hard. It's radical. And it's not for everyone. But it also inspires us to live all-in missional lives:

We believe that we were created to be worshippers and lovers of God.

As such, we will make the Triune God the center of our lives by collectively and individually committing to live as disciples of Christ.

This includes cultivating an attitude of thankfulness, a lifestyle of prayer and worship, a deep and responsive engagement with scripture, a reliance on the provision and guidance of the Holy Spirit, exploring and practicing a diversity of spiritual disciplines, discovering God’s goodness and beauty in his created world, and the intentional participation in the gift of Sabbath.

We believe that the Gospel is best experienced and expressed within a community of believers.

Because of this, we will open our lives to be shaped by the community in which God has placed us.

Our journey together will include living in the same neighborhood, opening our lives and homes as places of invitation and hospitality, gathering at least once a week over a common meal, caring for and submitting to one another, speaking well of one another and defending each other’s name, sharing stories and reflecting on God’s work of love in our midst, living more simply and sharing our resources with those in need, and gathering together weekly to grow and learn.

We believe that God calls all followers of Christ to live a life of mission.

In obedience to this, we will seek to incarnate the good news of the kingdom and to become a reconciling and redemptive presence.

This life of mission will include “submerging” in our own unique neighborhood, living as the light of God’s grace in places of darkness, inviting neighbors and friends to experience a different kind of faith community, becoming true caretakers of God’s creation, creating spaces and moments for our neighbors to experience both community and communion with God, discipling our neighbors into deeper relationship with Jesus, mentoring local leaders to grow in influence, joining with strategic partners within our city to advance the kingdom, and apprenticing young leaders to live out all of these things with us and wherever God sends them.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

another reason to be here

In the past week 2 men have been murdered in our neighborhood and another man was stabbed 9 times last night and survived. Both of these horrific incidents happened within a few hundred yards of our house. We hear the sirens. We watch the police cruisers shoot by.

Our culture's natural impulse at the news of events like these is to play it safe and distance yourself from evil. But Christ's impulse was to step into the face of evil and enflesh shalom...a deep and abiding sense of peace.

Our prayer--our community's prayer--is to have sufficient courage to be peacemakers in the midst of needless violence rather than retreating from it. To enflesh shalom in a neighborhood that truly needs it right now.