[The ShalomHouse Guidance Team has posted this a couple of places — why not here, too? You might be a future member, or someone who will help!]
In 12 weeks Shalom House might end and its function distributed among the Circle of Peacemakers. We don’t want that to happen. So we are going to tell you our story for twelve weeks to see if your convictions and prayer can keep the flame burning bright.
We have a great idea for proactive peacemakers — SHALOM HOUSE. We are trying to become excellent promoters because we have a do or die opportunity: we can either find the people who are called to do this great work, or we can close it down.
Before I go any farther, let me remind you that we live in the middle of the biggest war machine the world has ever known. The cost in lives and dollars of the Afghan and Iraq wars is staggering (unless you can’t stagger anymore, you’re so used to astounding numbers!). Just think of this one fact — the United States maintains troops at more than 560 bases and other sites outside our country! Unless we close our eyes to it, that is what our country is, primarily — a persistent warmaker. If you are 21 right now, half your life has been associated with wars in Afghanistan and Iraq!
Christians need to talk and act about this situation. We do talk and act as a church. Shalom House leads us to keep our minds and hearts open to what our country is and what we can do about it. As an intentional community devoted to proactive peacemaking they make the big difference a group can make when they concentrate. The house doesn’t just speak out against things, they act to build the alternative way of life, not death, that Jesus inaugurated with his resurrection.
We have had great people found the house and live in it for the past four years. Really, we are just now ready to build on what they organized! Even when a few people lost their commitment and even lost their faith, the house was a great witness for peace and has lead the church in all sorts of things we would not have normally done. Right now, our mainstay, Mimi Copp, is about to complete her final term. Another house member is considering leaving. A new house member is considering joining. But we are up in the air because the house is not sustainable as a community and a mission with too few people in it. We have one in, one maybe-in, and one maybe-coming. That won’t do it. The Guidance Team is unsure we should keep the house going if we do not have enough people who want to be a part of it. The thought of closing it breaks our heart, so we are making sure we have tried everything can do before we move on to other things.
There is room for 3-4 people in the house. They make one, preferably two year commitments. They make a huge difference just by being there, much more as they get good at proactive peacemaking. You can be young or old, married or single, male or female, from Circle of Hope or not — all sorts of people are welcome. You just need faith, a commitment to proactive peacemaking, and a willingness to live by the simple rule that aids the community life and mission of Shalom House.
If you are interested, read through our blogsite, or talk to the Guidance Team Leader, Jane Clinton. If you know of someone who should be interested, even if they don’t live in Philly, please let them know about us! And please pray about our future. We are writing you with our plans and progress because we trust that whether we are on a particular team or not, we are all in this together and we all care about each other.