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Finding Shalom in Macon


So many residents came for Shalom training, every seat was taken and additional chairs had to be brought in to accommodate the number of participants.

 The number of Macon residents who turned out for the first session of the 2015 Shalom Zone Training Series shows the desire to effect change on a neighborhood level is strong in the Shalom Zones. Over fifty residents from Lynmore Estates, Village Green, Pleasant Hill, Bellevue, Bealls Hill, east Macon, and Unionville showed up to learn how to empower their fellow residents to impact the neighborhoods in a positive way and begin to build resources from within the community.  CGTC graciously opened their doors to us to hold the meeting on their Macon Campus. National Shalom Zone trainers, Rob Duncan and Jim Bergdoll, joined us from California to kick off this summer’s training and introduce local Macon residents to the principles of the Shalom community development model: Systems change, Healing, Asset Based Community development, Love of God, neighbor, and self, Organizing, and Many cultures and faiths. Mayor Reichert was present as well as other municipal employees to participate in the training.








Mayor Robert Reichert welcomes Shalom participants and encourages them to be VIPs with V.I.P: Vision, Initiative, and Perseverance

Community Partnership Coordinator, Travis Blackwell, lead the group in a discussion on the causes of poverty and why charity often times sabotages the very people it is meant to help. Residents shared their frustrations as well as motivations around creating change in their neighborhoods. We enjoyed a delicious lunch and got back to work as residents from the individual zones grouped up to get to know each other, share favorite stories of life in Macon, and discuss the zone maps with Shalom Zones Coordinator, Frank Austin.    


Break out session 2







Residents from a Shalom Zone look at their map and discuss future plans

Frank Austin

Shalom Zones Coordinator Frank Austin




All participants who complete the 7 session training will be commissioned on Saturday, August 15th, as Shalom Community Volunteers.  Everyone who attended Session 1 is invited back to the computer lab at CGTC on Saturday, June 13th, at 9:00am to do our online homework with Travis Blackwell. Session 2 of the training series with the national trainers will happen on Friday, June 26th, at 5:00 pm and will go until 8:30pm. See you then Shalomers!


Village Green resident, Cleopatra, listens intently to the principles of Shalom Community Development


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