Seeking Shalom is a faith-based, community-driven experience that will equip churches, nonprofits, and practitioners to transform the charity paradigm.

Participants in this course will discuss questions like:

  • Is charity working?
  • Why isn’t charity working?
  • What is poverty?
  • How do we seek shalom?
  • What if we went beyond meeting needs to Seeking Shalom?

Offered Every Spring and Fall

“Seeking Shalom has opened my eyes to the reality that our approach to poverty tends to address symptoms and not causes. At Manna Mart, we might see a grandmother caring for two teenagers who needs help to be able to feed them nourishing meals. The traditional approach is to give her food, and we do. But that response addresses the crisis, not the chronic need which is to eliminate food insecurity for her family. We can do that by partnering with her to develop sustainable options. That partnering may include meal planning, budgeting, food preparation training, enrollment in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, part time employment, engaging family members, life skills – any number of things that could enable her move, with dignity, from an on-going crisis to a more stable situation. Providing food alone is the easy part, but by itself it does not foster change and growth, it creates dependency and perpetuates the situation. Working with each person, as an individual, and involving them in finding their solution has the potential to help them move beyond their poverty.” — Mike Harper, Participant

“The Seeking Shalom study has made me realize at a deeper level that as image bearers of God, everyone has great worth and ability. We only need to be willing to listen, identify talents, and explore ways to work together for our mutual benefit. In other words, truly do life together.” — Cheri Brown, Participant

“Seeking Shalom has really opened my eyes to why the poor are still poor after so many decades of giving. After just a few weeks into Seeking Shalom, I realize I have been on the wrong path of thinking about why traditional “giving” methods don’t work for so many. Money does not solve the problem. We need to have a relationship with those in need, develop a partnership, and ask what we can do for someone who is reaching out. The barriers have been in place for so long for those who suffer with no affordable place to live and trying to make ends meet on a minimum wage job. That is really not possible today. People need to have a voice in trying to solve their problems, empower them, and find their voices, because everyone has something to give to others. The Bible says that God’s vision for caring for the poor starts with kindness, justice, and a return of personal dignity to those less fortunate.” — Paula Maier, Participant

To find out more, just ask! We are happy to share the things we are learning.

Shawn Duncan, Director of the Lupton Center, presents the unperceived issue of trying to be the hero when aiding others which usually results in unsustainable work and solutions. In this talk, Shawn challenges us to make the vulnerable and those in need the heroes of their own sustainable story.