How We Serve
What Service Means
"True evangelical faith cannot lay dormant; but manifests itself in all righteousness and works of love; it...clothes the naked; feeds the hungry; consoles the afflicted; shelters the miserable; aids and consoles all the oppressed; returns good for evil; serves those that injure it; prays for those that persecute it." -- Menno Simons
Faith is a marvelous thing. But without opportunities for faith to be manifested in the real world and real living, it quickly becomes less than the life-giving center it is meant to be. Faith is best lived out in flesh-and-blood ways, serving all those around us by manifesting and encountering the love of God for all people. Service is not a means of salvation nor a recipe for getting into heaven, but rather the body of Christ serving its ultimate purpose-- to be about the work of God's Kingdom in the world now.
Accordingly, Shalom serves as a body whose purpose is to serve, and to support those who wish to serve. Many of us in the congregation understand our vocation not simply as work-a-day jobs, but as an extension of the call to be about the work of Christ, with the help and support of the congregation. We take on projects together and individually, serving our community, our city, and our world, building peace, providing shelter, feeding hungry people. Supporting those who choose to live a life of service is also important, both in the short-term (e.g., our seasonal Service Opportunities for Older Persons) and in the longer term (e.g., Mennonite Voluntary Service). Shalom also is an active participant in several partner agencies who provide assistance to those in need and seek to model a better way than the streets. You are invited to come and journey with us in faith and in service to our world.
ZuniAvenue Peace Center and Community Gardens
Zuni Avenue Peace Center is a community center meant to provide new ways for our neighbors to connect and build peace together. This has happened through a wide variety of programs. Currently, Zuni plays host to the Zuni Bike Club, which provides bicycle repair skills and resources in a cooperative environment for those who wish to learn and make a positive contribution to our community as well.
Also the Community Garden offers the opportunity to plant and grow your own food in small, irrigated plots, and to work cooperative with the community to accomplish that which cannot be achieved on its own. Plots are available for a nominal seasonal cost to cover the cost of water and are open to the whole community year round.
SOOP (Service Opportunities of Older People) provides short-term service opportunities for older adults to share their wisdom, experience and skills. Each year approximately 20 individuals come from all over the US and Canada to spend 2-8 weeks in the Tucson area, serving the community while also enjoying the Desert Southwest. Most bringing RVs which they park in the designated spaces south of the church, or staying in other housing as available. These persons also often bring their spiritual gifts that they share with the Shalom congregation and with each other. See the SOOP page for more information.
Mennonite Voluntary Service is a national program for those who hear the call to serve their world in deliberate ways. With units around the country, MVSers offer a year of their lives to come and live in intentional community, and serve in the Tucson community. There are wide range of service opportunities in Tucson ranging from home repair to feeding the poor, to offering opportunities to experience the arts in local schools, to name a few. For many people, MVS is a life changing experience, with it not being uncommon for VSers to stay within the Tucson community long term.
Interested? See the Mission Network MVS Page for more information.
Community Home Repair Projects of Arizona (CHRPA, pronounced Chirp-Ah) began life with winter volunteers who saw a need in the Tucson community for affordable and no-cost home repair services. For many people of limited means, a simple clogged drain or broken pipe can be a true financial and physical disaster, sometimes even becoming life threatening in Tucson's unforgiving environment. CHRPA's mission is to provide adequate housing to all, and the dignity and safety that accompany it.
From a seasonal effort of a few, CHRPA has grown into a year round organization, serving hundreds of families around Pima County with emergency home repair. Relying on strongly on volunteer labor, CHRPA has often been recognized widely for its ability to serve efficiently and compassionately. Shalom continues to collaborate and support CHRPA as a primary partner. The CHRPA website has more information.
Organizations with which our members are involved
- No More Deaths
- Community Foodbank
- Tucson Interfaith Hospitality Aids Network
- Interfaith Coalition on the Homeless
- Primavera Foundation
- Tucson Public Schools
- St. Elizabeth's Medical Clinic
- and many others