Shalom Zone: Midtown Rising, Kingston, NY

Shalom Zone: Midtown Rising, Kingston, NY


“See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland” (Isaiah 43:19).

Once a month, a group of about twenty people in Kingston, NY meet together to nurture the “new thing” that is springing up in their own community – a neighborhood Shalom Zone they call “Midtown Rising.” The folks who attend are from the neighborhood in and around Clinton Avenue and St. James United Methodist Churches and are discerning together the ways that God is calling them into deeper and more authentic relationships with one another. Guided by the coaching and facilitation of a national trainer via Drew University and local support by an intern from Yale Divinity School, the group working together to discover how Asset Based Community Development can transform their neighborhood.

The development model involves taking important steps along the “U Path,” a group process that allows for an organic, meditative unfolding and envisioning of a better future (see Concepts and Practices by Otto Scharmer, Adrian Pyle and Dave Cooper).  For a larger version of the U Path diagram, click here>>

 Group members form a cohesive team that is dedicated to engagement in an area (location) of their own discernment. As they participate in the act of group creation, members discover the unique gifts of head, heart, and hands, as well as the unique associations of each person who is present. These persons and gifts are then organized to form a results-based plan that improves the quality of life in their neighborhood.

The members of Midtown Rising are presently journeying on the U Path and have begun the process of naming and organizing the gifts of their community toward positive change. The graphic below was generated after Midtown Rising met in order to connect the goals of the group with existing organizations and people with in the community:

Are you interested in traveling the U Path to create a transforming Shalom Zone in your own neighborhood? These questions can help guide you:

  1. With neighborhood needs escalating at an alarming rate; how will you sustain your ministries of doing “for” others?
  2. Where and among whom in your neighborhood may God’s abundance be found to sustain and transform your community and church?
  3. Are you sensing God’s call to journey the “U Path” toward shalom-making for the common good of your neighborhood?

As you prayerfully ponder these questions in your heart, mind and among neighbors, take a few minutes to explore Communities of Shalom; a United Methodist developed process and resources in use across the United States, Ireland and Africa to co-create shalom  .  And, feel free to contact Rev. N. David Cooper at or by telephone 804-614-6254 with your questions and comments or for more information.