Shalom Center 2008 Annual Report
The Shalom Center, a non-profit Foundation of the Pentecostal Church of Chile (IPC), endeavors to develop programs and resources that provide leadership in the reconciliation of Chile. Global Ministries has partnered with the IPC for many years and has been related to the Shalom Center since its establishment. The ongoing development of the Shalom Center is a project of the IPC. This report reflects the development and progress at The Shalom Center in 2008.
During 2008, the team of those leading educational programs at the Shalom Center was strengthened and two new members joined the team. The educational team has the responsibility of organizing, administrating, and coordinating all the programmatic activities. Each facilitator has the responsibility of one general program and all its specific activities. During 2008, the facilitators were examining the plans for these programs and preparing themselves to assume additional major responsibilities in the future.
From October 2007 to October 2008, John Wallace, a Global Ministries Long-Term Volunteer, was welcomed as a worker at the Shalom Center. He participated fully in the programs/activities. The Shalom Center thanks Global Ministries for the beautiful opportunity to share with this young man.
Thanks to special gifts to the Shalom Center, various trainings and retreats for the staff of Shalom Center took place in 2008. Some of the opportunities that have been offered are:
- Meetings of the Educational Team
- Scholarships for staff to participate in retreats
- Partial scholarship for one facilitator to study English
- Visits to local churches, national churches meetings, and conferences of pastors
Program: Conflict Resolution
At the beginning of 2008, the Shalom Center led a retreat on Conflict Resolution, inviting all those persons who had participated during the last four years in various training sessions. The purpose was to evaluate and plan this program for the future. In that retreat, it was decided to design a program of Conflict Resolution for the Pentecostal Church of Chile (IPC) in general that will include workshops in local churches, a course of longer duration, and training for mediators of Conflict Resolution. During year 2008, a multi-disciplinary team (university students of psychology, social work, and education) has been working on a course for young mediators in response to the current violence experienced by the youth, not only in the church but in Chilean society as a whole.
At the same time, initial research was carried out in order to begin to organize marriage enrichment retreats at the Shalom Center.
Program: International Groups
Individuals and groups from abroad were received from the United States, Mexico, Paraguay, and New Zealand. The material “Pilgrimage to Holy Ground” continues to be used to prepare the groups. Work has begun to develop a program for intercultural preparation of the Chilean groups that participate in the encounters.
Program: Health and Security
In 2008, a very special emphasis was given to the theme of Health and Security at the Shalom Center. At the beginning of the year, leaders and pastors of the Pentecostal Church of Chile and of the Shalom Center participated in a holistic health retreat in conjunction with a delegation from the Brookfield Institute of Massachusetts. The theme of health was explored from the Biblical perspective as well as the medical/scientific points of view with a pastor and a doctor specializing in holistic health.
Thanks to the donation of funds for training of the Shalom Center staff team, two trainings were implemented which were very important for making the campground a safe place. Simulation trainings for fire and accidents were staged in the Shalom Center. During the simulations, procedures were established for prevention and for various components of the emergency plan. Scenarios such as the case of fire in the Welcome House and the forest were explored with emphasis on routes of evacuation, emergency signals, use of extinguishers and codes and operation of the radios. First Aid training was also provided for 97 percent of the personnel of Shalom Center in 2008, including the Council of Directors, Facilitators, Motivators, Assistants, and Volunteers. The house on the upper part of the Shalom Center land was adapted to establish a first aid office.
Program: Christian Education
- A Leaders Course which was open to those who seek training in the areas of recreation, camps, Christian education, and retreats. This course is essential for those persons who are interested in forming part of the Shalom Center staff team.
- Coordination with the Infant and Adolescent Ministry of the IPC, especially with themes of Creation and being A Secure Church.
- Training of the staff team in prevention of abuse at Shalom Center.
- Retreats for various groups from local churches and for children of the pastors.
Program: Environmental Education
- Creation Camps were held in November and December 2008.
- A proposal was presented to the World Council of Churches in order to offer the course “Innovative Strategies for Environmental Education.” The project would initiate Creation groups in churches and schools in Chile, Argentina, Peru, Bolivia, and Paraguay. If funding is granted, this project will be carried out in 2010.
- The Shalom Center is represented in official public entities such as the Regional Committee of Education for Sustainable Development and in the Committee for Environmental Certification for the geographic area where the Shalom Center is located.
A work team was formed consisting of a master builder and two helpers. The work of this team was enhanced by groups of teachers from different churches who contributed their weekends. Thanks to the efforts of many brothers and sisters the restrooms were finished with five showers, commodes, and sinks – the restrooms are accessible to all.
Another essential job completed by the teachers was to provide evacuation routes from the Welcome House in case of fires and to install smoke detectors. The evacuation routes are appropriately marked, as are the extinguishers.
An architect has designed a new cabin for the Shalom Center. It is hoped that this new structure can be built in the course of the next year.
Board of Directors
Thanks to the initiative of the IPC Assembly of Pastors in February 2008, the process of legally forming the Shalom Center Foundation began. The next step was to select and confirm a Board of Directors composed of the IPC Bishop, Pastors, brothers and sisters of the Pentecostal Church of Chile. This board has functioned actively in 2008 and by-laws are being written. The principle task of the Board of Directors is to analyze and approve of the policies proposed by the staff teams in the area of services, administration, and program.
Interim Executive Director
Interviews are being held to select an Interim Executive Director of the Shalom Center, whose responsibility will be to guide the work of the areas of service, administration, and program during the transition from the initial project to becoming a Foundation.
To read stories and testimonials of Shalom Center, click here: Shalom Center Stories