Building Blocks of Peace is a 3-month training course (Mar, Apr, May) + 3-month mobilization effort (Jun, Jul, Aug) that helps individuals connect with others in their community to get organized, become more equipped, and deploy local faith-rooted mobilization in places of need. This annual series launched again on Saturday as people from across the city of Chicago and suburbs gathered on the far North side in Rogers Park for a morning of teaching, sharing, conversations, and connection. After hosting this training virtually for most of the past two year, the excitement was palpable as we able to be together again in person.
Bishop Oswald Nelson and North Side Tabernacle of Praise generously hosted the training, which had participants from over 50 churches and 19 police districts. Many police districts have what is called a “Faith-based Subcommittee”, a monthly meeting of community stakeholders whose faith motivates them to collaborate for peace and wellness in the area. Many of those faith-based leaders and faith-based liaison or CAPS officers joined the training as well, so that we can all go deeper in relationship and collaboration. Geographic breakout sessions allowed participants to connect with others in their communities, as well as learn from local practitioners about how they can put faith into practical action. Topical breakouts over lunched provided a time for deeper discussion on topics such as Theology of Presence, Evangelism, Love Our Schools, and The Power of Engagement.