The International Society for Urban Mission has moved into a season of important transitions. We value your prayers during this time. Formed by an international group of urban mission activists, thinkers and leaders in Klong Toey slum in January 2012, ISUM is moving from a pioneering phase into a growth and sustainability phase. Our journal New Urban World, Summits, book “Seeking Urban Shalom” and web presence have so far helped to bring diverse urban Christian leaders together to better promote and seek Shalom in the world’s cities. Five important changes are happening as we seek to further God’s impact through us.
- In December 2014, ISUM will become an expression of Micah (the new exciting entity comprising of Micah Network and Micah Challenge) with a special focus on seeking shalom in cities with urban poverty. (Micah Network is a global network for integral mission with 700 member organisations, churches and leaders in 88 countries. Micah Challenge is a global coalition of Christians holding governments to account for their pledge to halve extreme poverty by 2015.) This new collaboration will give ISUM a more stable organisational platform and greater reach with urban leaders in Majority World cities. ISUM is grateful for Urban Neighbours Of Hope’s willingness to host ISUM in its first phase of our organisational life and looks forward to working as part of this global partnership. The next ISUM Summit will be imbedded as a track within the Micah Global Consultation in Lima, Peru, from 14th to 18th September 2015.
- ISUM’s New Urban World journal has been amplifying voices, views and insights for and from urban Christians leaders around the world for two years. We are grateful for the outstanding work of Dr. Stephen Burris as ISUM’s Editor and Dr. Kendi Howells Douglas as Associate Editor in helping make this dream happen. It is therefore with sadness that ISUM has accepted Dr. Burris’ and Dr. Howells Douglas’ resignations. The November edition of New Urban World will be their last. Dr. Burris has fulfilled his commitment to lead four editions, as the November edition will be the fifth edition. Dr. Howells Douglas has a full workload at Great Lakes Christian University. On behalf of ISUM, we want to thank Stephen and Kendi for their hard work and are especially appreciative of their instrumental role in enabling urban voices to be heard through New Urban World journal.
- We are pleased to announce that Associate Professor Darren Cronshaw has been appointed as the new Senior Editor of New Urban World journal and ISUM Publishing. A/Prof Cronshaw was the editor of ISUM’s first book “Seeking Urban Shalom“. He is an urban missiologist, writer and pastor based in Melbourne, Australia, and previously was Editor-in-Chief of UNOH Publications. Joel Ickes will continue as Managing Editor of the journal and there will be a number of regional Associate Editors from different parts of the world who will recruit contributors and promote the journal in their region. You can now download free past editions on PDFs of New Urban World and you can order both Kindle and print versions of New Urban World journal [newurbanworld.org/publications]. If you are interested in joining the ISUM Publications team or contributing to future editions of NUW Journal, contact Darren or Joel.
- We are also pleased to announce that Dr. Graham Hill has taken on the role of Editor for the ISUM book ‘”Signs of Hope in the City”. This book will include the keynote addresses and working group papers generated from the ISUM Summit 2014 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. It will include chapters from Dr. Jayakumar Christian, Dr John Perkins, Rene August, Wong Young Soon, and Seeta Gurung. You can view the ISUM keynote talks here. The book is expected to release in March 2015.
- As one of the founders of ISUM, my family and I are also personally in a transition season. We will move to Birmingham, England on November 19, 2014. I lived in Klong Toey slum in Bangkok, Thailand for 12 years, where I also wrote my PhD on the rise of slums that became the book “Slum Life Rising”. This book was a catalyst for forming ISUM. My family and I have enjoyed the last 6 months on furlough in my native Melbourne where we started the community I led, Urban Neighbours Of Hope, in 1993. Having left UNOH now, I will again be immersed in an urban poverty context, this time in Winson Green, Birmingham, joining the faculty at Springdale College where I will speak, write, teach, coach and mobilise urban leaders more widely for ISUM and Micah. I look forward to continue leading ISUM as part of Micah to make an even deeper impact on our new urban world as our future unfolds.
We would appreciate all your prayers as these crucial changes take place.
If you would like to join the ISUM conversations, see our ISUM Facebook page or visit our website www.newurbanworld.org.
Dr Ash Barker
ISUM Convener and Director