Chawumba! Celebrate the Movement, July 2014

Mar 18, 2014 | About Stakeholder Health | 3 comments

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FaithHealth at Community Scale

July 25-28, 2014

Winston-Salem, NC



Many of us are finding our life by giving it to the places and people we love. Coming alive as we build partnerships and learn networks. We find ourselves being carried to places we hadn’t anticipated, doing work that’s new and surprising, and achieving results that are compelling. Something has cracked open opportunities for all this.

But it’s happening!

In these times of challenge and opportunity we gain so much from each other. We’ll share operational techniques and models of finding, analyzing and visualizing data to reveal ways that nurture and animate the complex partnership coming alive. We’ll learn about each other’s changing job descriptions and the competencies those new roles demand. We’ll hear about each other’s communications tools and practices that help us reach across the boundaries between professions, disciplines and theological tribes. We’ll share how we craft the flexible, nimble working relationships with competing health systems and, even more, with the social services relevant to the well being of the people we sometimes call patients (but who are actually citizens and members).

And more important than all of those specific learnings, we’ll raise each other up, encourage, nurture and celebrate the life that flows among and through us. For this is often lonely and confusing work, sometimes lived on the vulnerable edges of our organizations, sometimes in the vulnerable center. Some of these learnings may look a lot like other meetings we go to with workshops, speeches, papers and seminars, maybe even a few powerpoints. But this second kind of relationship may look more like a camp meeting, dare we say a revival. We need prayer, song, some great preaching and some celebration into the evening. And plenty of open space to get to know each other!

What’s a Chawumba?

We made up this word during one of the meetings that became stakeholder health when we sensed creeping, growing comfort with the incremental pace of our learning and work. We wanted more—from ourselves and our common work. We named that breaking through, “chawumba.” And then we googled the word only to find it was the name of Africa’s largest eagle. Just the kind of bird you’d want on your side, if you were crashing through something.

So we call our gathering Chawumba! It may mean that most of the people you’ll be with are not being reimbursed by their professional organization to attend. You’ll be with people who are being moved by the movement. Chawumba helps. (I suppose you could try to float through a reimbursement invoice for a Community Health Assets Working Universal Municipal Baseline Assessment. The best acronym gets free dinner!)

Experience the Community!

  • Song and Celebration. Join with each other to nurture your strength and joy.
  • Learning and Sharing. It’s a stone soup feast— so bring something to share. We’ll build the learning pathways around those who come. You probably teach something frequently. This may be a chance to teach that or, better, something on the breaking edge of your learning journey.
  • A range of Worship Opportunities to fit your faith appetite.
  • Plenty of Time for you Find Your Own Path that will nurture you.
  • New Energy and Imagination.


  • 800px-Old_Salem-1It’s a pretty cool university and arts town, especially in the summer, with shops and cafés on Trade Street and 4th Street. And just a short walk away is Old Salem, a historic village founded by the Moravians in 1766.
  • Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center is the secretariat for Stakeholder Health.
  • Invented here: The cigarette machine was invented here, along with Krispy Kreme and Texas Pete. (You can’t make this up.) We’ll meet in the very building where Camel cigarettes were manufactured—and the lawyers for RJ Reynolds fought the lawsuits.
  • Just across the highway are neighborhoods with health disparities of wicked complexity. You know such disparities in your town, so you’ll feel right at home. It’s a great place to see the FaithHealth movement in its profoundly ironic context.

Chawumba is what you will help make it. We’ve set a table, reserved a lot of rooms at our downtown (hospital owned) hotel. We think we can break even with a $100 registration from each of you to cover some common meals and basic expenses.

All you to need to do is tell us you’re coming at Or call Dawn Hall at 336.716.0459


Gary Gunderson
Secretary, Stakeholder Health

Photos: Yoky, and David Bjorgen, Creative Commons. 

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  1. Fran Picone

    Hello, This looks just wonderful and I would like to attend. How do I sign up? Thank you

      • Marvin L Morgan

        As pastor of a congregation of nearly 350 retirees, in the State of TN, most over the age of 70, I declare, if FaithHealthNC did not already exist, there would be an urgent need to establish it, and to do so immediately. For health reasons (mine not theirs) I will be on vacation with the grandchildren in late July and will be unable to attend the Chawumba. This note is to commend you on all of the new developments related to FaithHealthNC, even as I pray we will be able to learn from your efforts and duplicate some of them here in TN.



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