Stone Soup for the Community—The Story of a Faith-Based Health Coalition Book Release on Feb. 28

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The Center for Faith and Health Initiatives announces publication of Stone Soup for the Community—The Story of a Faith-Based Health Coalition, a book about transformation in a distressed, inner city neighborhood. The Book-Signing celebration will be held on Feb. 28, Sun., 2-4 p.m., at Fifth Ward Missionary Baptist Church, 4300 Noble St., Houston, TX.

Dr. Harold Koenig, Center for Spirituality, Theology and Health, wrote: “This scholarly, well-crafted ethnohistory is a first in the field of public health. It illustrates a process of faith-based health coalition development and maturation." (Foreword)

“It was a strange building, with mostly black people in it. She was white and needed a bathroom. When she asked a woman where it was, the woman glared: “Go back where you came from!” That was author Dr. Karen Hahn’s introduction to Houston’s Fifth Ward, a low-income, crime-ridden neighborhood. A local pastor had asked her to help organize the community to provide critically needed services.

The resulting Greater Fifth Ward Congregational Health Coalition engages local pastors, volunteers, and agencies. It has coordinated more than 400 volunteers to give more than 300,000 free health and social services worth more than $8 million. Its volunteers have provided 29 home restorations, 130+ wheelchair ramps, medical equipment, senior/caregiver support, monitoring visits, youth programs, disaster relief, health counseling, trainings/classes, nutritious food, and referrals. Like the fable of stone soup, the Coalition multiplies its meager resources to care for its challenged community by mobilizing people to work together. After fifteen years, it is still giving.

The book weaves stories, photos, and scholarship from dozens of contributors into a narrative that invites readers to reexamine poverty and abundance, power and privilege, racism and multiculturalism. It instructs and inspires as it reveals the inner workings of a caring, Christian community.

Reviewers wrote: "The examination of racism is riveting in its realism and redemption." (Dr. Harold Koenig, Center for Spirituality, Theology and Health, Duke University Medical Center); "Karen Hahn and her collaborators have produced a fascinating cultural, sociological, and historical analysis of enduring compassion in action ... This book ... integrates a myriad of perspectives with integrity and depth ... Dr. Hahn's transparent self-exploration ... is refreshing and challenges us all." (Dr. Mimi Kiser, Interfaith Health Program, Emory University).

The book is available for purchase through Amazon for $13.95 plus shipping. This ethnohistory will also be presented by Dr. Karen Jo Hahn at the international faith community nursing conference, the Westberg Symposium, on April 8 2016, in Skokie, Illinois. See the presentation preview and book forward at:

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