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InterVarsity author receives Nelson Mandela award Print Email
Written by Jeremy Burns   
Friday, 14 March 2014 05:15 PM America/New_York

FaithRootedOrganizing-webInterVarsity Press author Peter Heltzel was honored with the 2014 Nelson Mandela Community Activist Award for his ongoing work to make a difference in New York City. The award was presented by the New York City Clergy Roundtable at the Nelson Mandela Tribute & Award Ceremony, held March 7 at First Corinthian Baptist Church in New York.

Co-authored with fellow pastor Alexia Salvatierra, Heltzel’s Faith-Rooted Organizing: Mobilizing the Church in Service to the World (IVP Books) released in December 2013.

“Faith-rooted organizing is gathering people for social change in a manner that is guided and shaped by our faith, and designed to enable us to contribute our unique gifts to the broader movement for justice,” Heltzel said.

“I will spend the rest of my life trying to live up to Mandela’s legacy of freedom and justice,” Heltzel said.

“It’s no surprise to me that Peter Heltzel would be honored with this award,” said David Zimmerman, associate editor at InterVarsity Press. “Peter is one of those rare authors—his co-author, Alexia, is another—whose intellect keeps pace with their passion.”

Heltzel endeavors to live out Mandela’s words in a number of ways. In addition to being associate professor of systematic theology at New York Theological Seminary, he serves as director of the seminary’s Micah Institute, which seeks to educate New York City faith leaders on issues of social and economic justice, to equip leaders to serve as change agents for social transformation and movement-building, and to act as a powerful coalition of organizers and advocates transforming New York City. Heltzel is also assistant pastor of evangelism at Park Avenue Christian Church in New York City and serves on the Metro Commission on Ministry and the Anti-Racism/Pro-Reconciliation Team of the Northeastern Region, Christian Church (Disciples of Christ).