Hey Sistas,

I’m so excited to share this special episode of Shalom in the City because I’ve been excited to share with you something I’ve been working on the podcast for FOR MONTHS.  Actually, I’ve been wanting to provide this for you here on the show since before I started it.  When I dreamed of starting a podcast I knew three things about myself:

One: I’m obsessed with talking about Shalom. So I knew my podcast had to be all shalom all the time. And for those of you just joining the show on this episode, on the show our simple definition of  the Hebraic concept of Shalom, is  God’s dream for wholeness, goodness, and yes, even peace for you and I right now, right where we are.  Every episode I invite a woman, our resident Shalom Sista who I think is practicing Shalom in some interesting way to share her story with us.  It’s been so much fun to introduce to you my friends and their passion projects.
The second thing I knew about myself as a podcaster is that I love stories. I love to hear stories and learn from people who live differently than I do. Something amazing happens when I allow those stories to teach me compassion and give me inspiration for how to practice Shalom in my life. I hope that you’ve experienced a bit of that in the past year of podcast episodes.
And finally, I knew that I would eventually bring on a panel of regular co-hosts to be our resident experts on different ways we can practice Shalom in our lives.
The reason is I’m not an awesome small talker and while I love interviewing people, sometimes when I hang up with a guest, I have so many more questions and would love to invite them back on to keep talking and that’s not always practical. Which is why my book club episodes with Cara are always my favorites, she and I have a fun conversations and we love to laugh with each other. Those episodes feel like a monthly check in with a dear friend. Plus, while I know so much about Shalom and I’m actively practicing it in my life, I know there are women who are better in certain areas that i can learn from them and my service to you through the podcast is to let you learn alongside me.

Which is why, I’m thrilled to announce that starting in March, I am moving away from the purely interview format in order to learn more from three women who I am honored to call my friends. Each one has modeled wholehearted living in a broken world in unique and accessible ways. They’re funny and kind, and intentional. But, they’re just not three random women who I love, they’re three women who have passions for Shalom in three distinct areas.


There are three areas that I have noticed I think about peacemaking and living wholeheartedly the most:

1: At home and in my community

2: In tough conversations around racial reconciliation

3: When I consume media, specifically when I read

So, I had to think, if these are the areas I think about the most and where I need to most encouragement and have the most questions, wouldn’t make sense to process these areas here on the podcast? I think so, because if I as your regular host and excited every single time I sit down to create an episode for you, I’ll have more energy and it’ll be a better conversation, one I hope inspires and encourages you.  As I thought about these areas, it became pretty clear to me who I could have fun and helpful conversation with and I’m so excited to introduce them to you.


The next season of the show and maybe longer, I’ll be joined by these three amazing women.

1: For Shalom in our Home I’ll be talking with Jerusalem Greer, an author, speaker, nest-fluffer, and World Class Pinterest Pinner. Once a month, she and I are going to be talking about what it looks like to live out Shalom in our homes and our communities, thinking about what it means to be wholehearted families, friends, and neighbors. We’ll also dig into the ways that intentional spiritual practices and home traditions can produce shalom in our lives and the lives of those around us.  You can find Jerusalem on her site, JerusalemGreer.com and that’ll be in the show notes. Our hope is that at the end of the hour, you’ll feel excited about loving your family and community, you’ll try new recipes, you’ll think about your rhythms, and you’ll live wholeheartedly right in your home.


2: For Books you already know my book club co-host, Cara Meredith, so there’s no change there. Cara can always be found on her site, Carameredith.com. Every month Cara and I will be talking about book through the lens of Shalom, what brokenness is the author address in her book and where do we see wholeness and healing in the book. Our criteria for a book club pick is non-fiction or fiction from woman of color because we know that these women’s books often are not picked for book clubs. You can find the book list  and join the conversation in the Shalom Sista hangout and I’ll that link in the show notes. We love interacting with you about books and seeing the ways our picks stretch you to learn from authors you may never pick up.


3: And the last co-host is someone you’ve met before, Abby Perry. Abby was my guest for our Celebrate Shalom episode and I had always planned to have her come back on share more about the work she does with Be the Bridge, a racial reconciliation ministry lead by Tasha Morrison.  Now, I know you might be asking how does this conversation fit into the show? Well, I deeply believe that we’re experiencing racial tension in such profound way in our country. And Abby is uniquely gifted to help me model what does it look to have authentic conversations about race. Every episode we’ll talk about our personal experiences with racial reconciliation efforts, discuss news/current events, and break down buzzwords that seem to polarize conversations before they even get started. We’ll also be inviting you to submit questions or topics for us to discuss, and oh how I hope you will. This monthly hour exists entirely to be a gift to you, something that does not use its time inside your earbuds to pull you out of your immediate surroundings but to propel you deeper into them. Our prayers is that we will, by God’s grace, model a conversation that is defined by charity, truth seeking, active listening listening, and testifying to this fact: Jesus has torn down the wall of hostility, making two groups one (Ephesians 2:14), and we far too often have bricks in our hands, rebuilding barriers when He has called us into open spaces. You can catch up with Abby on her site, JoyWovenDeep.com

Every week I’ll talk to one of these women, but the last week of the month I’ll reserve for an interview because I do love to hear new stories and meet new women.

So that’s the first big change, the format. The second you might have picked up already and that’s I’m moving to seasons. You might remember from my intro episode that I wanted to make sure I paced myself in producing the show because I’m in this for the long haul. Well, one thing I learned about myself is that I work best in short time frames with a small break in between. So, we’re going to start our first season in March go through June take the first week of July off, have a mini-summer season from July-August. Again, take another week off and start back up with a September-December Season.  I know that’s a lot, so don’t worry. I’ll let you know when we’re going to take break, just listen to the show and you’ll know.

So, since we’re moving to seasons, I get to do something that again, I’ve always wanted to do, dive deep into on big idea over the course of several episodes. Y’all am bursting with excitement about this. Every Season, we’re going to have an overarching theme that will guide our conversations. Every episode will address this theme in way, shape or form all the way from the rhythms of peace Jerusalem helps us form to the book Cara picks, we’ll keep one theme in mind.

We’ll announce that them in the hangout, the newsletter, and then here on the podcast. In addition to the episodes, we’re also providing a syllabus for the podcast that include further reading, the show notes, Shalom steps, which are our practical next steps, and maybe a printable or two. We want to enrich your listening experience so that your practice of Shalom is easier and more joyful. Those are only available through the newsletter so make sure you’re signed up for free and that’ll be in the show notes as well.

So are you ready to hear March’s theme? If you’re in the hangout, you’ve probably seen the graphic and wondered what it means. Well, our March-June theme is:

It’s Hopeful Resistance.

We’re going to be exploring what does hope look like through the lens of Shalom and then how do we resist: division, defensiveness, and despair in a world that feels so chaotic and eager for conflict.  I think we’re all exhausted from 2016 and wondering how do we as Paul says in the bible, “not grow wearing in doing good”. Well, the co-hosts and I think hopeful resistance is a good place to start and we hope you’ll join us in March.

Our Book club picks for the first season are:

March: Hopeful Resistance

The Sun is Also a Star (Nicola Yoon)


April: Resisting Division (within Hopeful Resistance)

ONE (Deidra Riggs)


May: Resisting Defensiveness (within Hopeful Resistance)

Hallelujah Anyway (Anne Lamott)


June: Despair (within Hopeful Resistance)

LaRose (Louise Erdrich)

We’re also planning a summer series that is going to be so fun, so playful, so full of nostalgia and good times so stay tuned for that too.
Well, that’s it, Sistas.  Those are the two changes to Shalom. So what does that mean for this month. Cara and I will be back soon to talk about Oprah’s new cook book, what we thought of the stories in it, what recipes worked for us, and if we plan on using as a part of our regular meal planning so subscribe so you don’t miss it.

Sistas thank you so much for your love and support of the show and know that you have a cheerleader in me as you seek Shalom in your family, community, city, and world.

Bye and see you next time!
Shalom in your earbuds,