Welcome to Coffee, Shalom, and Everything Between!
Hi! I’m Anna, and I’ve started this newletter/site to build an intentional community of people who see the brokenness and injustice and brutality of our world as a call to come together and work for justice and equity and to build a society where all humans can truly thrive. People who refuse to concede that the supremacies of our system are a given. People who know that might doesn’t make right and that constant resistance to the powers of systems is necessary.
Using Shalom as a lens for everything is something that requires practice: I might even call it a spiritual discipline. Shalom is an idea that has thoroughly gripped my imagination over the past few years. Often mistranslated as a simple “peace,” shalom goes far beyond this especially as “peace” is often translated as merely an “absence of conflict.” This is in reality, not peace at all, as it only benefits those already in power and prevents their lives and holding of that power from being disruptive.
Shalom means total thriving and well-being for everyone. If you think about it, achieving this “peace” will be very disruptive to those in authority, those in power, as this peace cannot rest until everyone is thriving whole-heartedly. Because when “the least of these” is thriving, all of us will be thriving. Shalom is a kingdom of God peace, a way of putting feet to when we pray “thy kingdom come, thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.”
And Shalom mean reconciliation between humans and God, between humans, with ourselves, and with the natural world. All four directions matter and are irrevocably intertwined.
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Anna Elisabeth Howard writes highly caffeinated takes on shalom as a lens for everything from her front porch in Hendersonville, TN where she lives with her husband and two sons. She is a community organizer and movement chaplain with a background in youth and family ministry and is a graduate of Fuller Theological Seminary. An avid hiker and backpacker, many thoughts start somewhere in the middle of the woods, or under a waterfall. Her latest book is Inward Apocalypse: Uncovering a Faith for the Common Good.
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