Seeking Shalom: Racial Reconciliation (I Have an Announcement!)

Hi Friends! Whether you’re a regular reader of Joy Woven Deep or you’re making your way over from the Shalom Sistas’ Hangout, I’m so glad you’re here. Welcome!

My first memory of chatting with someone online whom I did not know “in real life” was on AOL. She was another young teenage girl, just like me. I told my mom about it, and when she reminded me that our family had a rule against chat rooms, I emphatically told her I hadn’t broken the rule because it wasn’t a chat room, it was a one-on-one conversation.

This story illustrates two things that, amazingly, have relevance to what I have to tell you today, approximately 16 years later:

  1. I’ve long felt that true friendships could be formed via the Internet.
  2. I like to be subversive. Or, perhaps more accurately, I have a bit of a rebellious streak that gets a thrill out of intertwining relationship with resistance.

Around a year ago, a “real life” friend tagged another friend and me in a Facebook post by Osheta Moore. We began messaging and engaging with each other’s content online, primarily on topics of racial reconciliation. A few months later, Osheta graciously invited me to be a guest on her podcastShalom in the City, and our friendship continued to develop over Voxer and Facebook.

And then, one night while Jared was at work and I was bathing two wild and wriggling little boys, my phone announced a new Vox message from Osheta, asking if I would be willing to be a monthly co-host on Shalom in the City.

The premise for our episodes? A black woman and a white woman talk about racial reconciliation.

My response? “I should say I need to pray about it, so, I’ll pray about it, but really this is already an unforeseen answer to some of the deepest prayers of my heart. I’m saying yes.”

And so, my friends, I VERY ENTHUSIASTICALLY announce to you that I now have the honor of being a co-host of Shalom in the City. This new format will hit the podcast in March, and will also include the lovely Jerusalem Greer discussing shalom in our homes and communities, and the wonderful Cara Meredith continuing to co-host the Shalom Sistas’ Book Club.

For the first few months of this new format, the overarching theme of the podcast will be Hopeful Resistance. Our desire is to discuss ideas, share stories, and frame conversations in a way that will equip listeners to resist the division, defensiveness, and despair that abounds in our broken world.

For the episodes I’ll be co-hosting, my prayer is that we will, by God’s grace, model a conversation that is defined by charity, truth seeking, active listening, and testifying to this fact: Jesus has torn down the wall of hostility, making two groups one,* and we far too often have bricks in our hands, rebuilding barriers when He has called us into open spaces.

Osheta and I will 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.

((You can listen here to Osheta as she introduces the new format and shares more of her vision for living wholeheartedly in a brokenhearted world.))

Don’t want to miss an episode? Subscribe to the podcast here. And join us over in the Shalom Sistas’ Hangout, where we’ll be discussing what it looks like to be peacemakers in our homes, communities, reading lives, cross-racial relationships, and more.

May 2017 be a year that we ask God, ourselves, each other, what peace really means, and how to go about making it together.

*Ephesians 2:14

Author: Abby Perry

Abby has written for The Gospel Coalition, Christ and Pop Culture, Upwrite Magazine, and The Influence Network. She is the communications coordinator for a nonprofit organization and co-facilitates two community efforts—one promoting bridge-building racial reconciliation conversations and one supporting area foster and adoptive families. Abby graduated from Texas A&M University and currently attends Dallas Theological Seminary. She and her family live in College Station, Texas.