Podcaster, advocate, and peacemaker Osheta Moore releases debut book, Shalom Sistas

News release
October 5, 2017

Podcaster, advocate, and peacemaker Osheta Moore releases debut book, Shalom Sistas

HARRISONBURG, Va.—In her timely debut book, Shalom Sistas: Living Wholeheartedly in a Brokenhearted World, Osheta Moore sheds light on being a peacemaker in a world of violence, alienation, and injustice. Publishers Weekly, in a starred review, says that “fans of Elizabeth Cunningham, Anne Lamott, and Nadia Bolz-Weber will be delighted with this new, exciting voice.”

When Moore and her husband lost everything to Hurricane Katrina and found themselves relocated to a new city, she made the life-changing decision to become a “seeker of shalom.” Assuming herself to already be a peacemaker, Moore took a bold step and threw herself into her Bible and intensively studied the word peace for 40 days.

Shalom Sistas is the book I wish I had 10 years ago when I stood at our kitchen sink in Boston and realized that the life we lived as urban missionaries in New Orleans was over because of Hurricane Katrina—we lost our occupation as peacemakers to the storm,” says Moore.

There were more adventures ahead. “I certainly didn’t feel like I had the sweet and passive disposition of a peacemaker in our little suburb, so I was left with one big question: If Jesus is my Prince of Peace, what does that mean for me now?” Moore says.

Shalom Sistas is the story of what happened after Moore asked God to help her make peace with peace. “In the book, you’ll see how God used the Hebraic concept of shalom—God’s dream of wholeness for you and for me—to show me I can be a peacemaker right in my everyday life,” says Moore. “You’ll also see how this releases the pressure gauge of ‘not enough,’ which so many of us feel when faced with brokenness in ourselves and in the world.”

Moore takes readers through her Shalom Sista Manifesto, 12 guideposts for living wholeheartedly in a brokenhearted world. The manifesto includes points such as “We are beloved,” “We will rest,” and “We will choose subversive joy.” Readers may race to the end of the book for Moore’s “Shalom Steps,” practical ways people can practice shalom. She also includes a few special recipes in the book, like her famous red beans and rice.

Shannan Martin, author of Falling Free, says, “Shalom Sistas made me want to stand up and cheer! Only Osheta Moore could land these powerful soul truths with such humor and grace.”

Melanie Dale, author of It’s Not Fair and Women Are Scary, writes, “Osheta’s shalom is strong and opinionated; there’s nothing passive or saccharine about it.”

Shalom Sistas includes a foreword by author and blogger Sarah Bessy, and a free online study guide by Abby Perry for small groups, Sunday school, or individual study.

Osheta Moore is a writer and podcaster, as well as wife to an urban pastor, mother of three, and economic justice advocate for women in developing countries. Moore has consistently been a voice for peacemaking, justice, and racial reconciliation. Her work has been featured on numerous websites and blogs, including Sojourners, SheLoves Magazine, A Deeper Story, The Art of Simple, ReKnew, and Rachel Held Evans’s blog. Connect with her at shalominthecity.com.

Shalom Sistas is available from Herald Press for $15.99 (paperback) via 800‑245‑7894, the Herald Press webstore at www.HeraldPress.com, Amazon, and other online sources. Canadian customers can order from CommonWord (877‑846‑1593), Parasource (800‑263‑2664), and elsewhere.

See her video book trailer here describing the Shalom Manifesto.

To schedule an interview with Osheta Moore, contact LeAnn Hamby at 540‑908‑3941 or LeAnnH@mennomedia.org. Media contact: Jeane Wynn, Wynn-Wynn Media, LLC, 918‑283‑1834 or jeane@wynnwynnmedia.com.

 

Resonate calls for visual art submissions for new hymnal

News Release: October 3, 2017

Resonate calls for visual art submissions for new hymnal
New collection to feature visual worship resources

HARRISONBURG, Va.—As the Resonate team gathers material for a new hymnal, they are rolling out a call for a first-of-its-kind feature within Mennonite hymnals: a vision to include visual images that complement the musical and verbal rhythms of worship found in the collection.

“In recent decades, North American Mennonite churches have grown in our understanding of the visual aspects of worship,” said SaeJin Lee, member of Resonate’s Worship Resources subcommittee. “We hope visual art will serve as an expression of and invitation to acts of worship, and as a visual telling of God’s story.” The introduction of visual art is one way the Resonate team seeks to draw in worshipers of diverse languages and ages, who learn and express themselves in different ways.

The Resonate team is calling for visual artists to submit content to be considered for inclusion in the new collection. Artists are encouraged to explore the “Theological Inspirations and Possibilities” and to take seriously the “Aspirations for the Use of Visual Imagery” outlined in the “Call for Submissions of Visual Art” available at MennoMedia.org/Resonate. Important technical requirements are also delineated there. Artists may submit a single image or a series of pieces. Submissions are welcome between October 2017 and February 2018.

“As we receive submissions we will continue to discern whether the visual elements chosen will draw from several artists or focus on a single contributor’s work,” said general editor Bradley Kauffman. “We’re excited about how visual art can offer new ways to draw us into God’s presence.”

The 13-member volunteer committee, working under the name Resonate Team, is discerning content for the 2020 release of a suite of new worship and music materials to be published by MennoMedia in cooperation with Mennonite Church Canada and Mennonite Church USA.

For more information or to schedule an interview, contact LeAnn Hamby at 540-908-3941 or email LeAnnH@mennomedia.org.

Worship and Song Collection Project Fund-raising Update by Steve Carpenter

MennoMedia, on behalf of Mennonite Church Canada and Mennonite Church USA, is working to create a new Mennonite hymnal by 2020. I have been tasked with raising more than $600,000 to pay for the work of a 13-person hymnal committee, a full-time project director, a half-time administrative assistant and other support staff and services. We’re off to a good start.

Bradley Kauffman began work as the Project Director in July 2016 and later that summer 13 others were appointed to serve with him on the Mennonite Worship and Song Committee.

This committee includes persons from both Canada and the US.

The committee has met several times, most recently at Camp Friedenswald in Cassopolis, Michigan, in early September. (Read a recent report on their work here.) The committee has enjoyed frequent contact and mentorship from Mary Oyer, Rebecca Slough, Kenneth Nafziger, Marilyn Houser Hamm, Marlene Kropf and other veterans of previous hymnal projects beyond the Mennonite Church.

As I meet with individuals, inviting them to support this endeavor financially, I am sometimes asked “Why do we need a new hymnal?” In short, refreshing a worship and song collection once a generation is one of the cycles of a forward-looking church. Hymnals are of a generational moment. They mark a particular threshold showing where the church has been and where the spirit of God may be leading. They hold comfort and nostalgia while leaning earnestly to challenge and prophetic action. As the urgencies of church life and identity shift from generation to generation, worship rhythms respond to this Spirit-movement.

The Mennonite Hymnal (red) was published in 1969.

 

 

 

 

The blue Hymnal: A Worship Book (HWB) was released in 1992.

That is a span of 23 years between the red and blue hymnals, both of which were developed before the digital age. This year marks the 25th anniversary of Hymnal: A Worship Book and it will be another three years until a new hymnal is available. A new generation of spirit-led, prophetic church music has been written in the last quarter century. The way the church uses music is also changing. Available electronic formats will help the new collection meet the needs of twenty-first century worshipers. Many of our faith communities are expressing eager anticipation of this forthcoming resource.

The new hymnal will retain durable material from HWB and the two supplements, Sing the Journey (2005) and Sing the Story (2007), while introducing new music and worship resources geared for the 21st century church.

Those who give a gift of at least $500 toward this project, between now and 2019, will have 40 characters (including spaces) in the back of the hymnal to honor a loved one, include a snippet from a hymn or a favorite verse of Scripture. Persons may also include their own names or give anonymously. To date we have raised nearly $370,000 in gifts and faith promises or 61% of the $606,000 goal. Larger gifts entitle the giver to 80 characters. To learn more about giving to support this important project, visit HymnalProject606.com or email me at SteveC@mennomedia.org.

The Mennonite Worship and Song Committee, going by the name Resonate Team, has invited congregations to hold a Great Day of Singing on Sunday October 22. Click here to view downloadable music and worship resources available for your congregation to plan worship for that day.

Thank you for your interest in this project. The Mennonite church has a rich tradition of robust congregational singing. A gift to Project 606 will help offer this legacy to the next generation.

Blessings in your work, worship and witness,

Steve Carpenter
Director of Development and Church Relations

Steve Carpenter
Director of Development and Church Relations.