Thursday, November 9, 2017

Review: Shalom Sistas

Osheta Moore and her husband were deeply involved in urban ministry in their New Orleans community. She taught ballet at the community center and invited teens into their home, while her husband taught literacy skills and trained people to start new jobs. When Hurricane Katrina hit, their home and the community center where they worked were both destroyed. The family decided to move to Boston, but Osheta found herself without a purpose. She believed that she was called to help people and to practice shalom, or peace-making, in her community, but didn't know how to do it with three small children in tow and no title or funding. As Lent approached, she decided to take those 40 days to study what the Scriptures say about bringing peace to our worlds and then put those things into practice.

In Shalom Sistas, Osheta tells readers that making peace is for everyone. It's for the people who work full-time jobs, the moms and dads who are home all day with little ones, and those of us who feel a bit too snarky to be considered a saint. In fact, Osheta becomes convinced that peacemaking is an active and audacious process, and it needs people who are ready to speak with power and a bit of sass. She writes a manifesto to remember what people seeking peace should be doing every day, which includes things like believing we are enough, seeing the beauty around us, choosing subversive joy, and serving before speaking.

Some of the practices Osheta writes about in Shalom Sistas are ones we have heard before, like remembering to rest so we can do good, hard work. But in other chapters, she deeply challenges her readers. When she read about the Steubenville rape case, she was heartbroken as a fellow victim of sexual assault. But she also sees that, if we are truly committed to peacemaking, there has to be a road to redemption for the perpetrators too. When her daughter's school throws a daddy/daughter dance, the family decides to take the more difficult road and throw a free party instead of attending the event that not everyone could afford. Osheta writes in an extremely conversational and encouraging way. If you are looking for a book that will give you ideas to make peace in yourself, your home, and your community, Shalom Sistas is a great place to start.

Shalom Sistas
Living Wholeheartedly in a Broken World
By Osheta Moore
Herald Press October 2017
240 pages
Read via Netgalley


  1. This sounds like a practical and thoughtful book. Thanks for the review.

    1. It's also a funny book. I appreciate that she didn't make peace sound boring and highbrow.

  2. Wow, this sounds so inspiring. Definitely going on my to-read list!

    1. Wonderful! I hope you'll let me know what you think.