Author Shannan Martin on the Ministry of Ordinary Places: Women’s Event Recap


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Nearly 80 women joined us on March 26 at The Well Coffeehouse for a special evening with Shannan Martin, author of The Ministry of Ordinary Places and Falling Free. During our fireside chat, she shared the story of how she and her jail-chaplain husband, Cory, picked up their four children and traded in their comfortable life in their dream farmhouse for a small house in an urban neighborhood on the other side of the tracks. Their move away from “safety” led Shannan to see, know and love the people she otherwise would have never known. It also challenged her to think differently about what it means to be a good neighbor – wherever we are.

“This is slow work. It’s okay to take our time. It’s okay to take small steps,” she shared. “The most important thing I did today was send a text message to one of my neighbors. Her life is extra hard in a lot of ways, and I knew she was struggling. I thought to myself, ‘This is what we get to do. We get to just be kind to each other.’”

Thanks to our sponsors for making the event possible: Vera Bradley, Oliver’s Twist Paper, Parallel Design Group, First Harvest Boutique & The Tiny Shed

Follow along with Shannan’s journey on her blog, Shannan Martin Writes, and on Instagram.

We have to be careful that we’re not slowly whittling away our opportunities to connect with the people in our neighborhoods and our ordinary places. ‘Neighbor’ means anybody whose life intersects with ours. We can go to church and hang out with our typical friends, but a lot of those people are going to be similar to us. We have to be intentional and find ways to seek out people who don’t live or look like us. That is what it means to love your neighbor.



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