The Rev. Anne Sutherland Howard

Denomination: The Episcopal Church (TEC)
Organization: The Beatitudes Society

The Rev. Anne Sutherland Howard is Executive Director of The Beatitudes Society, a new organization building a national network for progressive Christian seminarians.

Before coming to The Beatitudes Society in September, 2006, she served as Associate Rector at a church well-known for its prophetic social justice teaching, preaching and action, Trinity Episcopal Church in Santa Barbara, California. A seasoned and accomplished preacher, she is now Preacher-in-Residence at Trinity, and is the author of "Claiming the Beatitudes: Nine Stories from a New Generation" (Alban, 2009).

Prior to ordination, she was a newspaper reporter and later Executive Director of the Interfaith Center to Reverse the Arms Race at All Saints Church in Pasadena, CA. Since ordination in 1988, she has served as Associate and Interim Rector at All Saints by-the-Sea, in Santa Barbara and as Canon to the Ordinary for Bishop Fred Borsch in the Diocese of Los Angeles, and also as Director of Mt. Calvary Invites, an adult education program of Holy Cross Monastery in Santa Barbara.

She is a graduate of Episcopal Divinity School and the University of California, Santa Barbara. She serves on the Advisory Board of the Capps Center for Ethics, Religion and Public Life at the University of California, Santa Barbara. A native Minnesotan, she travels widely from her home in Santa Barbara, California where she lives with her husband Randy. Their son Benjamin is a medical student intent upon reforming American health care.

Day1 Weekly Programs by The Rev. Anne Sutherland Howard

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Finding Wild Space

Tuesday January 12, 2010
The Rev. Anne Sutherland Howard draws from Jesus' first recorded miracle at the wedding at Cana to help us discover the wild space within us--and live into the radical calling of Christ.

Articles by The Rev. Anne Sutherland Howard

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Anne Howard: An Adventure Ends

Friday October 24, 2014
I am filled with gratitude and appreciation for all of you as I announce my retirement at the end of this year.

Anne Howard: A Word in Time: Live Large

Saturday May 24, 2014
A gathering of seekers: intelligent conversation, insightful commentary, searching questions, honest answers, sound ideas, lively debate, real dialogue, all enjoyed over a mix of delectable dishes. Delights for the body and sustenance for the soul. No, this is not your church potluck supper. It is the marketplace of Athens, about the year 50-55 CE AD.

Anne Howard: A Word in Time: Choose

Friday May 16, 2014
'I am the way and the truth and the life. No one will come to the father but through me.' I can remember when these words from John’s gospel first bothered me.

Anne Howard: A Word in Time: Change the Soundtrack

Friday May 09, 2014
John’s community knew about good shepherds and bad shepherds, the thieves of the story who taxed the poor into poverty, the ones who starved the people and fed themselves, the ones who traded the shalom of their tradition for the Pax Romana. No doubt they longed for a good shepherd.

Anne Howard: A Word in Time: Stay with Us

Wednesday April 30, 2014
It's a story, the Emmaus story, that sums up for us the reality that we won't meet Jesus, we won't touch God, when we muster up belief enough, ore settle on a right doctrine, when we’ve read the right book or signed up for the right workshop. We will meet God when we hear those words 'stay with us'.

Anne Howard: A Word in Time: Real Life Easter

Friday April 25, 2014
For Thomas, Easter came late. He wasn't there for the first gasps and glimpses that the other followers of Jesus report. He wasn't in the garden with Magdalene or in that Upper Room with the others. He wasn't on the road to Emmaus. But he gets Easter in the way that many of us get it. He gets Easter when he brings his questions.

Anne Howard: A Word in Time: A New Activism

Friday April 18, 2014
We see Jesus' 'economic activism' in a story that comes up in Holy Week””-it’s the one about an angry Jesus overturning the moneychangers' tables in the temple. Jesus denounces the temple practice of profiting from the poor who are forced to buy animal for required ritual sacrifice.

Anne Howard: A Word in Time: Francis Redux

Friday April 11, 2014
At this moment in our national budget process, when a Catholic congressman gains fame for his budget blueprint that slashes the federal safety net, shifts the tax burden from the wealthy to the middle class on the backs of the poor, this Pope reminds us of the essence of Catholic social teaching as well as the essence of Christianity.

Anne Howard: A Word in Time: Unbind Him

Friday April 04, 2014
We get a wasteland of bones in Ezekiel’s eerie dreamscape this week, dry bones, picked clean, gleaming white in the hot sun. And another kind of wasteland in John’s gospel: grieving women, Lazarus dead, four days dead, decaying in the tomb. Bleak scenes for this fifth Sunday in Lent. But our ancestors told these stories as stories of promise and of hope.

Anne Howard: A Word in Time: Time for the Long Breath

Friday March 28, 2014
We’re about halfway through Lent now, heading toward the Fourth Sunday this week. In these weeks, I’ve written about this 40-day journey that begins with that smudge of ash, the challenge to be a blessing, and the opportunity to question.

Anne Howard: A Word in Time: Risky Business

Friday March 21, 2014
The Samaritan woman in this coming Sunday’s story from the Fourth Gospel is filled with questions, the kind of questions that she’s left unasked for decades.

Anne Howard: A Word in Time: Be a Blessing

Saturday March 15, 2014
We are the people who inherit Abraham's blessing. We are the people who are blessed to be a blessing. What might that look like right now? How might I be blessing? Where? How might the church be a blessing?

Anne Howard: A Word in Time: The Big Question

Friday February 28, 2014
We’re on the mountaintop this coming Sunday, as the church calendar circles around to the Last Sunday in the season of Epiphany. It’s the day we get the story of the Transfiguration. And it’s the day we get the big question, a good question that leads us into the season of Lent.

Anne Howard: A Word in Time: Choose Life

Friday February 14, 2014
Choose life. From the Torah to the prophets to the psalms to the teachings of Jesus and the letters of Paul, our collection of scriptures says, over and over again, in so many ways, 'choose life.'

Anne Howard: A Word in Time: Be Salt and Light

Friday February 07, 2014
In these words about salt and light, Jesus is telling his disciples that they must be effective. They must change their surroundings.

Anne Howard: A Word in Time: Upside-Down Wisdom

Wednesday January 29, 2014
Conventional wisdom gets turned upside-down in the beatitudes by Jesus daring to name the poor, the meek, and the mournful as the blessed ones. What could be blessed about poverty or grief? Is this simply the promise of a better day by-and-by, when we die? Do the beatitudes describe some future reward for suffering now?

Anne Howard: A Word in Time: I Love and I Hope

Wednesday January 22, 2014
Today, more than ever, I am fueled by a fierce hope as I see a new 21st-century generous Christianity showing up in the public square to carry on that costly work of healing and compassion and liberation, and that challenge to the status quo.

Anne Howard: A Word in Time: Come and See

Friday January 17, 2014
We are in Epiphany, that season in the church calendar when we are invited see how God is revealed in our world. The question for us in this season is how do we see, and how do we respond to what we see?

Anne Howard: A Word in Time: "I Will Not Ask"

Tuesday December 17, 2013
I’ve been staying with Isaiah this Advent, trying to hone in on his call to hope. This week’s text presents a challenge to hope. In this week’s selection from Isaiah 7 we hear the voice of King Ahaz. It’s not a voice of hope. It’s a voice of resignation.

Anne Howard: Where's Your Crocus? (Isaiah 35)

Thursday December 12, 2013
Isaiah’s poetry gives images of hope. The crocus shall bloom again, the desert blossom, the desolation shall become glad singing. And then he changes the tense of his verbs. He moves from the the desert shall rejoice, the crocus shall bloom, to present tense imperatives: Strengthen. Make firm.

Anne Howard: A Word in Time: On the Lookout for Hope

Thursday December 05, 2013
As the season of Advent ushers in the new church year, I am looking for the signs of hope in our day, places where new life pushes in to surprise us with possibility. I am looking for places of liveliness, energy, and the growth of the good.

Anne Howard: A Word in Time: A Whispered Promise

Friday November 22, 2013
It’s the end of the church year this week, the last Sunday before Advent. As always, the year ends with a little jolt: just when we might set our sights toward Christmas, we find ourselves back at Good Friday, looking at the cross.

Anne Howard: A Word in Time: Morning-After Scriptures

Friday November 15, 2013
Luke’s Jesus is standing in the temple. The crowd around him admires the fine stones, the sturdy structure; they are proud of the results of their capital campaign. It is one fine temple they have built. But Jesus doesn’t join in the praise. Instead we hear doom and gloom and destruction. What’s all this about? This is actually a morning-after bit of scripture.

Anne Howard: A Word in Time: All the Saints

Wednesday November 06, 2013
Here we are, in the Season of the Saints. It’s that time of year when we observe All Saints Day, All Souls Day, and el Dia de los Muertos, when we give special attention to those lovers of God who have showed us the love of God active in our world.

Anne Howard: A Word in Time: Crazy Love

Thursday October 31, 2013
Zaccheus had a good job. He was one of the few who prospered in the Roman Empire. He’s not the kind of guy who usually turned out to hear the radical anti-Empire preacher Jesus.

Anne Howard: Word in Time: Saying Thanks

Thursday October 10, 2013
In Luke’s story (Luke 17), ten lepers are healed, but only one comes back to say thanks to Jesus for the healing. The other nine are off down the road to find the priests, who would, as was the custom, inspect the lepers and verify their cleanliness. The one who turns back is different. He is different in his very identity: he is doubly outcast as a leper and a foreigner, a Samaritan. And he stops to say thanks.

Anne Howard: A Word in Time: Eyes to See

Wednesday September 25, 2013
It's the Season of Money: Our churches are cranking up our Fall Stewardship Campaigns; Congress is debating (or rather crashing) the Federal Budget; and the parable of the Rich Man and Lazarus shows up as the text for this week. As much as we might not want to talk about money in church, this is surely the time for it.

Anne Howard: A Word in Time: Grace by Losing

Friday September 20, 2013
'There is nothing edifying in it' – that’s what Rudolf Bultmann had to say about Luke’s parable about the dishonest manager, (Luke 16: 1-13) due up this Sunday.

Anne Howard: A Word in Time: Table Grace

Tuesday September 03, 2013
A Final Summer Reading Series recommendation: Donna Schaper’s Grace at Table (Wipf and Stock, 2013)

Anne Howard: A Word in Time: Preaching Revolution

Friday August 30, 2013
'Religion and politics don’t mix.' Luke wouldn’t say that, and neither would Matthew, Mark or John, or the Hebrew prophets from Moses to Malachi and Amos to Zechariah. The recurring message of the voices in the bible indicates that religion and politics do indeed mix. Of course they do.

Anne Howard: A Word in Time: The Naked Now

Friday August 23, 2013
Another Summer Reading Series Recommendation: Richard Rohr's The Naked Now (Crossroad, 2009). Plus more in this week's A Word in Time.

Anne Howard: A Word in Time: Celtic Grace and Politics

Wednesday August 14, 2013
Another Summer Reading Series Recommendation: John Philip Newell's Listening for the Heartbeat of God (Paulist, 1997)...and much more in this week's A Word in Time.

Anne Howard: A Word in Time: Wisdom (Joan Chittister)

Thursday August 08, 2013
A Summer Reading Series recommendation, 3rd in a series of Top Three Books on Prayer: Joan Chittister’s Wisdom Distilled from the Daily (HarperCollins, 1991)

Anne Howard: Gerald May's The Awakened Heart

Saturday August 03, 2013
A Summer Reading Series recommendations continue as this week Anne reviews Gerald May's The Awakened Heart, and much more.

Anne Howard: A Word in Time: Centering Prayer

Thursday July 25, 2013
One thing I know about prayer is that it changes. It changes from time to time and from person to person. There is no one-size-fits-all, and there is no one best method.

Anne Howard: A Word in Time: The Fierce Urgency of Now

Friday July 19, 2013
In the wake of the acquittal of George Zimmerman for the killing of Trayvon Martin, we are changing our usual weekly posts and sharing the following Word in Time from Rahiel Tesfamariam, a 2012-13 Beatitudes Fellow. She wrote this piece at the one-year anniversary of the killing and posted it at The Washington Post, where she is a columnist and blogger.

Anne Howard: A Word in Time: Two Ways to See

Thursday July 11, 2013
How we see matters. Henri Nouwen taught me at seminary that there are really only two ways to see the world: through the eyes of fear or through the eyes of love. We see this in the parable of the Good Samaritan.

Anne Howard: A Word in Time: Bubble Girl

Friday July 05, 2013
I've got a new book to share with you this week: Bubble Girl, by Kat Banakis, just published by Chalice Press. I'm an unabashed fan of this book and its author, and I so I was delighted to say Yes to Kat when she asked me to write the Foreword to Bubble Girl.

Anne Howard: A Word in Time: Home Free (Luke 9)

Tuesday June 25, 2013
Luke shows Jesus on a long hot trek toward Jerusalem (Luke 9:51-62), a road that winds through the enemy territory of the Samaritans. He tells his followers to leave their plows, their nets, their families, and they do. Why do they take to the road””leave plows and nets and flocks and families? What do they want?

Anne Howard: A Word in Time: Demons and Us (Luke 8:26-39)

Saturday June 22, 2013
With a few brush strokes, Luke gives us a story of demons. His story of the Gerasene demoniac (Luke 8:26-39) is found in all three Gospels, and each version carries the embroidery of a folk legend told and retold, with embellishments and exaggerations and lots of local color.

Anne Howard: A Word in Time: The Promise of Summer

Wednesday June 12, 2013
The promise of summertime has always been something about time, as if summer serves up more time along with more light. In any case, the promise of time translates for me into the promise of more reading time.

Anne Howard: A Word in Time: Bad Religion

Thursday May 30, 2013
There’s nothing like a natural disaster to produce bad theology. I have been cringing at the kind of Godtalk I’ve seen in the news in the wake of the tornado devastation in Oklahoma. It’s the kind of theology that keeps God at a supernatural remove, external to our world, off on some throne, casting down golden crowns or slinging lumps of coal. It’s the kind of theology that’s always waiting for the other shoe to drop.

Anne Howard: A Word in Time: Like Flame

Wednesday May 22, 2013
This is the time of year when we get to respond to this treasure with our lives. Now is the time to show up as followers of Jesus, followers of God’s new way in the world. Now is the time to tell some 21st century versions of Luke’s story we call Acts.

Anne Howard: A Word in Time: The Roots of Resilience

Friday May 10, 2013
When the going gets tough, I turn to the saints and the poets. I count on poetry to tell the truth when prose gets thick and tiresome. Sometimes””often””I find those saints and poets out on a walk, as when a robin perched atop a tree facing east catches the sun with his red breast. Sometimes, I think of my own roots, the saints who have gone before, the ones who nurtured me into the faith: Lille, Gertrude, Hannah, Minda, Cully, Jean, all the saints.

The Rev. Anne Howard: After Boston, Easter

Saturday May 04, 2013
I’m grateful that we are still deep in the season of Easter, some 5-6 weeks deep. We need it. Our hearts are broken, blasted open at the finish line of the Boston Marathon; our hearts are still wounded from the killings in Chicago and Newtown, not to mention our 10-year-old war. And our hearts are troubled by the stalemates in Washington that keep a lock on sensible violence prevention, or a moral budget, or a bold response to climate change.

Anne Howard: A Word in Time: One Thing

Saturday April 27, 2013
One thing. Just one thing he asked of his friends: love one another. Love one another as I have loved you. Just one thing shines clear through the multitude of words and metaphors that color the Fourth Gospel: Love one another.

Anne Howard: A Word in Time: Enough

Thursday April 18, 2013
For this coming Sunday, which some churches call “Good Shepherd Sunday” because the lectionary serves up the 23rd psalm each year, my attention is shifting from the metaphors to the math.

Anne Howard: A Word in Time: And Then His Life Began

Friday April 12, 2013
In the ranks of conversion stories, there is arguably none more dramatic than this one recorded by Luke in the book of Acts. It is a drama of blinding light, voices from another realm, a healing at the hands of a stranger, the reconciliation of enemies, profound change, and, as Mick Jagger, sings it, new life after death: Paul’s life began.

Anne Howard: A Word in Time: Show Me

Tuesday April 02, 2013
Reflections on this week's gospel text: Show me, Thomas says. Wouldn’t we all say the same thing? Wouldn’t we like to see the scars, see the hands, get the proof?

Anne Howard: A Word in Time: The Last Word

Friday March 29, 2013
All of the Easter stories, each and every version, tell us that death does not have the last word. The killing power of the Empire does not have the last word. God has said No to those powers and Yes to Jesus.

Anne Howard: A Word in Time: WWFS? (What Would Francis Say?)

Saturday March 23, 2013
Francis. Francis is on my mind right now as we travel toward Palm Sunday, and Holy Week rises into view. I should say that Holy Week looms into view, as this can be a daunting time of year for church folks: preachers and palm-frond gatherers and liturgists and lily arrangers and foot-washers and bulletin preparers are all making sure their “Ts” are crossed and their “Is” are dotted. It’s not a simple thing to get from here to Easter Sunday.

Anne Howard: Presenting the 2013 Brave Preacher Award Recipient

Thursday March 21, 2013
I am pleased to announce The Beatitudes Society's 2013 Brave Preacher Award goes to the Rev. Carrie Smith, Senior Pastor at Bethany Lutheran Church, Crystal Lake, Illinois.

Anne Howard: A Word in Time: Prodigal Welcome (Luke 15)

Friday March 08, 2013
The Prodigal Son””we know this story. This may be one of the most well-known stories of the Bible, even among people who’ve never read the Bible and never been inside a church. We’ve given this portion of Luke’s gospel a title that’s become part of our cultural lore and an expression of speech: the prodigal son. So when we hear it again, we might not listen.

Anne Howard: Hold the Tension (Luke 13)

Tuesday February 26, 2013
I like neat and tidy cause-and-effect. When something goes wrong, I want to know why, and I want to fix it. I want to isolate what went wrong, change what needs changing, and make it better, just as quickly as I can. So I don’t much like this odd parable of the fruitless fig tree coming up for this next Sunday, the 3rd Sunday of Lent.

Anne Howard: Our Mother Hen God: Lent and Luke 13

Friday February 22, 2013
It’s Oscar Sunday coming up this week, and Luke could get a nod for Best Original Screenplay: he moves the Jesus story forward in a relentless march to Jerusalem and the cross. He’s got a story with some great metaphors about foxes and chickens, and it’s all colored with an undertone of danger to come. But there’s more to the story in Luke 13 than high drama.

Anne Howard: Knowing Better

Wednesday February 13, 2013
A wipe across the mirror is one practice, one step, in answer to the invitation of Lent, the invitation that is at the heart of the Christian life: transformation.

Anne Howard: Fierce Love, Healing Work

Wednesday February 06, 2013
Luke’s story of the Transfiguration (Luke 9) for this next Sunday makes it clear that the mountain high doesn’t last, and there is plenty of work to do down on the flatlands. Luke shows Jesus engaged in that healing work the very next day after the men come down from the mountaintop. Jesus takes the light to the place of need.

The Rev. Anne Sutherland Howard: The Chutzpah of Mary Magdalene

Friday March 26, 2010
Beatitudes Society executive director the Rev. Anne Sutherland Howard encourages churches to follow the example of Mary Magdalen this Easter--and show a little chutzpah when it comes to proclaiming social justice.

Video by The Rev. Anne Sutherland Howard

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The Rev. Anne Howard (Part 2) - Day1 Conversations with Peter Wallace

Tuesday February 16, 2010
The Rev. Anne Sutherland Howard sits down with Day1 host Peter Wallace to discuss the work of bringing social justice issues to the forefront of the modern church. Director of the Beatitudes Society, Rev. Howard explains why and how the issues of poverty, hunger and the environment are matters for the Christian faith.

The Rev. Anne Howard (Part 1) - Day1 Conversations with Peter Wallace

Tuesday February 16, 2010
The Rev. Anne Sutherland Howard talks with Day1 host Peter Wallace about the work of the Beatitudes Society and their programs to encourage and equip church leaders in the pursuit of justice, peace, and equality.