The Common Good

Election 2012 Campaigns

Budgets are moral documents. How a nation spends its resources is not fundamentally about economics or politics, but reflective of the values it holds.  As Jesus tells us in Matthew 25, “Whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.”

Christians are called to care for the poor and vulnerable. Our concern for the least among us follows directly from our faith. It is at the very heart of the Gospel.

Our leaders often ignore the voices of those living in poverty. Wealthy special interests, large corporations, and those with political power influence the system for their own gain. Sojourners seeks to lift up those who aren’t being heard to create a world where justice can roll down like waters and righteousness like an ever-flowing stream.

As policymakers continue to fight about fiscal and budget issues, we have joined with a diverse group of Christian organizations to form a Circle of Protectionthat calls upon our elected leaders to protect programs that serve the most vulnerable in our nation and around the world.

In a world marred by violence and destruction, we must remember the words of Jesus: Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God (Matthew 5:9).

Our world faces a major challenge of how to resolve conflicts, reduce violence, and defeat terrorism without preemptive war. War has too often become the first choice instead of the last resort. In a world with terrorists, terrorist states, unilateralist superpowers, and weapons of mass destruction, alternatives to an endless cycle of violence are needed. As an organization, we articulate the prophetic call to peace and help Christians engage their political leaders to seek alternatives to war.

Sojourners has an historic commitment to confronting violence and being a consistent witness to the Biblical call for peacemaking. Founded in the 1970s, at the height of the Vietnam War, our initial mission was to bring the call to end that war into the evangelical church. In the years since, we have played a leading role in the movement for nuclear disarmament, opposing the first Gulf War, the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and threats of attack against Iran.  

“God saw everything that God had made, and indeed, it was very good” (Genesis 1:31). The earth and the fragile atmosphere that blankets it are God’s good creation for the sustenance and enjoyment of all living things. In Scripture, Christians are called by God to be stewards of the earth. Our policies and practices must protect creation from interests and activities that damage it.

Human-induced climate change is responsible for major ecological disruptions that impact the poor and vulnerable first and most heavily.  From low-income residents of New York City to subsistence farmers in sub-Saharan Africa, those who are most affected by environmental degradation are those who are least able to respond.

Through our Creation Care programs, Sojourners is living out the biblical call of stewardship by working with a diverse group of partners to educate Christians about the need to reverse climate change, advance policies that prioritize clean air and water, and promote individual and legislative actions that support efficient, sustainable, and renewable energy sources. 

Sojourners is committed to equipping faith leaders and organizers, building their capacity to organize local and regional faith networks, and helping them to use their unique gifts in the broader struggle for a just world.

At many times in history, people of faith have marshaled their unique gifts of faith and brought them to bear on issues of public justice and the common good. In the U.S., various movements—for abolition, labor unions, women’s suffrage, civil rights, and environmental justice—have all been shaped at their core by faith-filled convictions that each of us are created in the image of God and, therefore, equally worthy of the protection of the law.

People of faith rose up to join or lead these movements—each time calling America to live into its own dreams. Each case now stands as evidence of the power of faith communities to organize toward the biblical vision of shalom (holistic peace).

During its early days of radical community, Sojourners was active in the art of community-based public witness in the depressed Columbia Heights neighborhood of Washington, D.C.  Forty years later— for such as time as this—we are equipping and building local and regional faith networks to offer their unique gifts to the broader struggle for a just world.

 

Women are made God’s image and likeness (Genesis 1:27). When Christians embrace this as a core tenet of faith, we can model the human family as God created it to be. All Christians — regardless of gender — are called by God to exercise their gifts with equal authority and equal responsibility. As it says in the early church’s baptismal covenant, “There is no longer Jew or Greek, there is no longer slave or free, there is no longer male and female; for all of you are one in Christ Jesus” (Galatians 3:8).

Since the 1970s, Sojourners has been committed to resisting sexism in all its forms, while affirming the integrity and equality of women and men in the church and in the larger world. Sojourners magazine was one of the first evangelical publications to lift up feminism, and today a new generation is looking to us as a “go-to” place for perspectives on gender justice and women’s voices in faith communities.

Through Sojourners’ expanded multimedia platforms and growing network of partnerships, we are lifting up diverse women’s voices who are passionate about justice and motivated by their faith. Through biblical education, creative advocacy, and bridge building, we champion policies at home and abroad that fortify women’s health and dignity through eliminating gender discrimination and abuse, supporting pay equity, and increase economic empowerment.

Racial and economic division persists in our world and within the body of Christ. The Uncommon Tour helps college campuses and churches to make the connection between faith, poverty, and racial equity for the common good. Through preaching, teaching, and training Uncommon equips communities to engage issues of justice in the public square in a way that draws from the roots of Christianity and leads to ongoing advocacy in partnership with “the least of these.”

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