The Common Good
Created by Brandon Hook/Sojourners. Photos: Nolte Lourens/Shutterstock and biker

With both Republicans and Democrats speaking out on poverty and the recession slowly receding, this should be an opportunity to find the focus, commitment, and strategies that could effectively reduce and ultimately eliminate the shameful facts of poverty in the world’s richest nation.

Pope Francis Catholic Church/Flickr/Creative Commons

In the heart of every man and woman is the desire for a full life, including that irrepressible longing for fraternity which draws us to fellowship with others and enables us to see them not as enemies or rivals, but as brothers and sisters to be accepted and embraced.

Infographic by Brandon Hook / Sojourners

Recent studies from both the Urban Institute and the Pew Forum tell the story of America's growing racial wealth gap. View and share this stunning infographic and read the important piece by Otis Moss III: "Poverty, when attached to race, is the original sin of America."

A recent Pew poll revealed a significant shift in American families. Four in 10 of this country’s households now rely primarily on the income of women. This is both good news and bad.

Homeless man, Kuzma / Shutterstock.com

Conservatives love to tell folks that the best way to end poverty, homelessness, and need is through the work and generosity of private individuals, not through government programs. ... Yet in a stroke of cruel hypocrisy, when charities actually address these issues in real life ... they are threatened with arrest.

About Sojourners Poverty & Budget

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.

Follow Sojourners Poverty & Budget

From the Magazine & Blog

In a township called Khayelitsha, a woman wakes well before dawn to catch a bus that will carry her to the beautiful home in Cape Town where her employer/boss/master wants his tea in bed by 7 a.m. That is what “post-apartheid” South Africa still looks like today. I just returned from a remarkable month in South Africa—the country that changed my life. I’ve often said that I learned my theology of hope from South Africa, during the anti-apartheid struggle I was thrust into as a young man. South African church leaders invited me in years ago. I got to see and experience the costly movement for freedom in the 1980s, witness the miracle of the inauguration of Nelson Mandela’s rainbow nation in 1994, and later join a wonderful reunion of South African activists, many of whom had been in exile or in prison, along with some of us international allies. So when I set out on a South African speaking and book tour 20 years after the new democracy, I didn’t know what to expect. This time, I brought my family so they could see the country that had meant so much to me. What I discovered was a new generation of South African leaders ready to define their own vocation and mission as they help build a new nation. I quickly came to understand that making a deep connection with them was the real reason that I had come back. It’s tough to be in the shadow of a heroic generation of leaders like Desmond Tutu whose agenda has been the political liberation of South Africa—accomplished to the amazement of the world. On this trip, 20 years later, I saw the incredible freedom of movement now for all the former racial categories—but also how the systemic geography of apartheid was still painfully evident. Economic inequality in South Africa is now greater than it was even during the days of apartheid, and gender violence is rampant. So these are the new agendas of a new generation: economic liberation and gender equality, with a commitment to lead on both in the churches. The rainbow of young people who turned up in such great numbers at all of our events truly want a new South Africa— a society yet to emerge.
Pastors, denominational leaders, under-employed seminary grads, active laity, Nones, seminary professors, and administrators let’s get moving! Let’s organize a viable movement that challenges Congress to work for the people, i.e., to work for our most important family values: life-sustaining incomes and affordable education.
Our nation has experienced a continual conservative policy shift for 35 years that has resulted in runaway markets and an ever widening economic gap between the rich and the rest of us
Many pastors who work full-time jobs and serve in congregations part-time receive little or no pay for their church service. This trend has been described as “the future of the church” and extolled because the model is a return to “the original church” that will “enliven congregations.”
I am not your employee. I am your pastor. I am poor. Any wealth I may posses comes directly from the pockets of others.