The Common Good

Media Advisories and Press Releases

A delegation of U.S. religious leaders returning from a week-long trip to Iran will hold a Washington, D.C. press conference on Monday, February 26 to brief reporters on their meetings with the Iranian president and Iranian religious leaders. This is the first religious delegation to meet with an Iranian president in Iran since the revolution in 1979. The 13-person religious delegation, which included Jeff Carr, Chief Operations Officer of Sojourners/Call to Renewal, traveled to Iran to encourage a dialogue in the hope of averting a war. The group is scheduled to meet with the Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in Tehran on Saturday before flying back to Washington. The religious leaders will brief members of Congress on the result of their trip in the coming weeks. “I am convinced that the only path for a true and lasting peace with justice will require that we find a way to tell our stories and to have our stories heard,” said Carr. “Then we must begin to write a new narrative together, one that comes out of humility, mutual respect, and shared understanding. May God help both our nations and peoples to begin the healing and reconciliation process so we may avoid war and build that lasting peace.”
Washington, D.C. ----- (Tuesday, February 20, 2007) Thousands of Christians---Evangelicals, Protestants, and Catholics--- from across the country will worship together on March 16th to mark the fourth anniversary of the Iraq War with public prayer, a candlelight procession through the center of the nation’s capital, vigils in cities and towns throughout the country and a protest culminating with 1500 Christians surrounding the White House with the light of peace. The Christian Peace Witness, organized by a broad cross section of Christian denominational peace groups and organizations, is expected to be the largest peace gathering of Christians expressing opposition to the war since it began four years ago. Prominent religious leaders and peace activists, including Jim Wallis, Celeste Zappala, Bernice Powell Jackson, and Raphael Warnock will speak at a worship service, which begins at 7 p.m. at the Washington National Cathedral in Washington D.C on Friday, March 16, 2007.
The Weekly Standard 02/19/2007
"I think we can be a bridge that doesn't exist otherwise," United Methodist lobby official Jim Winkler told his denomination's news service. ""We are trying to change U.S. foreign policy from one based on confrontation, domination and intimidation to one of peace and cooperation and diplomacy." The delegation was organized by the Washington, D.C. lobby offices of the Quakers and the Mennonites and is a follow up of sorts to a meeting that several dozen religious officials, including Winkler, had with Ahmadinejad in New York last October. This time, the group will also meet with former Iranian president Mohammad Khatami, who spoke at the Episcopal Church's National Cathedral in Washington, D.C. in September. Besides Winkler, the Quakers, and the Mennonites, the delegation to Iran includes representatives from the National Council of Churches, Sojourners (Jim Wallis' evangelical-left group), and Pax Christi, a liberal Catholic group.
“A growing number of American evangelical Christians, mainline Protestants, and Catholics believe that a diplomatic solution is possible in Iran and the only path to real security for all people living in the Middle East,” said Carr. “Americans are realizing that the Iraq War is causing greater instability, and continuing bloodshed, throughout the region. We pray that dialogue with various people in Iran may offer new hope in this tense time between our countries.” Rev. Carr will be blogging about the visit at
Washington , D.C. – In accepting Sen. Harry Reid’s unprecedented invitation, Rev. Jim Wallis will become the first nonpartisan religious leader to speak on the Democratic Party’s weekly radio address, broadcast nationally on radio stations everywhere this Saturday, December 2, 2006 . Rev. Wallis has become a leading progressive evangelical voice calling on both parties to set a new and different tone for our public discourse.
In this election, both the Religious Right and the secular Left were defeated, and the voice of the moral center was heard. A significant number of candidates elected are social conservatives on issues of life and family, economic populists, and committed to a new direction in Iraq. This is the way forward: a grand new alliance between liberals and conservatives, Democrats and Republicans, one that can end partisan gridlock and involves working together for real solutions to pressing problems.
Jim Wallis, bestselling author of God’s Politics: Why the Right Gets It Wrong and the Left Doesn’t Get It, and founder of Sojourners/Call to Renewal, commented today on Ted Haggard’s time of trial in a blog entry entitled “We Are All Sinners.” Deeply saddened, Wallis writes, “Some critics of religion, and evangelicals in particular, will say this situation shows that all Christians and their leaders are hypocrites. That’s not true, but it does remind us that all Christians, and their leaders, are sinners with their own “darkness” in deep need of the light of Christ.”
More than 100 Christian, Muslim, and Jewish religious leaders released a statement titled “Words, Not War” calling for direct talks with Iran and condemning military action as a solution to the nuclear standoff. In a conversation with the press, Jim Wallis explained: “We, as people of faith, take the threat of nuclear weapons very seriously. But in the present nuclear standoff and showdown between the U.S. government and Iran, we don’t believe there are any military solutions.”
Expecting nearly 2,000 religious voters for a Candidates’ Public Meeting on Values, the organizers of Voting Our Faith 2006 are waiting for confirmations from candidates running in tightly contested races in Ohio. This historic candidates’ forum has been organized by The AMOS Project and Sojourners/Call to Renewal with the Archdiocese of Cincinnati as a co-sponsor. To date, several weeks after the invitations were sent, the following candidates are eager to meet with religious voters and have accepted the invitation: Candidates Sherrod Brown, John Cranley, Victoria Wulsin, Phil Heimlich, and David Pepper.
Sojourners/Call to Renewal applauds the recent introduction of two pieces of legislation in the House of Representatives aimed at dramatically reducing abortions in this country. We hope these two bills (the Abortion Reduction Act and the Pregnant Women Support Act) will help deepen the national conversation and lead to concrete action.
The Red Letter Christians, a newly formed group of progressive religious leaders, launched its Voting Our Values campaign with Sojourners/Call to Renewal at the National Press Club yesterday. The Red Letter Christians, who are a mix of evangelical, mainline Protestant, and Catholic leaders, speak in a diverse chorus of voices on the importance of a broader and deeper national conversation on faith and politics.
As electoral campaigns are heating up around the nation, “Values Voters” are under intense scrutiny by the media and political operatives. The Christian Right has often implicitly defined “values voters” as the powerful white evangelical Christian segment of the voting electorate. Yet, among religious voters, even among white evangelicals, there is a growing progressive Christian segment. These religious voters are the other “values voters” who are asking for a different moral agenda, beyond the narrow monologue of the Christian right about gay marriage and abortion. Over 18 months ago, Jim Wallis’ best-selling God’s Politics: Why the Left Doesn’t Get It and the Right Gets it Wrong started the conversation about faith and politics in public life. On the eve of the Christian Right’s Values Voter Summit in Washington, Jim Wallis will introduce the media to the Red Letter Christians, who are progressive religious leaders committed to speaking biblically about a moral agenda that will unite rather than divide Americans.
Los Angeles, CA – September 7, 2006 – Jim Wallis, founder/CEO of Sojourners/Call to Renewal, joined a diverse coalition of religious leaders from PICO L.A. and Clergy United for Economic Justice (CLUE L.A.) in support of Proposition 86 with a simple message: Providing health care to 800,000 of California’s most vulnerable children is a moral and religious imperative. Area faith leaders challenged tobacco companies to stop their $29 million campaign against Proposition 86, and they have launched a faith-based grassroots campaign to inform voters in congregations of the measure’s positive health benefits—especially for children.
This three-day Christian mobilization will convene Democrats and Republicans alike. Low-income families are too often stuck between liberal and conservative arguments; our country needs a new alliance that makes overcoming poverty a nonpartisan cause. Confirmed speakers include: Sens. Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, Rick Santorum and Sam Brownback. Governor Howard Dean, Chair of the DNC will Rev. Jim Wallis, founder of Sojourners and author of the bestseller God’s Politics, will be joined by hundreds of grassroots and faith-based anti-poverty church leaders, lay leaders, social service providers, and activists young and old.
More than two dozen national religion leaders will gather next week to make an historic commitment to overcoming poverty.
Nearly 600 faith and lay leaders from across America expected to attend annual Christian mobilization sponsored by Sojourners and Call to Renewal
Rev. Russell Johnson, Founder and Chairman of the Ohio Restoration Project, and Rev. Jim Wallis, founder of Sojourners and best-selling author of God’s Politics: Why the Right Gets it Wrong and the Left Doesn’t Get It will participate in a Town Hall conversation. The moderator will be Ohio Public Radio Broadcaster, Bill Cohen. A panel of Ohio-based journalists and broadcasters will also participate in the conversation.
These local and national religious leaders will call for an end to the Religious Right’s monologue surrounding faith and politics and stand up as the progressive religious voice for Christians in Pennsylvania whose faith motivates them to care deeply about issues rooted in moral values, including fighting poverty, advancing environmental justice, promoting a real pro-family agenda and questioning the ethics of war.
“Faith and Politics in America: Two Evangelical Perspectives.” Rev. Jim Wallis, founder of Sojourners and author of God’s Politics, and Rev. Russell Johnson, Founder and Chairman of the Ohio Restoration Project, will participate in a historic, honest and wide-ranging town hall conversation with Ohio citizens on the moral priorities of our nation.
Sojourners 01/09/2006
More than 1,600 people from across the country are expected to participate in Politics and Spirituality: Seeking a Public Integrity, a sold-out conference that will feature the political, literary, and spiritual gifts of three nationally renowned speakers and authors: Jim Wallis, Anne Lamott, and Father Richard Rohr. The conference is timely for a nation torn and divided by political strife and yet somehow seeking the Beloved Community uplifted by the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.