The Common Good

MLK and the Mountain Moving Business

Sojomail - January 15, 2009


QUOTE OF THE WEEK

Hamas has pushed Israeli thinking back 30 years. It has killed the peace camp.

- Boaz Gaon, an Israeli playwright and peace activist, whom The New York Times reports "found it deeply depressing how the Israeli public had embraced the military’s arguments in explaining the deaths of civilians. But he was livid at Hamas, both for what it had done to its own people and civilians in the south, and for its impact on the Israeli left." (Source: The New York Times)

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Hearts & Minds by Jim Wallis

MLK and the Mountain Moving Business

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This article was Jim Wallis' contribution when invited to write a guest post on the blog for USA Service, a campaign to encourage national service in observance of Martin Luther King Day. In conjunction, Sojourners has created a special site at www.sojo.net/mlk to encourage personal, community, and national commitment to change.

Faith is believing in spite of the evidence and then watching the evidence change.

On the third Monday of January, our country sets aside a day in remembrance of the life and the work of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. To remember King is to act like him. The change that King led is not contained within museums, monuments, or mausoleums, but lives vibrantly on in the people of social movements -- people who believe that, step by step, a divided country can be united and broken spirits can be uplifted.

Sojourners is the country's leading faith-based advocacy organization that reaches, connects, and mobilizes people of faith from diverse backgrounds. We recognize that the challenges of the economy, the environment, and threats to life and peace across the world look like mountains before us. This is why we are rooted in faith, because faith is in the mountain moving business.

With the great challenges before us, we know that moving mountains takes more than just one day of service. We must remember the words of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.:

On the one hand, we are called to play the Good Samaritan on life's roadside, but that will be only an initial act. One day we must come to see that the whole Jericho Road must be transformed so that men and women will not be constantly beaten and robbed as they make their journey on life's highway.

The call to transform our personal and family lives, build up our own communities, and change this country on the really big issues is before each of us now. This might seem overwhelming, but it doesn't have to be. Our site and USAservice.org are dedicated to providing resources and connections for people of faith and conscience across the country who are ready to believe in spite of the evidence and then watch the evidence change.

This is a day when Americans will be "Good Samaritans" in thousands of communities across the country, volunteering in service projects of all kinds. I invite you to make a commitment to hope and change -- not just for one day, but for a movement, for a lifetime.

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INSIDE SOJOURNERS MAGAZINE

Walter Brueggemann on the Economic Crisis

Listen in as renowned theologian Walter Brueggemann talks with Sojourners about how the economic crisis is affecting his life and how he is turning to God’s word for guidance.

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ON THE GOD'S POLITICS BLOG

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In talking about taking the process of personal change through Christ to the "next level," Pastor Efrem describes our citizenship in the kingdom of God (which trumps all earthly citizenships); the "open borders" of that kingdom (which model a biblical perspective on immigration); and our need to continually seek God's "blessing and not a bailout" (hint: it's not about money).
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Racial Reconciliation: A Necessary Conversion
by Lynne Hybels

In 2001, my husband Bill was jolted out of racial complacency. Through books he read and conversations he had with African-American pastors, he was broken by the reality of ongoing racial injustice in the U.S. He describes it as having a kind of "second conversion," where the scales fell off his eyes and he suddenly saw with horrible clarity of something that broke the heart of God and ought to break his heart.
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Come to the MLK Day Open House at Sojourners
by Jennifer Svetlik

Right now at Sojourners we are feeling the energy of all the activities planned around the inauguration—the concerts, worship services, MLK day of service, and of course, the parade and inaugural address. We know that many of our friends and supporters will be traveling to D.C., and we would like to invite all of you to join Sojourners for a time of prayer, reflection, and celebration of the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. on Monday, January 19, 1-3 p.m.
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This Feels Like Family: The Obama Inauguration and Beyond
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My Obama Inauguration Benediction: A Singular Moment in Time
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A Poem in Honor of National Human Trafficking Awareness Day
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Sunday, January 11, was National Human Trafficking Awareness Day. I wrote this poem, And to the Little Ones, in honor of the day. It was originally performed as a spoken word piece at All Angels Church in New York City.
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Creating a New American Ethos
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As a person of mixed Native American and white ancestry, I am concerned about the possibility of a multi-ethnic America eventually turning into something resembling a less ambitious form of South African Apartheid, with a minority white government setting a harsh agenda for the "ethnic" majority. As new possibilities emerge from the president-elect's nomination, white Americans can already be heard resisting these changes while ethnic minority folks are complaining about the lack of "color" in recent appointments.
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Do you have family or friends on the mission field who are women? How many of them preach, teach, and exercise their gifts of leadership beside men on the mission field? Yet, many of the churches that send these women to the mission field do not provide opportunities for them to preach, teach, or exercise leadership when they return home.
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Taking Aid to Gaza and Israel
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Slumdog Millionaire: In the Midst of Spiritual Winnowing, Love Wins
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SOJOURNERS IN THE NEWS

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Top Stories:

Inaugural Prayers
Religion News Service
President-elect Barack Obama drew heavy criticism from gay rights groups when he tapped California megachurch pastor Rick Warren to pray at his upcoming Jan. 20 inauguration after Warren campaigned for a state constitutional amendment that banned gay marriage. Religion News Service asked several religious leaders what they would have prayed for if they had been asked, including the Rev. Jim Wallis of Sojourners. +Click to continue


Obama invites Sharon Watkins to lead national prayer service
Worldwide Faith News
President-elect Obama has invited the Rev. Dr. Sharon Watkins to preach at the National Prayer Service in the National Cathedral on January 21. Watkins is General Minister and President of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) and an active member of the National Council of Churches Governing Board. Dr. Watkins also is a board member of Sojourners, a Washington, D.C. based group which seeks to build a movement that puts faith to work for justice. +Click to continue


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"Sojourners in the news" articles are the most recent news clippings that mention Sojourners in any way -- whether favorably or unfavorably. Though we provide the text on our site for your convenience, we do not necessarily endorse the views of these articles or their source publications.


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VISIT SOJOURNERS! During this historic moment in Washington, D.C., join Sojourners on MLK Day, January 19, from 1-3 p.m. for reflections by Jim Wallis and Dr. Vincent Harding. Afterwards take time to tour the Sojourners’ office. Click here to RSVP!

Starting or directing a faith-based volunteer/mission program? Attend Catholic Network of Volunteer Service’s Formation Workshop and learn about operating and maintaining a full-time, Christian-based program. Learn more and register for this 3-day workshop.

The Mandala Center seeks new executive director. Ecumenical retreat center in dramatic northeastern New Mexico. Further information on center at www.mandalacenter.org. Send e-mail to jjohnson@rockrivertrust.com for full job description and application directions.

Israel - Palestine - Iran - Iraq. What do you know about the Middle East? It is crucial for Christians to understand this region so they can work for a just peace. Learn more with Sojourners’ study guide, Christians and the Middle East.

Politics - the classic question of who gets what, when, and how? What should Christians do to change the answers to that question? Explore this issue with Sojourners’ four-part study, Christians and Politics. Learn more.

The Great Awakening: Seven Ways to Change the World -- Jim Wallis’ latest NY Times bestseller is now out in paperback. Order yours today and get a free downloadable study guide!


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