The Common Good

This Thanksgiving, Sojourners is Thankful for You

Sojomail - November 22, 2012

 GUEST COMMENTARY by God's Politics Editor

This Thanksgiving, Sojourners is Thankful for You

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This Thanksgiving, we at Sojourners are thankful for each of you — for your activism, your readership, your donations, your prayers. We could not do any of this work without your support. So for today’s SojoMail, we’d like to highlight just a few of the ways your participation and contributions have helped affect real change in Washington, across the country in your communities, and truly worldwide.

2012 Highlights

ADDRESSING POVERTY: Through the Circle of Protection, which Sojourners co-sponsors, we have brought national faith leaders together across party lines in support of principles that must inform the budget debate. It was this group of faith leaders that this summer convinced President Barack Obama and top Republican leaders to prevent cuts to programs that serve the poor. In 2012, the Circle successfully urged both presidential candidates to release 3-minute videos explaining how each would address poverty if elected. Both Gov. Mitt Romney and President Obama responded with thoughtful reflections. And just last week, Jim Wallis and others met with President Obama to discuss poverty and the fiscal cliff, urging a fair budget deal that doesn’t harm poor and vulnerable people.

With your support, Sojourners created a documentary film with the Emmy award-winning producer Linda Midgett called The Line, highlighting the stories of people living below the poverty line. Sojourners activists like you organized more than 2,000 screenings across the country and in 14 countries. Donors like you are helping us hand-deliver copies of The Line to all 535 members of Congress, so that they may be educated about the realities of poverty before they vote on issues that affect those living in it.

CALLING CHRISTIANS TO “LOVE YOUR NEIGHBORS:” This year, you helped us put up billboards and take out newspaper ads and subway ads that read “Love Your Muslim Neighbors” in response to hateful ads and violent attacks. This campaign included addressing hateful “jihad” ads that referred to Muslims as savages. In response, you helped erect our “Love Your Muslim Neighbors” billboards in Toledo, Ohio, Murfreesboro, Tenn., and Joplin, Mo.; a “Love Your Sikh Neighbors” in Oak Park, Wis.; and subway ads in the New York City and Washington, D.C., subway systems.

WORKING TOWARD IMMIGRATION REFORM: Sojourners helped launch the Evangelical Immigration Table, uniting leaders around principles for passing immigration reform. The White House and CNN have credited this group of evangelicals with influencing the President’s decision to extend protections and opportunities opened up for young people who were brought to the U.S. as children. With your prayers and support, these faith leaders recently called for legislation to be introduced during the first 92 days of President Obama’s second terms, since the Hebrew word for immigrant is mentioned 92 times in Scripture. 

CARING FOR CREATION: We know you recognize that creation care is the responsibility of all Christians. So Sojourners is mobilizing faith community to address climate change. More than 10,000 of you thanked President Obama for rejecting the Keystone XL Pipeline, and 5,500 of you sent emails to your senators to reject the pipeline. More than 4,100 signed a letter of appreciation and support for evangelical climate scientist Katharine Hayhoe after she was attacked by Rush Limbaugh. And more than 3,380 of you submitted comments to the EPA in support of new carbon pollution standards for new power plants. Our creation care director, Alycia Ashburn, testified to the EPA, highlighting several of your comments. With your help, we are continuing this important work to educate the faith community and our elected officials to the reality of climate change. 

TOP AWARDS FOR SOJOURNERS MAGAZINE: Once again Sojourners magazine won numerous awards for its outstanding quality. At this year’s Evangelical Press Association and Associated Church Press conventions, and the secular Folio awards, Sojourners received 23 awards in a wide range of areas, from interviews and spiritual reflections to culture reviews and design – plus, of course, Ed Spivey’s ever-popular humor column. No other magazine has received such honors from both the secular mainstream media and from religious press organizations across a wide theological spectrum. Thank you for your readership and feedback — it continues to make us better.

May you and your families have a blessed Thanksgiving!

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