FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 30, 2021
Contact: Lyndsay Monsen
Sojourners Releases New Resource for Faith Communities Grappling with Toxic Polarization
“Politically Divided Congregations” Guides Churches Through Tough Topics
WASHINGTON, DC – In response to the toxic polarization gripping many parts of the country, Sojourners has developed a new curriculum to encourage civil conversation in places of worship, a major facet of American life. Titled “Politically Divided Congregations: A Curriculum for Reconciliation and Transformation,” the 53-page resource includes conversation questions, prayers, and scripture passages meant to deepen participants’ understanding of the biblical call to justice.
“Pastors and clergy often hold a great deal of moral authority and are still some of the most trusted voices in their communities,” said Sojourners President Adam Russell Taylor. “It is our sincere hope that this curriculum provides practical tools and tips for politically divided churches to create space for civil dialogue around social and political issues and to provide a theological foundation for transformative, faith-inspired engagement in anti-racism and justice work.”
The curriculum covers many topics, including the early church community described in Acts 2 and the concept of “imago dei,” the belief and central tenet of faith-based advocacy that all human beings are created in the image of God. Participants of the curriculum also spend a significant amount of time discussing the influence of the media on politics, as well as how their upbringing has shaped their political beliefs today. This content is all designed to foster a deeper understanding of why participants hold particular viewpoints and opinions and allow for well-informed discussion around typically sensitive issues.
“This study gives us some approaches to sit with each other to listen deeply and craft a way forward in the midst of great polarization in the US as we bear witness to the limitless love of God,” said Dr. Terri Owens, General Minister and President, Christian Church (Disciples of Christ). The curriculum is also endorsed by Colin Watson, Executive Director, Christian Reformed Church; Rev. Phil Haslanger, United Church of Christ; and Rev. Dr. Richard Hamm, Disciples of Christ & Center for Congregations.
More information is available here.
About Sojourners - Sojourners, a faith-inspired nonprofit, works with Christians to put their faith into action in the passionate pursuit of social justice, peace, and environmental stewardship. Sojourners articulates the biblical call to social justice through its independent magazine and online publication and convenes, equips, and mobilizes people while building alliances for effective advocacy and working in partnership with people of conscience and from other faith traditions. https://sojo.net/