A Sojourners Homecoming

Commentary
By Adam Taylor 3-29-2018
Image via Sojourners

Here at Sojourners, we are excited to share that Rev. Adam Taylor has returned to the organization to serve as Executive Director. Both Adam and Sojourners Founder Jim Wallis shared some reflections on this transition in a recent column welcoming Adam back, and we also wanted Adam to offer a few words with you, our beloved community of supporters.

It has been a good homecoming back to Sojourners. These first few months in my new role as the Executive Director have been a great re-immersion into all facets of Sojourners’ work and mission. It has been gratifying to get to know so many of our staff, particularly so many who have joined since I left almost ten years ago. These conversations have further reinforced that we have an incredibly dedicated, passionate, and talented staff.

Next week we will be remembering and commemorating the 50th anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King’s tragic assassination. 1968 is a particularly poignant year for me personally because it is the year my black mother and white father made the controversial decision to marry. They both instilled in me a deep belief that our diversity as a nation is a strength, and not a weakness, and to aspire toward building a society that mirrors King’s vision of a beloved community. Sojourners' long-standing work of inspiring and empowering people to put their faith into action feels even more imperative for such a time as this when the soul of our nation and the very witness of the church is imperiled and tested.

In the coming months, I plan to focus on fleshing out a longer-term strategy for our mobilizing work, which will include how we better equip, empower, and engage our supporters, partners, and churches to take action. As we revamp and strengthen our existing Matthew 25 campaign, we can pilot some of these ideas and strategies. We are also building an exciting partnership with the African American Clergy Network to engage in voter protection, particularly in parts of the country facing the biggest risk of disenfranchisement. I’m also working with Board and staff members to enhance and strengthen our international engagement and partnerships.

In my first lead Sojomail column, I shared the following reflection on my spiritual and vocational journey back to Sojourners"

I return to Sojourners believing our nation and the world need the moral and prophetic voice of the church. It has been painful to watch the gospel be hijacked and betrayed by the seemingly unconditional support of far too many Christians of a president whose leadership has been steeped in bigotry, narcissism, misogyny, xenophobia, deceit, and disregard for the rule of law. The pledge to “Make America Great Again” is coded language for making America white again — and “America First” fuels a misguided and dangerous isolationism and nationalism. I have the audacity to believe that at its best the church is both a balm that heals many of our most intractable divisions as well as a vehicle that challenges and changes hearts and minds to pursue the common good and prioritize the disinherited. The church must be the conscience that changes the very temperature of society. ... Now is the time to be creatively maladjusted to the world around us. But we can’t simply withdraw or bask in our self-righteousness. We must be agents of kingdom transformation.

I’m grateful and excited about the opportunity to sojourn with you as we work together to inspire a deeper commitment with the church and beyond to be agents of kingdom transformation.

 Rev. Adam Taylor is Executive Director of Sojourners. 

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