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Magazine

Sojourners Magazine: August 2013

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IMPLEMENTATION of the Affordable Care Act (aka Obamacare) is proceeding, yet our health-care system is still broken, with too many people without adequate coverage or quality care. People of faith are stepping into the breach with a recognition that healing is both physical and spiritual. Alicia de los Reyes takes us inside the world of Pentecostal faith healing for the revival of a tradition of healing that goes back to the time of Jesus. And veteran journalist Bob Smietana describes a new cooperation between churches and health-care providers in Memphis, Tenn. The Congregational Health Network now includes more than 500 congregations working with a local hospital system to provide education and support networks for patients.

Healing, in the broadest sense, has many roots. Reta Halteman Finger writes of the “littlest ones” who are at the heart of the reign of God that Jesus lived and preached. Wesley Granberg-Michaelson applies the same insights to the sizable migration to the U.S. and its challenge for local churches to live the connection between God’s love and their stance toward the “other.”

Tornados, hurricanes, wildfires, and floods remind us of the continuing escalation of climate change. Experiences created by these extreme weather events—the loss of homes and neighborhoods, changes in lifestyle, and even the sense that a part of God is being lost—can lead to profound grief. Katharine M. Preston suggests that recognizing the “tasks of mourning” could help in grieving those losses—and moving to action.

Our Commentary section explores the ongoing scandal of the Guantanamo Bay prison, the tragic factory collapse in Bangladesh, and the injustice of mandatory minimum sentencing laws. All three come from neglecting what Catholic social teaching calls the dignity of the human person and failing to honor the sacredness of all those  made in the image of God. 

Cover Story

Is faith healing a sign that the Spirit is moving—or a response to economic pressure and a broken health-care system?
Memphis' Congregational Health Network has become a model for how hospitals and faith communities can work together.

Feature

As demographics shift and migration brings global Christianity to the church down the street, how will U.S. congregations respond?
After more than two decades of defiant work for peace, Kathy Kelly continues to move others to love and action.
To confront climate change, we may need to first deal with our grief.
In Matthew's gospel, the "littlest ones" are key to the upside-down kingdom.

Commentary

Guantanamo reminds us of the fragility of constitutional democracy.
What Catholic social teaching says about those who make our clothes
Mandatory minimum sentences are both irrational and unjust.

Columns

We need to hear more about the people committed to peace.
Laments engage "the most unbearable questions of faith."
"Control is an illusion that we all pursue."
Sorry. Disasters aren't budgeted this year.
I felt the horror of a kid caught in a grade school coolness competition.

Culture Watch

"Conversations in Transition: Leading South African Voices," David Philip Publishers
"The Evangelicals You Don't Know: Introducing the Next Generation of Christians," Rowman & Littlefield Publishers
Reimagining the geographies of the city—a place where the story of our salvation is played out.
Bobby McFerrin's "don't worry" optimism sets up some serious cognitive dissonance with the spirituals.
If beauty heals the world, and the best criticism of the bad is the practice of the better, who's up for demanding a better cinema experience?
Four August 2013 culture recommendations from our Editors
"Beyond the Possible: 50 Years of Creating Radical Change at a Community Called Glide," HarperOne

Departments

Letter to the Editors
Reflections on the Revised Common Lectionary, Cycle C
Letter to the Editors
Letter to the Editors
Letter to the Editors
Letter to the Editors

Web Extra

As Ramzi Kysia writes in "The Song Remains" (Sojourners, August 2013), after decades of work, Kathy Kelly’s commitment to peace and nonviolence remains strong.
As climate change takes its toll on the Earth, many people are paralyzed by inaction—perhaps not out of fear or guilt, but because of despair. To confront climate change, we may need to first deal with our sense of grief, argues Katharine M.
Preview Ronit Avni's inspiring films about nonviolence in the Holy Land.
The Global Fund has a plan to win the fight against the three major diseases of poverty—and it's working.
Marvel at the beautiful stories to tell in U.S. cities