With all the bad news of late, it's heartening to read some hopeful news, especially about poverty. Stephen C. Smith, an economist and longtime Sojourners reader, points to some creative solutions to seemingly intractable problems, such as access to clean water. Ever heard of Play-Pumps? They're water pumps being used in South Africa and elsewhere that serve about 400 people each. Plus, they're fun--they double as merry-go-rounds for kids of all ages. The hard part is getting children off of them.
Promising stirrings in the ecumenical world also give reason for hope. For too long, our ecumenical bodies have remained strangely segregated, without the membership and insight of our pentecostal, evangelical, and Catholic brothers and sisters. Wesley Granberg-Michaelson, former Sojourners managing editor who now heads the Reformed Church in America, looks at why this is, and why true ecumenism must reflect the actual makeup of the 21st century church.
Another writer with Sojourners connections reports from Greensboro, North Carolina, on the first truth and reconciliation commission in the United States. Deanna Wylie Mayer, who volunteered in our office for a few weeks last year, tells the story of a terrible event that took place in Greensboro 25 years ago, and the hard--but hopeful--work of reconciliation.
And while we wish wed had a direct connection to Dietrich Bonhoeffer, the example of his life, which began 100 years ago this month, offers much in the way of hope. The question he and others in the Confessing Church movement tried to answer--how are we to live faithfully as Christians today?--is as pertinent as ever. The Editors