Inside Story

Inside Story

Winter brought far-flung trips for Sojourners staffers. Rose Marie Berger traveled to Colombia with Witness for Peace to learn about the front lines of the drug war there. Jim Wallis went to Jerusalem to participate in a gathering sponsored by Sabeel Ecumenical Liberation Theology Center.

Trips like these don't bring the usual souvenirs. Rose brought home photos of church workers and soldiers and survivors, the broken-hearted and the hard-hearted, trying to make their way in a country racked with pain and violence. Jim smuggled rubber bullets and bullet casings-picked up as his group visited Palestinian homes and neighborhoods-back to the United States in an empty Altoids tin. He brought ashes from the damaged walls of a Palestinian home that had been shelled-an attack that narrowly missed injuring the family's small children.

Most important, each came back with the stories of those they met, experiences of suffering, endurance, despair, and faith-all gathered and carried home carefully in notebooks, minds, and hearts. Now it is spring, and in resurrection hope we bring some of these stories to you, that in informing and being informed we can all extend solidarity, action, and the power of prayer to our brothers and sisters around the corner and around the globe. You'll find some of Rose's story in this issue's feature section. Jim's reflections on the Middle East will come in future issues. -The Editors

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Sojourners Magazine May-June 2001
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Inside Story

The best art bears truth-personal, communal, or both. Not with bumper sticker clarity and brevity, nor prescribed pleasantries, but by expressing meaning for the artist and evoking genuine reactions in the emotions and spirits of those who experience it. One thing of many that art and faith share is that each sometimes gets dismissed as frivolous. But those who create and believe know that in those acts existence may be at its most real.

Several articles in this issue put a spotlight on intersections of faith and art, showing a sampling of how they can mutually work for mercy, justice, and delight. Linda-Marie Delloff writes of myriad ways congregations are immersing themselves in the arts. Betty LaDuke writes and paints out of her growing intimacy with the people, history, and landscape of Eritrea. And a photo spread on Atlanta's Ebenezer Baptist Church's new building details how architecture can incarnate the history, strength, and spirit of a people.

Whether it gets you ready for prayer, protest, or finger-painting, we hope, as always, that you find plenty here to inspire! -The Editors

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Sojourners Magazine March-April 2001
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Inside Story

We've "renovated" [our print version] and you're invited to check out every nook and cranny. We are excited about the colorful new presentation, fresh layout, and debut offerings. Jim Wallis will tell you more in "Hearts & Minds."

Our look has changed throughout our 30-year history. What doesn't change is that Sojourners is as much shaped by human relationships as by computers and printing presses. Some of these connections are far-flung. So it was a rare treat last September when we were able to host contributing editor Karl Caspar. Since he lives in the Philippines, most of us had never met the man, though we knew his name and his work.

What an inspiring delight! Karl is his own opening band, cartographer, political scientist, and teacher, He led a group assembled in the Sojourners library in song, then taught us (on a map he'd drawn) about the geography, peoples, and struggles of the Philippines.

Then (like most lecturers?) he finished with a dance, As part of his mission work, Karl has familiarized himself with the songs and dances of many Filipino peoples. So he slipped behind a partition, re-emerged in costume, and gave us a rendition of a sinuous dance from one of the Philippines' smaller islands. We can't bring you his dance, but you can learn more about him and his work in the interview inside.

Finally, a hearty thanks to the Lilly Endowment and the Henry Luce Foundation whose support helped make possible all the changes you'll find within. -The Editors

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Sojourners Magazine January-February 2001
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Inside Story

Full disclosure must be made: Cheryl and Ralph Broetje once sent us a box of apples after a visit to our office. This is NOT why we wrote an article about their orchard operation (see Core Values). In fact, at least one of our editors is allergic to apples, and several of the rest only eat fruits and vegetables because our building has not candy vending machines.

Nope, it wasn't the produce that led us to send managing editor Jim Rice to Washington state to interview the Broetjes. Nor was it the fact that Jim's high school reunion was being held nearby (although that might have had something to do with the timing). Rather, it's that Cheryl and Ralph have instituted innovative, extensive support systems for the workers who harvest their crops. Successful businesspeople who place faith, justice, and community above the bottom line is always a story worth telling.

Also in this issue, assistant editor Rose Berger gathers an engaging collection of ethical "thoughtbites" on the human genome project; Kimberly Burge profiles folk artist Dar Williams; and editor Jim Wallis makes a case for letting God hang around the public square.

Oh, just to dispel any potential confusion: A genome is not the small, bearded figure with pointed hat often found as kitschy lawn art. The gene that leads people to put pink flamingos in front yards and plastic Santas on garage roofs may never be found.

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Sojourners Magazine November-December 2000
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Inside Story

The Internet has made hate groups highly visible, completely anonymous, and available to a potentially limitless audience. Who are these groups, what are their strategies, and what can we do to fight back. AND: A look at some promising health programs that minister to the whole person. AND: Globalization is not only selling goods, but a way of life. It's time to return to the parable of the mighty mustard seed. AND: A medical missions team heading to the Sudan found itself giving emergency aid to refugees in Uganda. Were they sowing, reaping, or something in between? ALSO: Affrilachian poets; biblical reflections on Jerusalem, the Holy City; questioning the military role in Kosovo; Tito Puente; rogue potlucks. —The Editors

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Sojourners Magazine September-October 2000
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Inside Story

Millions of people died in the slave trade. African AIDS deaths will soon exceed those horrendous numbers. The future of the continent isn't all that's at stake. ALSO: For the Jetsons and other denizens of the future, what will church life be like in the year 2054?; Charitable Choice, what it is, what it isn't, and how it could transform social services in this country; Revelations in black and white: Barry Moser's new illustrated Bible; The Waiting: something so commonplace as receiving a visitor is a momentous and memorable event in prison. PLUS: Another look at the IMF/World Bank protests; saying no to Disneyfication; Saint Dorothy Day; faith and community at the Bruce Sprinsteen show; and more…

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Sojourners Magazine July-August 2000
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Inside Story

A rag-tag movement of churches, development organizations, and trade unions, sprinkled with the fairy dust of celebrities like U2's Bono and Muhammed Ali, got Jubilee 2000 off the ground and running. What's ahead. ALSO: "The churches are united against poverty." Think you've heard that before? Think again. More than 50 leaders of church organizations came together this winter to launch a covenant for economic justice. —The Editors

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Sojourners Magazine May-June 2000
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Inside Story

In the new millennium, faith will be known by action. We need to break through the individualistic and privatized approach to spirituality and reconnect with real community. An excerpt from the forthcoming Faith Works: Lessons from the Life of an Activist Preacher, by Jim Wallis.

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Sojourners Magazine March-April 2000
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Inside Story

What's good for General Motors---and other megacorporations---isn't necessarily good for the rest of us. But businesses are discovering that the Golden Rule is good for business, and that ethics and values go much deeper than a gilded corporate policty statement. —The Editors

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Sojourners Magazine January-February 2000
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Inside Story

Assistant editor Rose Marie Berger traveled to Bosnia and Kosovo in July as part of a pilgrimage led by Don McClanen, founder of an organization called Ministry of Money. This was Rose's second trip to Bosnia; the first was in 1996. In both of these journeys she encountered people who showed the many faces of Jesus: scarred, forgiving, grieving, hopeful, raging...loving beyond what would seem the limit of love. In countries so battered by violence and evil, sometimes even a glimpse of life can be as a miracle. In a Kosovar refugee camp outside of Sarajevo, a man asked Don to look for information about his brother, who was presumed dead in Kosovo. With names, dates, and last known locations written on a scrap of recycled newspaper with a pen that was running out of ink, Don and Rose went to the Red Cross in Pristina. They were able to determine that the brother was alive and in a Serbian prison that was being monitored by the Red Cross. The Red Cross sent tracking information to each brother. Rose says that making this connection was for her perhaps the most satisfying part of the trip. As this Advent season approaches, our hope is that the people that Rose and our other writers introduce you to in this issue will reveal something of Christ incarnate in the world.

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Sojourners Magazine November-December 1999
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