SINCE OUR EARLIEST days publishing in tabloid format on newsprint, Sojourners (nee The Post-American) has never sought to be slick or trendy. But the magazine has always addressed timely issues, and we want our look and feel to reflect that. That means, every decade or so, we’ve engaged in a process of redesigning the visual presentation of the magazine. You’re currently holding the fruits of our latest effort in your hands, and we hope you love it as much as we do.
Some of the changes in our pages will be obvious: We have a new logo, new fonts, and new departments and columns. But while the look may be new, it’s rooted in our beginnings more than 40 years ago. When we launched The Post-American in 1971, we sought to convey the bold, countercultural nature of our message with arresting, artistic imagery and text that leapt off the page. The cover of the first issue, featuring Jesus draped in the American flag with the line “and they crucified Him,” feels as painfully timely today as it did in 1971. We felt the Spirit moving us in our vocation to model that prophetic truth-telling-to-power ethic—for which we have always been known—even more strongly in our updated visual presentation.
Accordingly, you may notice in this issue and should expect to see going forward a stronger focus on art in our graphics and an embrace of some new styles for us. Overall, we hope this new design by Metaleap Creative will evoke a contemporary take on our roots as a scrappy, student-created paper, which you will see reflected at points in our typography and art choices. Carrying that legacy forward also means that we are doubling down on seeking strong writing, photography, and reporting on the intersection of faith and social justice from different generations, countries, and backgrounds.
I think you will like our new, diverse, and dynamic columnists and be grateful for the many unique and powerful voices who continue with us as both columnists and contributing editors. I’m also excited to welcome Sojourners’ executive director, Adam Russell Taylor, who will be alternating with me in writing the opening column, beginning in August.
While our look may be different, our commitment to be an essential voice on faith and social justice remains as strong as ever as we look to the months and years ahead. The perilous political moment in which we find ourselves must lead to more than resistance and survival. Like any historical moment, this one offers the opportunity to reveal the gospel of Jesus Christ. That is where The Post-American began and how we will continue to go forward. Any gospel that is not good news to the poor is not the gospel of Jesus—period. And when Jesus calls us to love our neighbors as ourselves, and even our enemies—with no exceptions—he really means it.
The relationship of faith to politics is not a transactional, Faustian bargain for power, as some white evangelicals have now made it. Rather, a pastoral and healing word and prophetic witness are always the “salt and light” most needed for the common good. As one of our mentors, Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., put it, “The church must be reminded that it is not the master or the servant of the state, but rather the conscience of the state.” Sojourners will remember that as we reflect, write, and act.
We are richly blessed to have you along for that journey.