Celebrating Fifteen Years

I have always loved Chicago, and it is always a treat for me to return there. Chicago is the place where Sojourners magazine and community were born 15 years ago and thus is a place full of memories for us.

In August I was back in Chicago again, this time to show Joyce Hollyday all the old places that figure so prominently in Sojourners' history. Joyce joined the community in our early Washington, D.C. days and, though she had heard all the old stories, had never seen the old places. In one day, we retraced the five-year journey the community had taken in the Chicago area. The starting point was Trinity Evangelical Divinity School in Deerfield, Illinois, a few miles north of Chicago, where the original group first met in the fall of 1971. We were all young seminarians at the time, full of energy and hope. I took Joyce to see my old dormitory room where our little group often met for endless hours together, full of intense discussion, playful conversation, fervent prayer, laughter, tears, and, most of all, dreams of the future. There our visions began to be constructed.

While wandering through an old classroom building, we ran into one of my former professors and stood in the hallway talking for two-and-one-half hours. Next we surprised Thorn Morris, who was part of our original group and stayed on to become the librarian at Trinity College (across the street from the seminary). Thorn was our first magazine treasurer and subscription manager back when we got by with 3-by-5 cards filed in a shoebox. Thorn reminded me that our very first subscriber was a young Trinity College student named Phyllis. Thorn was so grateful, he married her. They just had twins.

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