This Month's Cover

Sojourners Magazine: September-October 2014

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THE WARS IN Iraq and Afghanistan have led to an unprecedented number of veterans with post-traumatic stress. Experiencing the horrors of combat leaves wounds to body and soul that do not easily go away. The demons of deaths seen or caused are always ready to haunt, and too often alcohol or suicide becomes the way out. While the wars may end, their effects linger.

In this issue, Bethany Spicher Schonberg (a Pennsylvania farmer, Mennonite pacifist, and former Sojourners intern) writes of farming as a way veterans have found to begin healing, including one who volunteers on her farm and has become a friend. From rural farms to urban gardens, there is something about the warm sun, rich soil, and growing plants that provides a mission and a sense of purpose.

As this issue goes to print, we are celebrating the life of Sojournersassociate editor Elizabeth Palmberg, who died of cancer on June 23 (see “Cherish Each Moment,” June 2014). She was 43. Prior to coming to Sojourners in 2002, “Zab,” as she was known, was an English professor at Kenyon College and Scripps College, when, as she described it, the Lord smote her upside of the head and instructed her to go seek a career working for a progressive Christian nonprofit. Lucky for us, she found Sojourners. Join us in giving thanks for Zab’s life and in cherishing each moment. 

Cover Story

Through farming, veterans across the country tend to the soil—and the wounds of war.


Four ways to organize around military testing and student privacy
A unique faith-based training program in Memphis gives new teachers the skills and community they need to survive and thrive.
As military recruiters gain a foothold in Christian schools, grassroots activists are sounding the alarm.
Fracking for oil and gas has toxic consequences for surrounding communities. Even worse: It's fueling climate change.


U.S. intervention has been the problem in Iraq, not the solution.
Are new EPA rules and a U.N. Climate Summit enough to turn the tide on climate change?
Where is the resolve among us to make lasting change for all children?


We can work with others even while disagreeing on significant issues.
The Za'atari refugee camp is the fourth largest city in Jordan.
America should be like a box of crayons, but with fewer colors.
"When I claim to be a Christian, it should be a radical statement."

Culture Watch

"The Kennan Diaries," W. W. Norton & Company
Following a musician's journey through the rough and the redeemed
"Calvary" is a rare and beautiful film, one that tells the truth, or at least asks for it honestly.
"Slow Church: Cultivating Community in the Patient Way of Jesus," IVP Books
Maybe young black men with transformed intellects isn't what the educational-industrial complex wants.
Excerpt from Bonhoeffer’s Black Jesus: Harlem Renaissance Theology and an Ethic of Resistance, by Reggie L. Williams
Four September-October 2014 culture recommendations from our editors


Reflections on the Revised Common Lectionary, Cycle A
Peter and Kelly Shenk Koontz know the difficulties and joys of peacebuilding in Kabul, Afghanistan.
Reflections on the Revised Common Lectionary, Cycle A
A poem. for miriam

Web Extra

The deep roots of the land need deep roots of stewardship.
Memphis Teacher Residency believes that "urban education is the single greatest social justice and civil rights issue in America today."
Join the People's Climate March in New York City on September 21, 2014.