Sojourners

Image via RNS/Joseph Molieri/Bread for the World

With ashes on their foreheads, sackcloth draped around their necks, and the U.S. Capitol as a backdrop, Christians leaders used the words “evil” and “immoral” to describe the federal budget cuts President Trump has proposed and many Republican lawmakers favor.

“It is a time for lamentation,” said the Rev. David Beckmann, explaining the symbols of grief the clergy brought to Capitol Hill on March 29.

Image via RNS/Adelle M. Banks

The Rev. Leah Daughtry stood in front of fellow black Christian leaders and told them they will need to work harder for social justice.

“If you’ve been feeding them, now clothe them,” said the Pentecostal pastor and 2016 CEO of the Democratic National Convention Committee at a conference last week. “If you’ve been clothing them, now console them. If you’ve been at a march, now lead the march. If you’ve been at a rally, now organize the rally.”

8-23-2016

In a letter signed by 49 evangelicals from Texas and around the country, the Christian leaders said officials have a “moral obligation” to stop the execution, which is scheduled for Aug. 24.

8-23-2016

There are fundamental ethical, moral, and even religious choices that will have to be made by all of us now — Republicans, Democrats, and Independents; conservatives, liberals, and those who feel politically homeless (like many of us); Christians, Jews, Muslims, those of other faiths and none at all. And those choices are much deeper than partisan politics

8-23-2016

At Washington National Cathedral on Sunday, an interracial group of clergy gathered to discuss the role of the white church in perpetuating racism. And what the church might do to heal the wounds. A tough subject, but dealt with unflinchingly

8-23-2016

This week, we talk to culture critic and author Chuck Klosterman about his new book on the nature of truth. It’s a fascinating conversation, especially for Christians. Also, activist and author Lisa Sharon Harper joins us to talk about gaining a new understanding of biblical justice. And of course, Pokemon Go makes an appearance.

8-23-2016

Every black parent in America has to have “the talk” with his or her sons and daughters — about how to act and not act in the presence of white police officers with guns. It’s a painful family ritual that is slowly being discovered by America’s white parents as more and more police killings of young African Americans occur and are nationally discussed.

8-23-2016

An interview with author Lisa Sharon Harper.

8-23-2016

Harper’s account of the Gospel in her new book is shalom-based. Drawing deeply from a theme that runs through the Bible but is especially strong in the Hebrew prophets, Harper tells a story of a God who acts in Jesus Christ to bring shalom, or holistic peace and justice, in every part of creation.

Ed Spivey Jr. 8-03-2016
Moiseenko Design / Shutterstock

Moiseenko Design / Shutterstock

AFTER NEARLY 50 years moving from place to place—usually under cover of darkness to stay ahead of colleges claiming we still owed library fines—the Sojourners staff is finally moving to a place of our own.

We’ve been leasing space up to now, paying increasingly higher rents as the nation’s capital has become a hip and happening city. (Which began soon after we arrived in 1975. Coincidence? Not bragging, but vintage clothing stores didn’t become popular in D.C. until we showed up wearing clothing that, unbeknown to us, fit that category.)

Over time, the poor neighborhood that God called us to was overtaken by Starbucks and Target, and our office expenses went up accordingly. To be fair, maybe God wanted chain stores to provide low-cost merchandise to our underserved inner city. But what kind of god would also bring in a Bed, Bath, & Beyond?! In all our years working for justice and tenant rights, we didn’t once yearn for luxury sheets or French-made kitchen utensils. (Although, when you need Brita filters, they keep them just inside the front door. With Target, you have to go upstairs. I’m just sayin’.) When organic food stores started moving in, it was enough to make us nostalgic for buying milk at the corner liquor store. (You had to check carefully the date on the carton, because milk tended to hang around the store longer than did, say, Colt 45, which seemed to be much more in demand.)

SO IN AUGUST we’re moving. We’re calling it Sojexit, like Brexit, but with fewer catastrophic global consequences. After four decades under the thumb of landlords, we will finally be under our own thumbs, all 86 of them, if you count the interns. Our seventh and final move will be to a building we purchased. “We” meaning Sojourners, a Mennonite bank, and hundreds of supportive friends who share our commitment to justice, reconciliation, and having to empty our own trash.

Jim Wallis 7-26-2016
jorik / Shutterstock

jorik / Shutterstock

WHEN WE chose the name “Sojourners,” we didn’t realize how often we would end up earning that brand. We’re on the move again. Sojourners is moving our office to the Stanton Park neighborhood of Washington, D.C., a five-minute walk from the U.S. Capitol.

A move like this always makes me reflect deeply about our vocation in reference to our location.

When Sojourners moved to D.C. from Chicago in 1975, we deliberately moved to one of the poorest parts of the city and consciously compared our new location to the “catacombs,” which were the poorest sections in Rome. We would move to the outside of power, “the other Washington,” and from there seek to relate to the insiders of political power in official Washington.

Right away, we got very involved in those poor neighborhoods with our new neighbors, whose needs and voices directly shaped our work. We also traveled all over the country and around the world to places where people were asking for help in putting their faith into action, especially in the many places where marginal people had been left out, forgotten, and oppressed. Both locally and globally, it was the poor and vulnerable and those working alongside them whose “voices in the wilderness” filled the pages of Sojourners magazine and, eventually, our digital spaces.

During those years, our voice became increasingly heard in the public square, regularly listened to by millions of people in the media and those in Washington, both in Congress and the White House. This has now become an important expression of our mission.

6-08-2016

                                                                                    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact: Michael Mershon, Director of Advocacy and Communications

Phone: 202-745-4654

Email: mmershon@sojo.net

5-09-2016

Jesuit Fr. Daniel Berrigan was regularly challenged during his life by skeptics and newcomers to the cause of peacemaking to show the results of the thankless work he had undertaken. He regularly responded that God calls us to faithfulness, not success.

4-27-2016

Contact: Michael Mershon, Director of Advocacy and Communications

Email: mmershon@sojo.net

Phone: 202-745-4654

 

April 27, 2016

During its 100th anniversary celebration last week in St. Louis, the Associated Church Press honored Sojourners with 24 awards for work online and in print.

4-19-2016

Contact: Michael Mershon, Director of Advocacy and Communications

Phone: 202-745-4654

Email: mmershon@sojo.net 

April 19, 2016

Today, Sojourners sent the following letter to Congress as part of the Interfaith Immigration Coalition's "Letter a Day" campaign:

3-09-2016

“SOMETIMES I wonder,” said Doug Long, shivering among the demonstrators in Raleigh, North Carolina, on February 13th, “whether everyone who defines themselves as Christian really believes in the same God.” As a rabbi sharing the interfaith stage blew a shofer, and a protest group called the Raging Grannies denounced restrictions on voting rights, Mr Long, a pastor in the United Church of Christ, explained that, in his view, Jesus would have stood for racial and sexual equality.

1-13-2016


Activist Michelle Higgins speaks to attendees of the Urbana '15 student missions conference, St. Louis, Missouri, December 28, 2015.

1-04-2016

State officials in New York are reforming their policy of keeping people convicted of non-violent offenses in solitary confinement. Some hail the decision; others, including corrections officers, object, saying that solitary confinement is necessary to maintain control, and they say that keeping an individual in solitary confinement is not inhumane.

Tell that, though, to innocent people in prison, wrongly convicted, who find themselves in solitary confinement without hope of ever getting out.

There are different ways to understand the gospel's call to peace — and that's a good thing. In the last century alone, many influential Christian leaders have grappled with violence, justice, and peace, and ended up all over the nonviolence map. Where do you land? Take our quiz and find out!

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