The Common Good

Media Advisories and Press Releases

"The earth is the Lord’s, and in Genesis, God entrusts us with caring for Creation. The earth that we leave to future generations is already being changed by climate change, and so far, our nation has done little to stop climate pollution. The Clean Power Plan, just announced by EPA, is a great step forward for our country in taking climate change seriously. This policy will treat carbon the way it should be treated – as a pollutant that’s harming our health and our planet. It will reduce our carbon pollution 30% below 2005 levels by 2030, but will allow each state the flexibility to decide how it reaches that goal. The rule reflects some of the best values we hold dear and will help prevent premature deaths and asthma attacks caused by smog and other air pollutants. But most importantly, it will reduce the pollution that fuels climate change. It’s clear that President Obama cares about the legacy he leaves to today and into future generations. While there is a lot more that can and should be done by this Administration and by Congress, President Obama deserves our appreciation for embracing the common good and taking such a big step to preserve the earth for our grandchildren’s grandchildren."
WASHINGTON, DC – The following statement was issued by the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference (NHCLC), National Immigration Forum, Service Employees International Union (SEIU), Sojourners, The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, and the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) Committee on Migration: “In the last few months, the national debate on immigration reform has been fraught with questions on the timing of when the U.S. House of Representatives or President Barack Obama would act on addressing our country’s heightening moral crisis.
WASHINGTON, DC—Sojourners laments the passing of well-known historian and scholar Dr. Vincent Gordon Harding, who died on May 19. Harding, author of many books including Hope and History and There is a River: The Black Struggle for Freedom in America, was a contributing editor for Sojourners magazine. Jim Wallis, president of Sojourners and a friend of Harding, released this statement in response to Harding's death: “This is a great loss for our movement and the world and for all of us here at Sojourners. Vincent loved and served us so often in our history. He was an elder and mentor to me and to many of us. I am so grateful for a life so well lived. Thanks be to God for Vincent Harding. We are poorer for his passing and richer for having known him.”
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE May 15, 2014 CONTACT: Juliet Vedral ( 202-745-4625 Sojourners takes home nearly 30 awards from Evangelical Press Association and Associated Church Press WASHINGTON, DC—Sojourners was recently recognized with 29 awards from the Evangelical Press Association and the Associated Church Press, two of the leading professional organizations in religious journalism. In a year that saw the highest number of entries in the Associated Church Press competition, both Sojourners magazine and the God’s Politics blog were honored, with the magazine receiving 16 awards, the most in its history. Awards from the Evangelical Press Association included the “Award of Merit” to Sojourners magazine in the “General Publication” category, First Place to “Gandalf, Gollum, and the Death Penalty” by Tobias Winright in the “Biblical Exposition” category, and First Place to “It’s Time to End the Death Penalty” by Jim Wallis in the “Editorial” category. Awards from the Associated Church Press included First Place to God’s Politics in the “Best in Class” category, Second Place to Sojourners magazine in the “Best in Class” category, and First Place to the May 2013 issue of Sojourners magazine focused on climate change in the “In Depth Coverage” category. The Associated Church Press awards were presented in Chicago in late April, and the Evangelical Press Association awards were presented in Anaheim in early May. The full list of awards Sojourners received is listed below:
The Times-Picayune (New Orleans) 04/11/2014
The Bible Society's media packet also includes a testimony from Jim Wallis, the founder and president of Sojourners Magazine. Wallis lectured at Dillard University in October, and the Bible Society quotes him telling the same story he told Dillard: "When we were seminarians ... we cut out of an old Bible every single reference to the poor, to poverty, to justice. ... We were left with a Bible full of holes," he said, "which literally was falling apart in our hands. I used to take it out with me to preach, saying 'This is the American Bible, full of holes...' " A Bible full of holes. That's the Louisiana Legislature's Bible, too.
"Budgets are moral documents revealing our deepest values, not just our fiscal priorities. As an evangelical Christian, my primary concern with any budget proposal is how it treats those whom Jesus called "the least of these." ​In offering a budget that focuses on expanding economic opportunity for working people, strengthening tax credits for low-income families, and investing in our nation's infrastructure to benefit all of us, President Obama has demonstrated his commitment to the common good. There are many good ideas here that - by any measure - truly will help vulnerable people and deserve the support of leaders from both parties. The moral test of any budget will always be its practical effects on people’s lives, not ideological purity. Both parties should work together to protect people on the edges of our society and help families to lift themselves out of poverty by making sure there are real ladders of opportunity."
Our broken immigration system has created a moral crisis that must be urgently addressed.
"Opportunity. There might not be a more American word than “opportunity.” But it has never come easily or without struggle. We live in a time when the dreams of so many are slipping away and inequality has become, as President Obama has stated, the "defining challenge of our time."
Washington, D.C., January 27, 2014 –Leaders of the Circle of Protection, a group of Christian leaders from various denominations and organizations, are urging Congress to extend federal emergency unemployment benefits as it resumes its sessions today. “With 10.4 million people unemployed and three job seekers for every job opening, a moral obligation exists to help protect the life and dignity of unemployed workers and their families,” Christian leaders wrote members of Congress. “Just days after Christmas, 1.3 million unemployed workers were cut off from emergency unemployment assistance. It is time to correct this wrong.”
Washington, D.C. December 13, 2013 – Sojourners magazine received the first-place Folio Award in the largest and most inclusive magazine competition in the country. Sojourners was honored with the Gold “Eddie Award” for Religious/Spiritual Magazine. “From its beginning 40 years ago, Sojourners was never just a magazine,” said editor Jim Rice. “We’ve always seen ourselves as a vehicle for social change, a tool for activism. At the same time, even with our deepest mission in mind, we’ve sought the highest levels of journalistic excellence, bringing a faith perspective to bear on social and political issues of our day. So it’s especially gratifying to be honored in the most prestigious magazine competition there is.”
In response to the passing of Nelson Mandela, Jim Wallis, President of Sojourners, issued the following statement.
Growing income inequality threatens the core of who we are as a nation. A society where a few people have a lot and most people don’t have enough is a society that has forgotten the basic biblical teachings about economic justice. These debates are never just about economic policy, but about our deepest values and priorities.
In a direct challenge to Rep. Steve King (R) of Iowa and those who share his views, Sojourners President Rev. Jim Wallis called racism a major contributing factor in some conservatives’ opposition to immigration reform, while lauding Republicans who have stood up for the 11 million undocumented immigrants currently in the United States. Sojourners has launched a cable news ad campaign on the Christian Broadcasting Network in Rep. King’s district with a stereotype-shattering ad that documents the story of an undocumented pastor.
At the end of a year that exposed the racial tension that still exists both in the United States and the church, Sojourners is releasing the One Church | One Body pledge signed by over 75 faith leaders from across the country. The One Church | One Body pledge is a nationwide call for churches and faith leaders to be the multiracial and multiethnic body of Christ that they were created to be.
WASHINGTON – Ahead of expected key Congressional votes on a deal to fund the government, clergy and religious leaders will gather tomorrow on the steps of the U.S. Capitol for a sunrise service of prayer and scripture as a part of the continuing “Faithful Filibuster.” Organizations represented in Wednesday’s sunrise service include the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, Sojourners and the Salvation Army. A representative from the National Association of Evangelicals is also expected to take part in the service.
WASHINGTON – Clergy and religious leaders will gather across from the U.S. Capitol tomorrow to read the more than 2,000 verses of Scripture charging humanity to care for hungry and poor people. This “Faithful Filibuster,” which will include leaders from the National Association of Evangelicals, the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, Bread for the World and Sojourners, will begin at 2 p.m. EST on Oct. 9 and will continue at the beginning of each day’s session of Congress.
WASHINGTON, DC-- After a summer that exposed the racial tension that exists in America and the church, Sojourners will host a special screening and discussion of the upcoming film 12 Years a Slave on Wednesday, October 9, at 6pm at the Regal Cinemas Gallery Place theater.
Washington, DC, September 30, 2013 – On the eve of a possible shutdown of the U.S. government, religious leaders denounced the political brinkmanship prevailing in Congress today. “Shutting down the government will do real damage,” said Rev. David Beckmann, president of Bread for the World, speaking at a press conference today. “Risking our nation’s creditworthiness will do even more damage. Most clearly, the disruption and uncertainty will put the brakes on our economy.”
Christian leaders today urged members of the House of Representatives to oppose measures that would cut SNAP (the Supplementary Nutrition Assistance Program, formerly food stamps) by nearly $40 billion over the next 10 years, which would hurt the most vulnerable, including seniors, children, and the working poor.
“We applaud the President’s decision to pursue the new international opportunity to remove Assad’s chemical weapons and postpone military strikes. As religious leaders we are committed to the harder and more imaginative work of peacemaking, rather than falling into the old habits of war; and to focus on the priority of millions of Syrian refugees and millions more in jeopardy within the country.”