A Magazine that Challenges me

IMG_1230The Old Fool likes “Sojourners, Faith in Action for Social Justice” because he agrees with the magazine’s core purpose. Sojourners’ “mission is to articulate the biblical call to social justice, inspiring hope and building a movement to transform individuals, communities, the church and the world.” It challenges me to review my priorities, be more loving to neighbors and to live with more faith and hope.

I’ve read the August, 2014 issue of the magazine and wish that its messages would be heeded. Beginning with the front cover article “Rigged: Wealth inequality is not a game to its humorously ending “H’rumps” page the magazine exudes truth about current dangers, and points in the direction of hope.

faith“Remembering Uncle Vincent ” a column by Jim Wallis, recalls the hope-filled life of Vincent Harding. “What Moves Mountains” is a column in memory of Maya Angelou. She explained that mountains can only be moved by a faith filled with love.

A feature article, “The Play’s the Thing,” recounts the use of community theater to change centuries of kidnapping girls for marriage.  Another feature article, “Turning Toward Home” tells how an abandoned structure, the Bell Building, offered “housing first”—and hope—to Detroit’s homeless. The feature article “We are not an Island” introduces the Gullah/Geechee Nation which extends from North Carolina to Florida, and how it battles against corporate encroachment, environmental racism, and climate change.

This article reminded me of encounters with the Gullah culture by Mennonite Voluntary Service personnel on Johns Island, South Carolina in the Seventies and Eighties as reported in my book Branches, Volume 2, 1970-1992. the Angel Oak is a treasure of Johns Island.

A christmas cad picturing the Angel Oak

A christmas cad from the VS Unit picturing the Angel Oak

The Eastern Mennonite Mission asked VS units to establish churches where they were located, but the unit on Johns Island declined. They reported that the people they served already had a church. Reading Queen Quet’s article in the Sojourners magazine helps me to understand. (I welcome comments from Raymond Martin and James Ranck, and any VSers who happen to be reading this blog. I believe that Ranck still lives in the house he built on Johns Island.)

wink“Get Them When They’re Young is another feature article on Good News Clubs sponsored by Child Evangelism Fellowship that threatens children as young as 4 with hellfire and damnation. This brought to memory my brush with the CEF effort in Sarasota when I was a part of the  Suncoast Evangelical Association.

I also read the article “Struggling to Become Human.” In scholarship and life, Walter Wink sought the truth with passion. Intrigued, I downloaded “Just Jesus” on my kindle. I have not finished reading it so I reserve comment till my reading is finished.

Sojourners is influenced by the Anabaptist movement. Duane Shank with roots in my family is an associate editor. Vincent Harding, a mentor to Jim Wallis, had strong Mennonite connections. Rebecca Kraybill from Lancaster, PA is an intern and a member of the Sustainers Circle. With such a name from such a place, Rebecca must know Mennonites. And there must be more interweaving with Sojourners and Mennonites.

About Martin Lehman

I was born 92 years ago, the son of a Mennonite pastor and organic gardener in Franklin County, Pennsylvania. At age 10 I was baptized as a member of the Marion Mennonite Church. I own the "Old Fool" moniker because I want to walk the Jesus Way even though the world and much of the church takes me as a fool for doing so. In my life I have moved from being a young conservative to an elderly radical. I tell that story in My Faith Journey posted on my website.
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4 Responses to A Magazine that Challenges me

  1. Jewel H Shenk says:

    Since Jim’s retirement, he and Judy Shenk Ranck have moved to Harrisonburg where both their children and all their grandchildren reside. (about a yr. now)

  2. Alton Longenecker says:

    If you go to the Sojourners magazine website, you will note the editor of the magazine is Jim Rice. And if you click on his picture you will be able to read information about Jim Rice’s involvements, including that he is a member of Hyattsville Mennonite Church.

  3. Arvid Martin says:

    Excellent journal/magazine.

  4. Sara Alice Zimmerly says:

    Interesting things in this writing. I will go measure my two live oaks in my yard. I know I can’t reach around them. Shall I let you know? I always wondered how old they are. They were here long before I bought this house.
    I remember an encounter with a CEF lady. She was happy when I told her I do want to love Jesus and be a Christian, but, I live way out in the country and can’t come to her club. My dad came about then and talked with her for some time. I have no idea what they said since I went out to play.

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