LTRP Note: The force behind this event that took place in June is Jim Wallis and his organization SoJourners. To understand the socialist, anti-biblical roots of this effort, read Mary Danielsen’s article/booklet What You Need to Know About Jim Wallis and the Social-Justice Gospel. It is important to be aware of events such as the one described below because this is what the younger generations are being drawn into, and many of these young people are coming from Christian homes. The result is, they leave their biblical faith and exchange it for an anti-Christian lie. Your children, your grandchildren are being targeted. Also because environmentalism plays a huge role in this “new” spirituality, read Roger Oakland’s article/booklet A Christian Perspective on the Environment.
Submitted by a researcher and a Lighthouse Trails reader
On June 21-23, 2017, an event took place in Washington, DC called The Healing + Resistance Summit: World Change through Faith and Justice. The Summit is organized by Jim Wallis’ Sojourners Ministries and Magazine: https://sojo.net/. While many Christians do attend this Summit and while the stated purpose of Sojourners Ministries does use some Christian terms (erroneously) when talking about the “biblical” call to social justice and the need for “Christians” to “act on their faith” to bring world peace and justice, Sojourners and their Summit is anything but biblical. Jesus’ work on the Cross is not mentioned. Man’s need for a personal Savior because of our fallen state and sinfulness is not addressed either. Instead, Sojourners’ Healing + Resistance Summit believes that men and women can and should unite together to transform individuals, communities, the church, and the world in order to achieve justice and peace. There is a strong contemplative emphasis (Yoga, centering prayer, body prayer, and spiritual direction) and ecumenical and interfaith emphases and participation as well.
According to the Sojourners Ministries website, the following is the mission and vision of Sojourners:
“The mission of Sojourners is to articulate the biblical call to social justice, to inspire hope and build a movement to transform individuals, communities, the church, and the world.
We envision a future in which Christians put their faith into action in the passionate pursuit of social justice, peace, and environmental stewardship, working in partnership with people of other perspectives, for the common good of communities, families and individuals. We articulate that vision, convene and mobilize constituencies, and build alliances for effective advocacy.”
According to Sojourner’s The Healing + Resistance Summit 2017 promotional video, 300 activists, leaders, artists, and others gathered together in June to find new solutions toward justice as the world becomes more and more unjust. The Summit investigates the power of healing and resistance through exploring 5 themes, which are:
(1) the power of story to mend gaps
(2) truthtelling and ordering the world around truth
(3) resistance of the “normalization of injustice” by the faithful
(4) disruption of injustice in systems, which means reimagining and rebuilding the institutions of government, business, and church where injustice exists
(5) healing because “sustainable dissent must also include reconciliation with our bodies, our relationships, and our God”
The purpose of the Summit is to give individuals a clear vision on how to fight injustice.
Some sessions from the Healing + Resistance Summit 2017 are:
“Yoga is an ancient mind-body practice that compliments any faith tradition. In a Christian context, yoga can be understood as “body prayer.” Join us for an hour of centering the mind, heart, and body through body movement and breath work. You’ll enjoy gentle stretching and intentional breathing as a way of bringing your whole self in service to God.”
“A spiritual director and a featured artist will guide us into a grounded, prayerful space.”
Spiritual Direction Sessions
“Spiritual direction is an ancient spiritual discipline in which persons are assisted in observing God’s presence and work in their lives. A spiritual director offers a listening, open, prayerful presence to another while they walk together with God. Most simply, a spiritual director “listens to God on a person’s behalf.”
All participants are invited to engage one of our spiritual directors at The Summit.”
Praying with the Body
“We will learn several body prayer techniques and somatic and neuro‐kinetic exercises that will allow us to connect to centering breath, to release the mind, and to balance the nervous system. By entering into sacred movement we will allow for our bodies to usher us into a deeper experience with God.”
“Faiths” for Climate Action
“Religious‐environmentalism is now poised to evolve to a new level of reach and impact, with local faith communities coming together to join the new “glocal” (global‐local) climate and environmental movement. This session will trace key factors in the development of the religious‐environmental movement, analyze the current context, and offer a vision for the movement’s future that creates opportunities for holistic eco‐discipleship that will represent a foundation for church development in the anthropocene era.”
“The profound level of global conflict, the apocalyptic disruptions in human and civil rights, and the vitriolic tensions in the U.S. call us to confront the power of our spiritual practices and strengthen our capacity to hold conversations and create dialogue across our different experiences. In order for us to continue creating the Beloved Community, we must increase our ability to listen, hear, understand, analyze, and empathize with those who possess different social identities and worldviews.”
REPRESENTATIVES FROM THESE ORGANIZATIONS PARTICIPATED IN THE SUMMIT
Baha’is of the United States
U.S. Bahá’í Office of Public Affairs
Friends Commitee on National Legislation (Quaker)
Equal Exchange Interfaith Program
Interfaith Connections TV show
Parliament of the World’s Religions
Interfaith Power & Light (DC.MD.NoVA)
Interfaith Youth Core
Wild Goose Festival
U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops
Sisters of Mercy of the Americas (Catholic)
Congressman Joe Kennedy III, D-MA
Georgetown University, President
Kathy Khang, InterVarsity Christian Fellowship/USA
Church World Service
Christ Ministry Center
North American Assn of Christians in Social Work (NACSW)
Progressive National Baptist Convention
National Council of Churches USA
Christian Churches Together in the USA
American Baptist International Ministries
Willow Creek Community Church
Honor the Earth; Sacred Pipe Resource Center
Bono’s THE ONE Campaign
https://summitforchange.com/schedule/ (Click on Attendees for full list.)
INFORMATION ON SOME OF THE SUMMIT LEADERS
*During the Summit, Phileena led Morning Yoga and was one of the leaders of the Spiritual Direction sessions.
“Phileena Heuertz is an author, speaker, spiritual director, retreat guide and yoga instructor.”
“founding partner” of Gravity – a center for contemplative activism with her huband, Christopher Heuretz
” A member of the New Friar movement”
“Phileena has led contemplative retreats for a number of faith communities including: Word Made Flesh, World Vision International, Compassion International, as well as non-faith and interfaith groups in leading cities across the nation.”
“certified spiritual director in the Ignatian contemplative evocative method.”
“She is a board member emeritus for Duke Divinity School’s Center for Reconciliation and board member for Richard Rohr’s Center for Action and Contemplation.”
Jenny Yang, Vice President of Advocacy and Policy at World Relief
*During the Summit, Jenny Yang was one of the leaders on the Core Conversation of Healing.
Speaker at The Justice Conference 17 at Willow Creek Community Church, IF Gathering, ERLC and Focus on the Family’s Evangelicals for Life 17 in DC
“Chair of the Refugee Council USA (RCUSA) Africa Work Group, and was named one of the “50 Women to Watch” by Christianity Today”
*During the Summit, Amena Brown was one of the leaders of the Core Conversations session on Story, and co-led Morning Centering.
Speaker and performer at The Justice Conference 17 at Willow Creek, IF Gathering, and MOPS’ MOMcon Conference
“performed and spoken at events across the nation such as The RightNow Conference, Creativity World Forum, Catalyst Conference, Chick-fil-A Leadercast, as well as touring with Gungor.”
Sojourners has already determined that the dates for its next Summit will be June 13-15, 2018 in Washington, DC.