Public Justice Review (PJR) explores in depth specific questions of public justice, equipping citizens to pursue God's good purpose for our political community. 

Vol. 9, Issue 2, 2019

Populists or Internationalists?

Globalization and Evangelical Tribes 

Kevin den Dulk (Contributing Editor)

1. Evangelical Populists and Their Discontents

Kevin den Dulk

This series address the tension between contrasting narratives of nationalism and internationalism within the evangelical tradition. The concept of populism cuts across those narratives. In this opening piece to the series, political scientist Kevin den Dulk examines the intersection of populism and evangelicalism. While any account of “evangelical populism” comes with numerous caveats, den Dulk argues the phenomenon is real, and the drawbacks of populism are too great to ignore for anyone committed to democratic pluralism. Read >>

 

 

 

Vol. 9, Issue 1, 2019

Faith, Family and the Future of Work

Rachel Anderson (Contributing Editor)

7. Work and Pastoral Care

Rev. Irwyn Ince

Today, Rev. Dr. Irwyn Ince asks what role the church as institution can play in the work lives, both the employed and the under and unemployed, of its members. He arrives at three practices: prayer, promotion, and provision that form a foundation for pastoral care in the church when people face the trauma that comes from unemployment and underemployment. Read>>

 

 

 

 

6. Dignity in Difficult Work: A Perspective from Health Care Worker Advocates

Interview by Rachel Anderson

Dignity in work can be the privilege of a very white-collar conversation. But much work in the world, and in America, is done outside the office and the coffeeshop. How do Christians think about, and practice, work and its balance in the many trades and sectors that too often go unnoticed in these conversations? Today, contributing editor Rachel Hope Anderson interviews Tish Douma and Susan Siemens of the Christian Labour Association of Canada to find out. Read>>

 

 

 

5. Cultivating a Work-Wise Family

Hannah Anderson

As the new gig economy gives opportunity, it also presents dilemmas, including weakening the barriers between our public and private lives. If we’re not careful, argues Hannah Anderson in this week’s Public Justice Review, the arena of public life governed by competition and capital can take over our private lives too. To resist this, families must become work-wise, cultivating virtues and practices that honor our work while preserving the rhythms and norms of the home. Read>>

 

 

 

4. Worshipping My Way Toward a Theology of Work

Gideon Strauss

 


For CPJ Fellow Gideon Strauss, theologizing about work is not in the first place a scholarly practice. Instead, he argues, it emerges out of the interaction between his lived experience of the Bible and his lived experience of working in the historical times and political places in which he finds himself. Strauss says this emergence happens more often than not while praying the Psalms. In this piece, Strauss shares how the Psalms are paradigmatic for prayer, and worship is paradigmatic for work. In this way, he uses worship as a way towards an understanding of his own work. Read>>

 

3. How Working Parents are Changing What It Means to be "Involved"

Bekah McNeel


In interviews, working parents explain that while they may not expect to be able to be “involved” with every aspect of their children’s school career, they do find ways to provide essential emotional and academic support. For many, these ordinary irregularities and responsibilities of parenthood yield a precarious work-life balance. Emergency circumstances and irregular work schedules—both of which are likely to occur in the lives of low-income families—can lead to imbalance that is, at times, intractable.  Read>>

 

 

 

2. Which Side Are You On? Christianity and Labor in an Age of Inequality

Heath Carter


While any number of denominations still have pro-labor social teachings on their books, Christian support for unions has largely collapsed in recent decades, hastening not only the demise of organized labor but also the dawn of a New Gilded Age. Believers who are concerned about runaway inequality in the present should consult the past. There they will find a robust tradition of pro-labor faith and practices, cultivated first and foremost at the Christian grassroots. Insofar as this tradition prioritizes justice and solidarity over untrammeled economic freedom, it resonates as provocatively today as it did in the heyday of the early labor movement. Read>>

 

 

1. Work for the Sake of the Family

Rachel Anderson


One of God's good purposes for work is for our work to be done in service of others, including our family and community. As our economy undergoes changes that may impact the nature of work and the types of jobs in which people work, how will these changes affect family and community? Work that is more flexible and less structured around the typical rhythms of a workweek presents opportunities as well as challenges to families. Families must redouble their attention to family time. Institutions outside the family, like unions and the social safety net, and may play a valuable role in helping families secure work that supports rather than strains family life. Read>>

 
 
 

Vol. 8, Issue 5, 2018

Public Justice in Review

Byron Borger (Contributing Editor)

 

6. 2018: Political Discipleship in Review

Vince Bacote


CPJ Fellow Vince Bacote reviews the year in political discipleship: what does it mean to follow Jesus in the politics of 2018? Reviewing books from Amy Black, Patrick Deneen, John Fee and Fred Van Geest, Bacote finds a diverse set that reaches within and beyond the Christian tradition. It equips us to be disciples whose proclamation and practice reflects an appreciation of the opportunities of political engagement, while maintaining an ultimate hope in God rather than politics itself. Argues Bacote: worshipping God above all, with politics as one dimension of our faithful practice, remains an opportunity and aspiration for us in 2018. Read the article ≥≥

 
 

5. 2018: "The Problem of Poverty" in Review

Katie Thompson


What did Jesus really mean when he said, "The poor you will always have with you"? This question should drive Christians toward, not away, from social, civil and political solutions for the economically marginal among us. Today Katie Thompson tackles this perennial topic, close to the heart of Christian social tradition of CPJ: what to do with “the problem of poverty.” Reviewing two recent books, Thompson argues poverty requires a civil, social, religious and political solution; a simultaneous realization of norms, for which Christians, and those within CPJ’s tradition in particular, have rich resources. Read the article ≥≥

 

4. 2018: Families Valued in Review

Rachel Anderson


At least since Abraham Kuyper wrote on “the social question” and Pope Leo XIII on Rerum Novarum (“of the new things”), the transformation and challenge of work has been a central question in the Christian social tradition. Fast forwarding to 2018 we find no exceptions: the rise of the “gig” economy provides new, unique challenges that require as robust Christian theologies and practices now as they did then. Today, Rachel Anderson, Resident Fellow at CPJ leading our Families Valued project, surveys the past year to bridge these emerging changes in work, life, and society and see how Christians, in particular, might respond. Read the article ≥≥

 

3. 2018: Sacred Sector in Review

Chelsea Langston Bombino


2018 has been a busy year for non-profits and activist groups, none more so than in the faith-based sector. As religious communities grow more politically active, the question of not only collaboration and impact, but also of how to “keep the faith” almost always arises. This week, the Center for Public Justice’s Director of its Sacred Sector initiative, Chelsea Langston Bombino, surveys the landscape from 2018 on books and arguments that help Christians, in particular, navigate these key issuesRead the article ≥≥

 

2. 2018: Institutional Religious Freedom in Review

Stanley Carlson-Thies


The past year has been a busy one for discussing and adjudicating deep and abiding differences among citizens, no less so than in the hot button sphere of freedom of religion or belief, and its often-essential institutions. Today, Stanley Carlson-Thies draws a map for us of the most hopeful books of the last year (and a bit) on institutional religious freedom, the pitfalls they signal and the potential for public justice as a way forwardRead the article ≥≥

 

 

1. 2018: The Year in Published Public Justice

Byron Borger

In the upcoming weeks, CPJ will offer a handful of essays reviewing some significant books that speak to areas of our research and advocacy. We will strive to offer a “lay of the land,” naming books that capture something of the spirit of the age, discerning the perspectives in play within these arenas. Today, our Contributing Editor Byron Borger lays out, with broad brush strokes, the year past from the perspective of major publications on public justice. While an outstanding year for issue advocacy, Bryon argues there is a notable absence of more cohesive, public arguments about how our political discipleship hangs together. Read the article ≥≥

 

 

 

Vol. 8, Issue 4, 2018

Making Peace with Proximate Pluralism

Stanley Carlson-Thies (Contributing Editor)

 

6. Augustine's Aspirational Imperfectionism: What Should We Hope for From Politics?

Jesse Covington

In today’s series finale, Jesse Covington argues that Augustine points us to political faithfulness in light of the full scope of redemptive history. Our hopes for politics include pursuing real goods (could love of neighbor counsel anything less?), but with the recognition that these goods remain tempered, limited, and proximate inside of time. For Augustine, this posture is captured by the image of the pilgrim or sojourner who invests deeply in his current context, but without mistaking it for home. Read the article >>

 

 

 

5. Religious Liberty and LGBTQ Equality: Civic Pluralism Points to a Path Through the Ongoing Conflict

Nathan Berkeley

Disagreements about human sexuality are as pronounced as ever in American society. In the political domain, issues related to whether and how to protect LGBTQ identities in law are a common focal point for these disagreements, and they can become even more charged when religious freedom concerns are involved. This article points to three considerations for addressing these controversial and difficult issues: (1) that the existence of diverse institutions in American society benefits a diverse population that desires to be served in distinctive ways; (2) that religious liberty claims and LGBTQ equality claims place very different demands on society; and (3) that the multi-dimensional nature of sexual orientation and gender identity complicates their protection in law.

Civic pluralism is a public-legal framework for ordering and applying these considerations in a way that respects, without celebrating, the deep religious and moral divisions in American society. It is a structure for broadly securing the freedom of everyone to establish, and engage with, institutions that align with their core convictions.  Read the article >>

 

4. Christian Responsibility in Governing: What to Do When Democracy Gets Complicated

Jennifer Walsh

 

Many Christians – particularly conservative ones – fear that a pluralistic society will result in laws that are more tyrannical than democratic. Today, argues Jennifer Walsh, Christians must find a way to successfully govern in an increasingly diverse and pluralistic society and actively love neighbors who view the world quite differently. They must learn to live and work within the constraints of our system—not rebel whenever they do not get their way. And they must learn to accept some justice and some pluralism that will be different and wider than they might wish. Read the article >>

 

3. Civic Pluralism and Minority Solidarity (Part 2 of 2)

Jonathan Chaplin

Civic pluralism is a central implication of the vision of public justice that has guided CPJ since its inception. But while a noble and necessary aspiration, it is often creates the very imperfect realities we lament. Today, Jonathan Chaplin concludes a two-part series exploring a different sense of solidarity: what it means to find ourselves alongside other minority communities of conviction in a single political community which must uphold the public manifestation of such deep differences, even while it also protects fundamental human interests. Read the article >>  

 

 

2. Civic Pluralism and Human Solidarity (Part 1 of 2)

Jonathan Chaplin

Civic pluralism is a central implication of the vision of public justice that has guided CPJ since its inception. But while a noble and necessary aspiration, it is often creates the very imperfect realities we lament. Join seasoned scholar Jonathan Chaplin in a two-part series, on what we have “in common” with our fellow citizens, the limits of that commonness, and what to do when our core convictions no longer count as common, and we must learn to stand in solidarity with other minority communities as we uphold public space for difference. Read the article >>  

 

1. The Dissatisfactions–and Blessings!–of Civic Pluralsim

Stanley Carlson-Thies

In our opening editorial, founder and Senior Director of the Institutional Religious Freedom Alliance, Stanley Carlson-Thies asks what is so good about pluralism as a structuring principle for a political community? Should we always qualify civic pluralism as “proximate” to remind ourselves that, even if it is a blessing during our in-between time, when we need to live together with others with whom we have deep disagreements, it is an arrangement for political community that must inevitably disappoint us? These are the questions that lay out the work of this series of the Public Justice Review. While acknowledging the good that is principled or civic pluralism, we will explore the limitations inherent to it that must evoke disappointment in all who long for the fullness of the Kingdom of God. Read the article >>  

 

 

Vol. 8, Issue 3, 2018

A Way Forward: Christian Principles for Health Care Policy

Stephanie Summers (Contributing Editor)

 

2. Christians, Health Care Policies, and the Dangers of False Equivalencies

Dr. Ruth Groenhout

Health care policy is one of the central moral issues of our day and a topic on which a clear Christian voice is needed. From a Reformed perspective, the focus of our debates needs to be justice, not charity. Christians should support policies that provide health care as a right. Unfortunately, the Christian church has often supported policies that deny people access to health care, and this denial threatens to undercut their ability to speak with a moral voice on important issues of our time. Read the article >>

 

 

1. Biblical Shalom and the Health Care Debate

Michelle Kirtley

With human flourishing as the goal of health care reform, the debate becomes about more than the provision of health insurance. Looking closely at God’s created order for the structure that supports flourishing–structural pluralism and sphere sovereignty–helps us to chart a path out of the tired, worn debate between privatization and single payer health care towards a tapestry of policies that encourage us all to contribute to the health of our neighbors and communities. Read the article >>

 

 

Vol. 8, Issue 2, 2018

What Is Public Justice?

Robert Joustra (Contributing Editor)

 

 

6. Public Justice: A Visual Exploration

Sean Purcell

Sean Purcell shifts gears and visualizes for us a "graphic novel" on public justice. Drawing together themes and ideas for our final series installment, Purcell draws for us a guide for how to think about, practice, and visualize the work of public justice. 

Read the article >>

 

 

 

 

 

5. The Postures of Public Justice

Kyle David Bennett

What if we treated our hostile postures as a matter of justice, as a matter of what others are due? In our everyday encounters with others, argues Kyle Bennett, how others stand before us and move in response to us is either right or wrong, fair or unfair. We anticipate and expect right and fair treatment. When events don’t go according to plan—whether at a park, museum, theatre, or municipal parking lot—we are offended, angered, and most likely hurt. This goes for the politician, lobbyist, midwife, and the security guard. I have yet to meet anyone who likes to have rolled eyes thrown at them, enjoys having a finger pointed in their face, or feels edified by shrugged shoulders. Rather, we long for the opposite: kind eyes, beneficial hands, and self-controlled shoulders. We all want more than a justice that is legislated, promulgated, and put down on paper. We want a justice that is lived out in the everyday movements of a person. Read the article >>

 

4. Improv for the Kingdom: What Does it Mean to Equip People for Public Justice?

Kristen Deede Johnson

 

As important as our conviction about public justice is the manner in which we seek public justice. Today, Kristen Deede Johnson invites us to attend as much to our means as our ends in the work of justice. As the people of God, she argues, we are called to manifest such things as love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control in all of our endeavors. Read the article >>

 

 

 

 

 

3. Are Principles Enough? Virtues in Public Policy

Kevin den Dulk

Today, Kevin den Dulk argues that a first-principles approach assesses policies by comparing biblical/theological expectations to the outcomes of those policies. A policy outcome is “good” when it meets those expectations. But, he asks, what if we shift focus from outcomes to the practices and dispositions embedded in the policy process itself?  What if we think in terms of not only the values that define policy outcomes but also the virtues that shape policy analysis and implementation? Read the article >>

 

 

2. The Social Justice Wars: Where Does Public Justice Fit?

Richard Mouw, PhD

Richard Mouw argues today that the efforts at promoting social justice within each of the areas of public life will be most effective when they occur in a general societal climate shaped by active patterns of public justice. This aspect isn’t simply about crafting legislation—although the need for laws is often a necessity in guaranteeing that individuals get their “due” in specific areas of civil society. But as Gideon Strauss nicely puts it, public justice also requires “shaping a public life for the common good.” Such a public justice both shapes but is also necessarily less than the totality of what we call social justice today. Read the article >>

 

 

1. Public Justice Review: A Manifesto

Robert Joustra

In this introductory manifesto beginning my time at the Public Justice Review I want to connect, as it were, how this thing we call public justice might fit with the provisional work of public policy, and how this perspective can meaningfully, and purposefully, equip not only Christians but citizens for the public work of the American project. Contrary to the declinists and the pessimists, we are ruthlessly optimistic about that project, and we hope you’ll join us in a clear-eyed but unflinching vision for its own intergenerational reformation and renewal. Read the article >>

 

 

Vol. 8, Issue 1, 2018

Families, Nations, and Immigration: Who Comes First?

Stephanie Summers (Contributing Editor)

7. Valuing Families in the Immigration Debate: An Interview with Jenny Yang

Jenny Yang and Chelsea Maxwell

Over the past several weeks the Public Justice Review has been exploring the historical and current reality of family-centered immigration policy. Today, we interview Jenny Yang, who has been working with World Relief for about twelve years. She began her time with World Relief as a case manager in their refugee program providing oversight for their cases and operating as a liaison between the World Relief domestic offices and the US State Department. Now, she serves as the Senior Vice President of Policy and Advocacy for the organization. In addition to her passion for engaging the Church in considering its role in the national conversation about immigration, she is also passionate about “ensuring that our government provides good structures and laws to ensure that the individuals and families [World Relief] serves are able to thrive.” Read the article >>

 

 

6. Faith, Refuge, and Resistance: The Innovations and Impact of the Modern-Day Sanctuary Movement

Catherine E. Wilson

In what ways do faith-based and community organizations serve immigrants and refugees as families in the United States? In this article, Dr. Catherine Wilson examines the role that faith-based organizations play in providing refuge and engaging in acts of nonviolent resistance for immigrant populations at the local level. Using Philadelphia as a case study, Wilson presents distinct kinds of micro-innovations advanced by those organizations involved in the modern-day Sanctuary Movement. Read the article >>

 

 

 

5. The Memphis Immigration Project: A Testimony

Rondell Treviño

Rondell Treviño, the founder of the Memphis Immigration Project, gives testimony of his own experience and work with immigrant families. Arguing that family unity is a bedrock belief, he tells the story of how his work led to launching a special project in February 2017, a faith based organization that exists to engage issues of immigration from a biblical perspective in order to help the church–a people on a mission - to be better equipped and challenged to think, dialogue, and act biblically about immigration issues. Read the article >>

 

4. Will Family-Based US Immigration Survive?

Meredith Owen

Families are at the foundation of our nation, yet increasingly family-based immigration services are being challenged. Already in 2014 the Department of Homeland Security and Immigration and Customs Enforcement began to detain mothers and children, in cases separating them to deter others. Family detention, separation, and capricious and retrospective terminations of family unification policies are all major challenges to an immigration system that, Meredith Owen argues, is in desperate need of support and renovation. Read the article >>

 

 

3. The Politics of a Shared Meal

Tim Hoiland

When many of us think about, discuss, and take positions on immigration policy, we do so in the abstract. But for families that include husbands and wives, sons and daughters living sin papeles, abstraction is a luxury they cannot afford. When elected officials debate immigration policy, the unity of the family – that “most basic of human institutions” – is seldom part of the conversation but is always at stake. How do we, for whom immigration policy is less of a daily concern, better understand the experience of being undocumented? How might citizens from across the political spectrum better empathize with vulnerable families who are constantly facing impossible choices? Is it possible that the dinner table is where we might learn what it means to be hospitable? Read the article >>

 

2. Family Matters in the Deportation Discussion: A Theological Orientation

M. Daniel Carroll R.

At a time of such complex and heated discussions revolving around deportation, it behooves Christians to base their stance on the topic in their Scriptures. This article proposes that consideration of the person of God, the centrality of the family in the Bible, and its consistent concern for widows and orphans are grounds for questioning indiscriminate deportation that leads to family separation. These three scriptural points make it clear that the separation of families is contrary to the person and will of God. Read the article >>

 

 

 

 

 

 

1. Why Immigration Is First About Families, Not Economics Or Security

Stephanie Summers  

In the struggle between family and nation, now at the forefront of our national debate, who gets priority? The state’s power to decide, divide, and deport, is unmatched. But what is the state’s duty in the work of public justice to immigrants and their families? Does the American state, our civil society, its churches or citizens, owe anything to the millions of non-citizen families who reside here?

Center for Public Justice CEO Stephanie Summers serves as our contributing editor in Public Justice Review’s newest series, “Families, Nations, Immigration: Who Comes First?” The series explores what statesman and theologian Abraham Kuyper and a long history of the Christian social tradition calls the fundamental community of politics, the family–a frequent and early casualty in the debates over immigration.
Read the article >>


Vol. 7, 2018 - How Should We Then Be Formed?

Jonathan Chaplin (Contributing Editor)

 

6. Citizenship as Craft

Rachel Anderson

How can we cultivate the craft of citizenship as an expression of the divinely given vocation to steward and order the earth? In this article, CPJ Fellow Rachel Anderson explores our political calling as Christian citizens and its implications for our practice of the craft of citizenship.

Anderson discusses the principles of CPJ’s innovative pilot curriculum, Political Discipleship, which guides groups through nine sessions of study to undertake one important civic task: generating and asking thoughtful and thought-provoking questions of a political office-holder around a particular issue of concern within the community. Grounded in prayer and reflection, Political Discipleship equips participants to practice citizenship with real stakes, to dialogue with each other about issues that matter, and to engage those with actual political power. Read the article >>

5. Caring for Elected Officials in Our Local Congregations

Jim Talen

Many elected officials find it difficult to engage with their local church congregations about their work in public service or about government and politics in general. In this article, Jim Talen, a Kent County Commissioner, reflects on his experience with this in his own congregation. Talen explores some of the reasons why he thinks this challenge is a reality for so many in elected office. Talen argues that if we recognize the appropriate role of government in our lives, alongside other institutions like families, businesses, schools and churches, then it follows that we can support, in a distinctive way, those in our congregations who labor in the political arena. Exploring what this might look like, Talen offers some suggestions for ways that congregations can support their brothers and sisters who are called to hold public office. Read the article >>

4. Educating the Political Disciple

Dr. Kevin den Dulk

Christians often assume that non-educational institutions, like churches and families, are the primary seedbeds of good citizenship. And while we have given some attention to what good citizens are and why they are necessary, we have not devoted the same critical energy to how we form those citizens through the pedagogies most prevalent in formal education.

In this article, Kevin den Dulk argues that formation is not held by any monopoly, and our schooling systems have unfolded as key cultivators of young citizens. Den Dulk explores the ways that our most prominent educational frameworks reproduce rather than meet key challenges to citizen formation in the current age, highlighting overlooked gaps that should matter to Christians who seek shalom through their citizenship and political discipleship. Read the article >>

3. Terrorism and the Politics of Worship

Dr. Matthew Kaemingk

How do wise and mature Christian citizens respond to national traumas like 9-11 or the events in Charlottesville? How can the church prepare its disciples to follow Jesus into a divided and traumatized world? Does what Christians do together in worship have political consequences? Matthew Kaemingk offers compelling answers to these questions in his article that explores the political nature of worship.

Kaemingk discusses six concrete ways that worship forms Christian citizens to resist the politics of fear, to humble their political agendas, to respond well to trauma, to reach across divides, and to seek and pray for the flourishing of their diverse and divided neighbors. Read the article >>

2. Re-forming Citizens For A Just Politics

Dr. Jonathan Chaplin

How can the church form disciples for lives of public faithfulness and a politics of solidarity and justice? Jonathan Chaplin responds to that question in this article with a rich theological exploration of the dynamic summons of biblical justice. Chaplin discusses the implications of our being created as justice-seeking people whose God-given desire for and pursuit of justice has been dulled and twisted by the fall.

Chaplin argues that humans need just familial, cultural, economic, and political relationships if they are to fulfill their original calling to be images of God, tending and unfolding creation’s gifts. Therefore, one of the distinctive tasks of the church is to recalibrate our perception of justice and to re-shape and re-form our desire for it, equipping us for the practice of a just politics.   Read the article >>

 

1. Awaiting the King

An interview with James K. A. Smith 

Stephanie Summers, CEO of the Center for Public Justice, recently spoke with James K.A. Smith about his newest book Awaiting the King: Reforming Public Theology, the culminating book in his acclaimed Cultural Liturgies project. Summers and Smith discussed a wide range of ideas including the deformative powers of culture on us as Christians, our society’s move away from a sense of a shared life together, and how the church can be a community of political formation in which worship is central. His book provides a number of thought-provoking starting points that our writers will discuss in this series that explores Christian political formation in a pluralistic society. Read the article >>


Vol. 6, 2017 - Freedom to Serve the Vulnerable

Chelsea Langston Bombino (Contributing Editor)

6. Religious Freedom and Government Partnerships: Where Do We Go from Here?

Stanley Carlson-Thies and Chelsea Langston Bombino

In this final article of the series, Stanley Carlson-Thies and Chelsea Langston Bombino discuss some of the important public justice principles for serving our vulnerable neighbors that have been explored in the series. They demonstrate why this public justice framework matters as it avoids the dualism that is especially prevalent in today’s highly polarized public discourse.

As we support a robust role for faith-based institutions and affirm the good role of government in providing for the well-being of our communities, the authors argue for an understanding of the limited, yet positive, task of government. In this, government plays a vital role in upholding human flourishing doing what only government can do, but it also appropriately bounds itself so that citizens and institutions can be active on behalf of their neighbors.  Read the article >>

5. Why the Black Church is Vital for Healthy Communities

A Conversation with Pastor Cheryl Gaines

Pastor Cheryl Mitchell Gaines, J.D., M.Div, is the founder and Senior Pastor of ReGeneration House of Praise, also known as the Church in the Field, in Southeast Washington, D.C. The impetus for starting the Church in the Field was the tragic death of four young people in the community. Pastor Gaines has spent her career empowering Black families and young people to thrive physically, spiritually, emotionally and vocationally. She spoke with Chelsea Langston Bombino about the vital role that Black congregations play in serving their communities.  Read the article >>

4. Partnering for Health: Federally Qualified Health Centers

Chelsea Maxwell

An estimated 30,000 people will die this year of an opioid overdose. The opioid crisis has been declared a public health emergency, affecting people of all socioeconomic levels and races and ethnicities. So many people are dying that a new study has found that the rise in opioid-related deaths has contributed to an overall decrease in the average American life expectancy.

Faith-motivated groups across the country have long recognized the need for accessible, quality, and affordable health care in their communities, and they have organized to provide health services to vulnerable populations regardless of their patients’ ability to pay. Like many other nonprofit organizations, faith-based organizations often partner with government to meet the needs of their particular communities. In this article, Chelsea Maxwell explores how government has bolstered the work of community-based health centers and equipped them to expand their work through their designation as Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHCs). Maxwell shares the profound stories of the tremendous work of Christian, Jewish, and Muslim faith-based health centers across the country that have been living out their f