"From Spirituality to Activism"
(Without Choosing One Over the Other)
March 19, 2011
Christ Congregational Church, UCC, Brockton
$10.00, which includes lunch, payable either in advance or at the door.
(Click here for directions)  
An important conference designed to ask "what does our spiritual heritage call us to do in a broken and damaged world?" And "how you and your church can become an activist in ministry and action in that world?"

 Keynote Speaker:  Rev. Dr. James Forbes 
Pastor Emeritus Riverside Church, NYC; director of Healing of the Nations Foundation.

Preacher: Rev. Dr. Mary Luti
Dean of Chapel and Professor of Preaching and Worship at Andover Newton Theological School 

Music: Earth Harmony 
South Shore Gospel, Bluegrass, Traditional, and Folk group

The Workshops: 
 "Homelessness and Your Church," Tom Washington, Executive Director, Mainspring House, Brockton. 
 "Faith-Based Political Advocacy for Hungry People," Flavia DeSouza, Northeast Organizer for Bread for the World.
 "Seafarers Friend," Rev. J. Loring Carpenter, Executive Director.
 "Guiding Your Church Through 'Opening and Affirming' Without Getting Your Pastor Fired," Rev. Fran Bogle, Just Peace Coordinator, Just Peace Players.  

"'Let your fingers do the walking!' Hand-held finger labyrinths as tools for focus, meditation, prayer," Helen Rowe Blake.
"How to do Mission When You Don't Have Any Money," Rev. Peter Wells, MACUCC, Associate Conference Minister and coordinator of Conference Mission & Justice programs.
"How Faith Communities can Work for Immigrant Rights," Alex Kern, Chaplain, Brandeis University, and executive director of Boston Cooperative Metropolitan Ministries.  
 "Advocacy for Fair Trade Over Free Trade in the Developing World," Neeka Stanley, Jubilee Massachusetts.
 "Planet At Risk: The Hidden Casualties of Wars and Militarism," Beth Adams, MACUCC Eco Ministries, NE Regional UCC Environmental Justice, and long-time faith-based environmental, human rights, and peace and justice activist.


More Resources and Information   
How do I sign up?
to ask more questions and find more information. An email will open up to Ms. Ruth Poole, conference registrar. 
to download a registration form. You can either (a) print it out, fill it out by hand, and mail it in to the address included on it, or (b) fill it out on your word processor and send it back as an attachment to the email address included on it. 

to forward this notice to someone else you know who would love to come.

How Do I Publicize this Event?
Click here
for a down-loadable flier about the conference. Post it in your church. Give it to your missions or justice committees, or to those people in your church committed personally to spirituality and activism. Invite them all.

Click here

to download a pdf file bulletin insert for 8.5x11-sized orders of service

Click here

to download a pdf file bulletin insert for 8.5x14-sized orders of service

Click here

for a fully formatted version of this announcement with photos, that you can forward to your friends.

What more can we do to help?
Click here
For a "Best Practices for Doing Mission and Justice" form your mission or justice committee can fill out to tell us what you are doing for spirituality and activism in your church and community. Mail it in with your registration or bring it with you, but fill it out so that we can learn from you. Teach us. Inspire us. We'll share it with others. You'll be famous. 

if you would like to make an financial contribution to help with the costs of this conference. It is larger than our normal annual budget and your help will be greatly appreciated (when you click, an email to Stan Duncan will pop up, and you can ask how you can help).  

Unemployment Does Not Equal Poverty

In this article David Leonhardt looks at the Gallup study of global unemployment and makes the point that a country can have vast poverty an yet still have low unemployment. It is a point that people of faith and conscience have been making for years, yet he seems to believe that it is surprising news (or at least he believes that his readers would view it as surprising).

In America we have often said that watching unemployment numbers so closely (as the media tends to do) misses the depths of what is happening to America as a whole. Our national income has been stagnating or declining for decades, even during times when our employment was high. That is because people are losing high paying jobs and finding low or modest paying jobs. When you leave a $30 an hour factory job and take a $15 an hour Wal-Mart job, you are still employed, but you are more poor. Every now and then the media pundits will note that, but then they quickly move on to jobless claims trench that they are more interested in and more familiar with. What they (and we) should be saying is that we have near ten percent unemployment and near twenty-five percent poverty. But we don't.

But here are Leonhardt's comments on the global picture, in which he comes reasonably close to making that point. 

Unemployment Does Not Equal Poverty
By David Leonhardt
January 19, 2011

Perhaps the most surprising part of the new Gallup study of unemployment around the world is that poorer countries don’t tend to have higher jobless rates. After surveying workers in 129 countries, Gallup concludes that “there is no significant relationship between unemployment rates and GDP per capita.” The relevant chart, which shows basically no pattern:
So what makes poor countries poor? In part, they have too many part-time jobs and too many people working for themselves (in either case, making meager amounts of money).
Here’s the Gallup’s chart comparing per-capita gross domestic product and underemployment, a category that includes part-time workers who want to be working full time:
You’ll notice many more countries in the upper-left corner of the chart (rich countries, with little underemployment) and the lower-right corner (poor countries, with lots of underemployment) than in the other two corners.
The relationship between poverty and what Gallup calls “employed full time for an employer” is even stronger:
And that same relationship in map form:
The United States is the richest large country in the world, and it has a relatively small share of people who work for themselves or who work part-time against their wishes. Surprisingly, though, Gallup found that straight-up unemployment was higher in the United States than in Sri Lanka, Turkmenistan, Uganda, Niger, Bolivia, Vietnam, Chad, Belarus or China.