How do Christians respond to consumerism, the global economy, housing issues, and food crises? You don't need to be an economist to understand these issues or challenge accepted world views. These are a few of many resources and organizations dedicated to an alternative view of economics.
Friendship Press has published a "workbook for beginners," Global Economics: Seeking a Christian Ethic, by Rev. Ian McCrae. Covering basic economic concepts and the interdependence of different systems, the book explains not only crises but also signs of hope, as well as exploring the guidance the Bible offers. The workbook, available for $7.95, is part of a series of resources that addresses global economics.
A Matter of Interest ($19.95), a 13-minute animated video, explains why, despite a dramatic increase in the world's money supply, the international debt continues to pile up. Caribbean Money-Go-Round ($19.95), a simulation game for youth and adults, teaches global economics through Caribbean realities. Players must make choices to overcome difficulties in Puerto Rico, Jamaica, and Dominica; and every decision has its price.
Friendship Press is a part of the National Council of Churches of Christ. These and many other economic resources are available from the Friendship Press Distribution Office, P.O. Box 37844, Cincinnati, OH 45222-0844; or by calling (513) 948-8733. Add 10 percent for shipping ($2 minimum).
What would a just free trade agreement look like? Contributors from Mexico, Canada, and the United States offer a critique of and alternatives to the North American Free Trade Agreement in Trading Freedom: How Free Trade Affects Our Lives, Work, and Environment. Published in 1992 by Food First, the book outlines the dimensions of an ecologically sustainable alternative vision for an economically integrated North America - a vision of jobs and justice, food and freedom, development and democracy.
Drawing on the experiences of communities in the three countries, this comprehensive collection provides a critique of proposals for a continental free trade zone through an examination of its impact on workers, consumers, women, and the environment. Edited by John Cavanagh, a fellow at the Institute for Policy Studies, with John Gershman, Karen Baker, and Gretchen Helmke, the book is available for $10 from Food First, Institute for Food and Development Policy, 398 60th St., Oakland, CA 94618; or by calling (800) 888-3314. Add $3.50 for shipping; California residents add 7.5 percent sales tax.
The Washington Area Community Investment Fund (WACIF) makes loans to develop qualified low- and moderate-income housing projects in the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area. WACIF is a non-profit membership organization that raises loan capital and lends to qualified borrowers - already approving approximately $1.2 million in loans for community-based housing development corporations, tenant organizations, and mission groups of religious congregations. This fund is an innovative channel for socially concerned investors - individuals, corporations, foundations, community organizations, and religious groups - to direct their investments to meet a critical housing need while preserving capital and achieving a fixed yield.
WACIF offers short- and long-term investment alternatives. While two- to five-year terms have been most popular, a tremendous need exists for longer term loan capital. A minimum investment of $1,000 is required.
For information, contact the Washington Area Community Investment Fund, 2201 P St. NW, Washington, DC 20037; or call (202) 462-4727.
Also, watch for Sojourners' forthcoming resource and study guide on an economics of values, vision, and community - highlighting new, transformative initiatives for economic justicedue out in early 1994!
Pull up a chair and visit the mountains every day of the year with Porches of Appalachia, the 1994 Simple Lifestyles Calendar from Appalachia Science in the Public Interest (ASPI). The prize-winning black and white photographs by Warren Brunner celebrate the magical spacehalfway between home and mountain - of the Appalachian porch. Each day of the year offers a brief lifestyle - or justice-awareness suggestion.
Proceeds from this 17th-anniversary edition wall calendar support work on environmental and Appalachian issues. The calendar is available for $6 each plus $1.50 postage and handling (bulk rates available) from ASPI Calendar, Rt. 5, Box 423, Livingston, KY 40445. Kentucky residents add 6 percent sales tax.
Why should peacemakers dance? Through sound, movement, and imagery, peacemaking can become more dynamic, taking on a reality and urgency that goes beyond words. PeaceRites outlines a series of five movement workshops about creating peace by liturgical dancer and choreographer Carla DeSola.
The objective of PeaceRites is to reinforce those already committed to working for peace and to challenge others to explore the meaning of peace through shared communal experience. The five workshops explore the following dimensions of nurturing peace for self and community: Disarming the Self, In Touch With Others, Dancing on Holy Ground, The Way of the Beatitudes, and The Peace Rite. Participants need no formal dance training. Edited by Thomas Kane, C.P.S., the publication is based on scripture and prayer and will be of value to dancers and even those of us who lack such grace and expertise.
PeaceRites is available for $11.95 plus $2.20 shipping and handling from the Pastoral Press, 225 Sheridan St. NW, Washington, DC 20011-1492.