The Common Good
January 2009

The Poverty Pulpit

by Rose Marie Berger, Amy Spaulding | January 2009

In September, hundreds of churches nationwide joined in Poverty Sunday, part of Sojourners’ Vote Out Poverty campaign, to preach justice for the poor from the pulpit.

In September, hundreds of churches nationwide joined in Poverty Sunday, part of Sojourners’ Vote Out Poverty campaign, to preach justice for the poor from the pulpit. One prominent participant was ABC News President David Westin, who attends the Reformed Church of Bronxville, in New York. As a member of the church’s mission council, Wes­tin was asked to give the message on Poverty Sunday. “Just as we are called by Jesus’ example to minister to the least fortunate among us,” preached Westin, “we are also called to do what we can to address what makes them less fortunate than we. And there is no question in my mind that poverty is at the center of many of the problems we see today.”

Vote Out Poverty seeks to cut U.S. poverty in half in 10 years and to end extreme global poverty by fulfilling the Mil­lennium Develop­ment Goals. Ac­cording to census data, the overall poverty rate in the U.S. increased only slightly in 2007, but the proportion of children in poverty increased more sharply. “Nationally,” reported Mc­Clat­chy News­papers, “children ac­count for nearly 36 percent of Ameri­cans in poverty, though they make up only 25 percent of the population.”

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