Call to Renewals second annual "Pentecost to Overcome Poverty" will be Sunday, May 31. It is not too early to begin planning for the activities your network can organize.
Acts 2:42 says that following Pentecost, members of the early church devoted themselves to praying, teaching, and sharing their bread with the poor. In 1997, 55 local actions and religious services in 26 states combined these elementspraying, teaching, and sharing. Congregations met in their houses of worship for a Pentecost service, then regathered at state capitols, municipal buildings, and other locations. Church-goers learned about the issues critical to welfare and poverty in their communities, prayed for those in need, shared a community meal, and reaffirmed that as church and society we are responsible for how we treat the most vulnerable among us.
In worship services and in other events, this day focuses on increasing awareness, educating people about the effects of welfare reform on individual communities and the nation as a whole, and working for justice for people made poor in our society. "Pentecost to Overcome Poverty" can bring together Christian values, experience, and community in an effective public witness.
IN MOST AREAS of the country, it is safe to say that a year into welfare reform, "welfare as we know it" no longer exists. What does exist is a crazy quilt of inconsistent policies varying from state to state, and in some cases from county to county. While there are some early success stories to report, the truly difficult work still lies ahead.