Martin Luther King's sermon at Riverside Church linked the devastating Vietnam war to the struggle over poverty. I began working that year in an under-resourced community and wore a "Bread not Bombs" sweatshirt to anti-war demonstrations. Sadly, not much has changed. The amount spent on the Iraq war (CBO estimate $9 billion a month, up to $1 trillion total), if directed elsewhere, would virtually ensure [...]
Until very recently, I had no idea how hard it is for some of our friends just to find somewhere to lay themselves down to sleep at night. I knew that inner-city families moved around a lot, but I didn't realize how much heartache and humiliation goes before and after most of those moves, both for the families and for the neighborhoods they come and go from in search of better space.
Part of the problem is low incomes, of course, which leave almost everyone around here one minor [...]
"We have the ability to solve this crisis and avoid the worst of its consequences, if we act boldly, decisively and quickly", said Al Gore in is Nobel Peace Prize acceptance speech. He called on the U.S. and China, the worst polluters, to stop blaming others and take action "or stand accountable before history for their failure to act." God calls us to care for creation and the generations to come; we, too, will stand judged if we do not rouse from our doze and not only call for action on [...]
Suddenly it seems there's a full-scale war going on in our neighborhood, and we and our neighbors here are in a new kind of danger.
On their way back to college after helping out at our weekly dinner party, our friends Jenny and Alyssa stopped at an intersection and noticed a group of guys milling around in the early evening, less than a block from our church. A moment later, guns started [...]
Two months ago, for the first time in my eight years living in Washington, D.C., I was mugged. Two young men rolled up in a pickup truck while I was unloading groceries from my car in the alley next to my condo building. They made me lie on the ground, held a gun to my neck as they took my money, and then locked me in the trunk of my car as they made their getaway. Fortunately I still had my cell [...]
Thanksgiving is the time of year when American generosity is clearly visible. We make donations to our local food banks and homeless shelters and volunteer in soup kitchens. But do we really believe that is the solution to hunger?
Part seven in a series of posts by Bob Massey, a Los Angeles screenwriter who is currently traveling to India with a team from Ecclesia Hollywood hosted by a faith-based human rights organization whose work in Mumbai concentrates on rescuing girls from sexual slavery. + Click here to read previous posts
MLK said that "injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere." New York Faith and Justice believes that poverty anywhere is a threat to God's shalom everywhere. Which is why when we were invited by the UN Millennium Campaign to host a local event in support of the Millennium Development Goals, we quickly accepted. The MDGs are some pretty decent things. When world leaders come together in a covenant-like promise to halve extreme global [...]
Last evening I attended a reception and dinner in Washington for evangelical Christian leaders, which is not an unusual event here. But the topic and, especially, the main speaker would seem highly unusual to many. The event, called "A Global Leaders Forum," was hosted by the National Association of Evangelicals and the Micah Challenge, a global advocacy campaign focused on achieving the Millennium [...]
Mamta, a winsome, wide-eyed girl of 12 moves through her daily chores in a poor household in India. Although still a child, her life has little play, and she will too soon be bearing the full responsibilities and burdens of an adult woman: Mamta was married at the age of 7. At puberty she will quit school and move to the house of her husband, who she's had no contact with since her wedding night [...]
New York Faith and Justice was inspired into being by Sojourners/Call to Renewal during their annual Pentecost Conference in 2006. It started with just a handful of committed Christians in New York who were focused on discovering how God was leading them to respond to the issue of poverty in their city.
As Becky Garrison reported last week, their mission is simple but profound: "Following [...]
When I got an invitation to attend the launch of New York Faith & Justice (www.nyfaithjustice.org), their mission statement caught my eye. Simply stated, their goals are: Following Christ, uniting the church, and ending poverty in New York through spiritual formation, education, and direct advocacy. Grounded in the words of Isaiah 61, this movement [...]