Yesterday, policy and denominational staff from faith communities including the United Methodist Church , the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops and the Religious Action Center of Reformed Judaism attended a "Dialogue with Labor". The first part of the event focused on a dialogue with AFL-CIO Executive Vice President Arlene Holt Baker. Ms. Holt Baker reiterated the need for collaboration with the faith community and reflected on how her own faith background has sustained her career as a worker justice advocate. Jim Winkler, General Secretary of the United Methodist Church Board of Church and Society spoke on how the tradition of the United Methodist Church has been conflicted but stands on the 1908 Social Creed that honors workers.
After lunch, Dr.Edie Rassell, Minister of Economic Justice for the United Church of Christ, led a discussion around the economic crisis and how the faith community should respond. There were other speakers and presenters but the bottom line is this..... The faith community must respond to this.. the implications of this crisis have an impact that is beyond statistics.... there are lives being affected by these events and our action (or lack thereof) will be a lasting witness to our committment to the "least of these".
There will be more to come, including a conference call on June 2, where we will present a "Covenant " around Jobs!