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2011- Big Tent: God’s economy: Jobs, income gap called human rights issues

INDIANAPOLIS (PNS)In a time of slow recovery from the recession and
growing income inequality among American workers, Presbyterians must
not forget that God also has some ideas about economic theory and income
distribution.

Human rights ― employment for all, the elimination of hunger and poverty,
universal affordable health care and social security in sickness and old age
― are the hallmarks of God’s oikonomia, or economy.

Gloria Albrecht, an ethics professor from Detroit, and Bill Saint of Fairfax,
Va., a development specialist and former employee of the World Bank, told
the National Elders conference on July 1 that God has provided us enough to
go around.

“If we do it right, there’s enough for all,” said Albrecht, co-moderator of
the PC(USA)’s Advisory Committee on Social Witness Policy. “It’s how we
choose to distribute the ‘enough’ that’s in God’s economy” that has created
the sharp spike in income inequality and other serious problems over the
past 30 years or so.

She said that one of the moral principles in God’s economy is that people of
faith can use their work as a vocation, serving both God and neighbor.

“It’s not just priests and nuns who serve God through their work,” Albrecht
said.

In response to a mandate by the 219th General Assembly, ACSWP is
studying the effects of the most recent recession. Albrecht and Saint used
elders’ input during a 90-minute workshop to help shape the committee’s
report.

In small groups, elders answered such questions as “What moral principles
do you see in God’s economy” and “How can we live in the economy of
God?”

For more on PC(USA) social witness policies, visit the ACSWP Web site.

Mike Ferguson, a member of United Presbyterian Church in Lone Tree,
Iowa, and a reporter for the Muscatine Journal, is covering the National
Elders Conference at Big Tent for PNS.

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