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Washington Office launches campaign for economic justice

Theo Sither
July 10, 2009

Washington, D.C. – The Washington Office of Mennonite Central Committee (MCC) U.S. has launched a campaign through the spring of 2010 called "Abundant Life: Economic Justice for All."

Economic justice calls for a financial system which acknowledges policies and actions that sanction both domestic and international inequities and then provides for the basic needs of all people. We can examine what has gone wrong and envision creative alternatives, in which everyone can experience the full, abundant life which Jesus promises.

The global economic crisis and resulting global recession have led to job losses and deepening poverty that is affecting millions of people in the U.S. and around the world. The Washington Office is responding to this crisis by calling on churches and individuals to work for economic justice for all people.

"In this time of crisis, there is much pain but also a unique opportunity to make our economic system more just. Policymakers are suddenly questioning long-held assumptions, and we in the church can point to a new way forward by giving voice to those who suffered long before this crisis began," says Rachelle Lyndaker Schlabach, director of the Washington Office.

The campaign will focus on four areas of U.S. policy: health care, international debt, housing and global trade. Congregations in the United States will have the opportunity to pray, reflect and act by setting aside one Sunday for each topic. Materials, information and resources will be available through the Washington Memo, a quarterly newsletter from the Washington Office.

The first area of focus will be the reform of the U.S. health care system. The title for the first Sunday is "And Many were Healed: Health Care for All." The Washington Office is calling on congregations to set July 19 (or any Sunday that is convenient) as the day of prayer and action for health care reform in the U.S.

More than 47 million Americans lack health insurance and another 16 million are underinsured. The health care system is broken and reform is desperately needed. Half of all U.S. bankruptcies are a result of health-related bills.

Individuals and congregations can sign up to participate in the prayer and action day online at washington.mcc.org/life.

Each congregation that registers will receive 10 free copies of the Washington Memo.