Compelling work going in Lexington, KY. Click on and scroll down for a great interview on Food Justice Radio.
Fresh Stop Markets are “pop up” farm-fresh food markets set up at local churches and community centers in fresh food insecure neighborhoods. The food has been paid for in advance so that farmers don’t face the same degree of risk as they do with a standard farmers’ market. People in the community describe Fresh Stop Markets as welcoming and happy—like a family reunion where all five senses are engaged and there is lots of laughter, food and fun! Continue reading “Fresh Stop Markets”→
An important report from National Catholic Reporter’s Brian Roewe on shareholder activism:
When ExxonMobil shareholders overwhelmingly voted in late May in favor of a resolution aimed at shedding light on the impacts of addressing climate change on the oil company’s long-term assets, Dominican Sr. Patricia Daly was among those beaming brightest.
Through investment groups like the coalition, which comprises 40 Catholic institutions, and the larger Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility, she and other faith-based investors have been working for two decades to bring about change at Exxon in how it recognizes and responds to climate change.
At the annual ExxonMobil meeting in Dallas May 31, the shareholder resolution, co-filed by the New York Common Retirement Fund and the Church of England and joined by the Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility and 50 other institutions representing $5 trillion in managed assets, received 62.3 percent of the shareholders’ vote — the highest ever at Exxon for a climate-related measure.
The resolution, which Exxon opposed, seeks for the world’s largest energy company to produce an annual report of the long-term impacts on its oil and gas reserves from global climate policies aimed at restricting average temperature rise well below 2 degrees Celsius (3.6 degrees Fahrenheit) and as low as 1.5 degrees C — the primary goal of the Paris Agreement on climate change, which calls for drastic cuts in carbon emissions and a global shift toward a zero-carbon economy in order to meet the 2 C target and avert the worst climate impacts.
Exodus Lending, which launched two years ago from a Minneapolis Lutheran congregation as the first alternative to payday loans, has made its 100th loan, including to 41 working-poor borrowers who were refinanced from the “payday loan debt trap” and repaid in full.
Opt-out of the consumer fest that the holidays have become, the weeks of overconsumption that leave you feeling empty. Quit performing out of habit.
Think back to your fondest memories, those moments of real joy.
What might the holidays be like if you refused to hit the mall … let your friends know that you’re not accepting gifts (and not giving any either) … give back to people in real need … and if you do have to give a gift go indie or go rogue … make it yourself … inject some life back into that sedated and automatic sense of time. Continue reading “#BUYNOTHINGXMAS”→
By Ched Myers, on Luke 13:10-17, for the 14th Sunday after Pentecost
Note: This is part of a series of weekly comments on the Lukan gospel readings from the Revised Common Lectionary during year C, 2016.
This part of Luke’s gospel offers two symbolic stories about the healing of “political bodies” that signify pathology in the body politic: the “bent over” woman (13:10-17) and the “too big” man (14:1-6). Sadly, the second of these is (literally) skipped over by the lectionary. These intimately related healings bracket a series of Jesus’ sayings concerning the Kingdom as surprise and mystery (13:18-21), the “narrow Way” (13:22-30) and the cost of prophetic discipleship (13:31-35). Continue reading “Healing as Liberation from Crippling Debt”→
Bartimaeus Cooperative Ministries has proclaimed a Jubilee on their Sabbath Economics curriculum, packaging their regular Sabbath Economics book bundle with the Mammon to Manna DVD at a super Sabbath price of just $7.77 for all three (plus shipping, and tax where applicable). Click here to order. This is a quote from The Biblical Vision of Sabbath Economics by Ched Myers (2001):
Privately controlled wealth is the backbone of capitalism, and it is predicated upon the exploitation of natural resources and human labor. Profit maximization renders socio-economic stratification, objectification and alienation inevitable. According to the gospel, however, those who are privileged within this system cannot enter the Kingdom. This is not good news for First World Christians–because we are the “inheritors” of the rich man’s legacy. So the unequivocal gospel invitation to repentance is addressed to us. To deconstruct our “inheritance” and redistribute the wealth as reparation to the poor–that is what it means for us to follow Jesus.
A good number of people seem to be tempted to continue supporting factory farms while also buying meat outside that system when it is available. That’s nice. But if it is as far as our moral imaginations can stretch, then it’s hard to be optimistic about the future. Any plan that involves funneling money to the factory farm won’t end factory farming. How effective would the Montgomery bus boycott have been if the protestors had used the bus when it became inconvenient not to? How effective would a strike be if workers announced they would go back to work as soon as it became difficult to strike? If anyone finds in this book encouragement to buy some meat from alternative sources while buying factory farm meat as well, they have found something that isn’t there.
We know, at least, that this decision will help prevent deforestation, curb global warming, reduce pollution, save oil reserves, lessen the burden on rural America, decrease human rights abuses, improve public health, and help eliminate the most systematic animal abuse in world history. What we don’t know, though, may be just as important. How would making such a decision change us?
What kind of world would be create if three times a day we activated our compassion and reason as we sat down to eat, if we had the moral imagination and the pragmatic will to change our most fundamental act of consumption.
Choosing leaf or flesh, factory farm or family farm, does not in itself change the world, but teaching ourselves, our children, our local communities, and our nation to choose conscience over ease can. One of the greatest opportunities to live our values—or betray them—lies in the food we put on our plates. And we will live or betray our values not only as individuals, but as nations.