Economic Justice Covenant Program

Engaging Our Faith

The resources in this section are intended for use in Sunday worship or for group Bible study. Traditional faith practices, including corporate worship and group study and reflection, are necessary for any congregation considering a new commitment or re-commitment to economic justice. The resources here facilitate individual and congregational moments of discernment and learning, and provide a solid biblical, theological, and liturgical foundation from which social action and public witness may emerge.

These tools can assist people of faith to gain an increased awareness of the scripture’s treatment of economic justice issues and provide resources for worship and sermon preparation on issues of economic justice and action.

The resources on this page include:

•  Bible studies 
•  Sermon seeds
•  Scriptures on justice and advocacy
•  Prayers for justice and peace
•  Hymns with justice themes
•  Additional Resources

 Bible Studies
These four Bible studies can be used in lay- or clergy-led adult education groups, a Lenten study series, or other occasions. Each study includes a reflection on the text and discussion questions.

Don’t Worry  Matthew 6:25-33
We are invited to wrestle with questions of scarcity and abundance in a society where many live with fear and worry.

Lazarus and the Rich Man Luke 16:19-31
Each of us has characteristics of Lazarus and the rich man.

Jesus and the Rich Young Man Mark 10:17-22
We examine Jesus’ encounter with the rich young man who asks what he must do to inherit eternal life and explore the challenge of living faithfully with wealth.

At the Foot of the Cross John 19:25-27
At the foot of Jesus’ cross, we stand in a community of equals bearing witness to the suffering world.

Sermon Seeds  
These sermon preparation aids are designed for ministers seeking to preach on economic justice. They offer helpful contextual commentary and questions for further reflection. These scriptures could be used for a sermon series or individually, or could be used in a clergy-led Bible study.

Each Sermon Seed includes a discussion of a key biblical text, raises issues of justice and advocacy, provides questions or discussion ideas, and concludes with a prayer. Depending on the size and inclination of your group, you might also add a brief liturgical moment at the beginning, perhaps with additional readings, litanies, and hymns. Be creative. The important thing is to wrestle with the Bible in a productive, creative way.

This is intended to help the congregation in its study and worship during the early stages of becoming an economic justice church. While these are intended for group study, they can be used also for personal study and reflection. These four lessons will, hopefully, whet the congregation’s appetite for further exploration of biblical economic themes. There are additional adult and youth Bible studies listed in the resources. As an aid to Lectionary preaching (or Christian education programs that follow the Lectionary) whenever the text is included in the common lectionary this is indicated.    

The Sabbath and Jubilee Traditions Exodus 20:8-11 and Deuteronomy 5:12-15

Liberation and Empowerment Isaiah 61:1-11

The (Previously) Dishonest (Fund) Manager Luke 16:1-8a

The Parable of the Mortgage Renegotiation Lobbyist Luke 18:1-8

Scriptures on Justice and Advocacy     
This lengthy listing of Bible passages illuminates a number of economic justice issues, including caring for the poor, defending the rights of others, engaging in stewardship of creation, and eliminating hunger and poverty.

Prayers for Justice and Peace  
These prayers center on issues like global economic justice, workers, and persons oppressed by globalization and poverty.

Hymns with Justice Themes   
These hymns from the New Century Hymnal relate to economic justice. Some are in Spanish.

Additional Resource  
Just Faith is a 30-week experience focused on discipleship and the call to be about God’s dream of justice and compassion in a world scarred by poverty. Meeting weekly, small groups of 10-15 people employ books, videos, discussion, prayer, retreats and hands-on experiences to deepen their faith and thirst for justice.

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CONTACT INFO

Ms. Edith Rasell, Ph.D.
Minister for Economic Justice
700 Prospect Ave.
Cleveland, Ohio 44115
216-736-3709
raselle@ucc.org