Observe Labor Sunday 2014
The Sunday of Labor Day weekend (August 31) is Labor Sunday, a day to lift up workers, celebrate their contributions, and support their struggles. It is also a day to lament and commit ourselves to improving jobs so that every worker has wages, benefits, and work hours that allow them to be self sufficient and live lives of wholeness.
Conditions and events at work absorb our energy, occupy our minds, and impact our psyches when we are at work and after returning home. Some workers confront particularly unjust situations—unsafe conditions, extremely low pay, racism, sexism, and other abuses. All workers, whatever their position in the hierarchy of jobs, may suffer from indignities, large and small, that cripple their spirit and hinder their journey to greater wholeness. The Church, the body of Christ, is called to seek out and accompany people wherever they are. So the Church must also be in our offices, factories, stores, farms, schools, and all the places where people work. As Isaiah reminds us, we are called "to loose the bonds of injustice, to undo the thongs of the yoke, to let the oppressed go free, and to break every yoke" (Isaiah 58:6).
Justice and Witness Ministries encouages congregations to participate in Labor Sunday. Links on this page lead to resources for worship, organizations that would welcome our involvement in struggles for justice, and sources for general information about working conditions.
There are many ways to lift up workers and our work lives during a Labor Sunday service. God's Call to End Oppression is a worker-justice themed reflection based on the August 31, 2014, lectionary passages. Also see reflections/sermon seeds from previous years as well as Worship Resources including Calls to Worship, Prayers, and Hymns. A Mission Moment, sermon, or prayer can lift up workers' concerns. You might want to invite a worker to give the Sunday message addressing issues of our faith from the perspective of workers and the workplace. This could be a member of the congregation or someone from the community, possibly engaged in a local labor struggle.
Interfaith Worker Justice (IWJ) also has helpful resources for Labor Sunday services and can help identify a local speaker. Local Jobs with Justice organizations can also help identify potential speakers.
|Support Workers in Your Community
There are many organizations – formed by working people and supported by others in solidarity with them – that would welcome our involvement. Many groups are active in multiple locations around the country. Please investigate to see if there is one near you. Its work would be strengthened by your support.
|More resources related to justice for workers