In response to the proposed government bailout of several major financial institutions, UCC general minister and president, the Rev. John H. Thomas, has called for pastors to speak on the financial crisis in their sermons and for congregations to take action.
"Our concern is for those who are the most vulnerable in our society," said Thomas. "The proposed government bailout of failing financial institutions must be accompanied by commitments to protect average Americans who are leveraging their futures to fund this plan."
The Rev. Linda Jaramillo, UCC Justice and Witness Ministries' executive minister, registered concerns over the bailout plan in an Oct. 2 Justice and Peace Action Network alert addressed to the U.S. House of Representatives. "While much of the attention has been on the collapse of major financial institutions and on Wall Street, the even greater crisis is being played out on Main Street," said Jaramillo.
Her letter goes on to request representatives consider stronger regulation, transparent accounting of the bailout plan's progress, bankruptcy protection for home owners, inclusion of an economic recovery plan and removal of "golden parachute" incentives for executives leading companies receiving government assistance.
Thomas has asked that sermons addressing the church's response to the financial crisis be submitted for online publication as a means to foster discussion. "We need to address the moral questions that faith communities are uniquely positioned to speak to in this crisis," said Thomas. "The church needs to lead a prophetic dialogue and be a voice for those who have been kept poor by economic policies that favor the rich."
"In hard economic times, church must proclaim justice, good stewardship," by The Rev. Susan Brooks Thistlethwaite
"UCC public policy analyst explains the U.S. economy woes," by the Rev. Pat Conover
"The Far Reach of Wall Street," by the Rev. Linda Jaramillo
Justice and Peace Action Network alert (Oct. 2) from the Rev. Linda Jaramillo