The Church and the Economy

Vital communities living through troubled economic times

This year will continue to be an especially difficult time for many families in our communities and churches. As we consider the gifts of strangers in this season of Epiphany the good news is that we know churches and church members around the country are going to extraordinary lengths to help others dealing with prolonged unemployment, foreclosure, lack of health insurance, hunger, and homelessness.

To multiply these ministries, we need to share. UCC churches, associations, and conferences are all doing great things! Tell others what your group is doing; join the forum to share ideas and documents with one another.

Geoffrey Black challenges us to think about the "Widow's Offering" and how we might learn from her example.  Read the scripture, reflect upon it in your family.  Listen to Geoffrey's challenging words of direction for us all in the video provided to the right.

Ministering to Those Struggling and Suffering in The Troubled Economy

Personal Resources

360 Degrees of Financial Literacy
Recommended by the UCC Pension Boards offers help for all financial stages of life.

America Saves
A nationwide campaign in which a broad coalition of nonprofit, corporate, and government groups helps individuals and families save and build wealth. Through information, advice, and encouragement, they assist those who wish to pay down debt, build an emergency fund, save for a home, save for an education, or save for retirement.

Benefits Check Up
Support for seniors offered by the National Council on Aging includes more than 1,550 public and private benefits programs from all 50 states and the District of Columbia.

Financial Management
Fact sheets about money management.

Financial Security: Managing Money in Tough Times
Learning positive money management techniques can help you and your family adapt to tough economic times.

Personal Finance
Articles and answers from experts.

U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development: Avoiding Foreclosure
Support for homeowners; let struggling homeowners in your congregation know about this site.

Weird About Money
Use this UCC Daily Devotional to introduce the subject of money.

Congregational Resources

Fundraising Receipts Increase
Less than one-third of congregations report decline in giving in first half of 2009.

Keeping Faith Communities Vital in an Ailing Economy
Rising unemployment, gut-wrenching declines in the stock market and predictions of a recession worse than any since the Great Depression can spell sleepless nights for even the most faithful ministry leaders.

Making Sound Strategic Choices in Anxious Times
Alban Institute Susan Beaumont and Alice Mann offer UCC pastors sound answers to tough questions.

Religious Giving in Uncertain Times: Insights for Congregations and Faith-based Nonprofits

Prepared by The Lake Institute on Faith & Giving, The Center on Philanthropy at Indiana University.

Stewardship Messages
In tough times, giving can be difficult for people - even people of faith. Use these messages monthly to offer an inspiring, biblically-based reflection in your newsletter, on your bulletin board, on your website, or use as an insert in your giving statement or Sunday Bulletin.

The Church and Tough Economic Times: What Should Congregations be Doing?
The election is behind us but the economic challenges continue. Get answers from Anthony B. Robinson on what congregations and their leaders be doing.

The "Widow's Offering"

"But she out of her poverty has put in everything she had..."

Jesus observes that this woman of faith contributed more out of the little that she had than others had given from their surplus. During these tough economic times, Geoffrey and these pastoral voices encourage us to consider our attitude toward scarcity and surplus.