A just economy begins at home. When we advocate for justice, it’s vital that we are “practicing what we preach.” We are called to be the change we wish to see, and that means starting with ensuring economic justice is made real for those who keep our congregations going.

Churches must work to ensure their own employment guidelines are fair, equitable, and humane. Living wages, robust benefits, and ample rest must be afforded to those on the congregation’s payroll. If policies and practices within the church are unjust, how can the congregation engage with integrity in economic justice work in the wider community? A thorough reflection on internal practices and values should always precede external actions.

Artist’s rendering (top) and completed project (bottom) of St. Peter’s UCC in Louisville, KY – a transformed space for economic thriving thanks to partnership with the UCC Church Building and Loan Fund. Read more!

Economic justice in the church also means ensuring balance and rest for those who volunteer their time. As congregationalists, most of our church activity, meetings, and financial decisions are accomplished by our members. Is that work balanced? Do wealth and resources held by some outweight input from others? Are the time and treasure of different volunteer leaders exploited or stretched unsustainably thin?

Examining questions like these can make us uncomfortable because they delve into topics like money, wealth, poverty, privilege, and disadvantage. But the church must address these matters because economic questions are also moral questions. Do some people have too little money and resources? Do others have too much? Does everyone deserve health insurance, affordable housing, and a good public education? If so, who should pay for it? These are all economic questions that also involve moral judgments.

You might also be interested to learn about transforming your church property to better live into God’s economy! The UCC’s Church Building & Loan Fund does amazing work with churches to manifest bold and beautiful changes for churches seeking to make a difference and thrive anew in the process. Learn more here.

If you’d like conversation partners to help manifest economic justice in the congregation, explore the ways to get there!