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In the final episode of Lydia’s Listening Session, hosted by the offices of Women’s Leadership Development and Leadership Development for Leaders of Color of the Racial Equity & Women’s Intercultural Ministries, women of color who are in faith leadership roles gathered to share their experiences during the COVID-19 pandemic and how it has impacted their lives and ministries.
On March 15, the Kenyan government confirmed the first cases of COVID-19 and announced a nationwide ban on large gatherings, along with the closure of schools and nonessential businesses. Two days later, the Presbyterian Church of East Africa (PCEA) held a press conference to announce the closure of its worship services in adherence with the government directive.
A congregation agonized over whether to shut down a construction project to protect workers’ health — but thereby denying them their wages.
I received a text from a friend instructing me to “bring a yoga mat, blanket, pillow or whatever you’d like for resting comfortably on the floor.” I was going to be joining her at a nap ministry event.
Last summer, the Rev. Dr. José Irizarry took a mission trip to Puerto Rico with 10 teenagers from his church. They knew he’d been a university professor and administrator, and on a break from repairing houses, they circled him, wanting how-tos on college life. Irizarry describes the trip as “part work, part worship and part listening.”
A gang of laborers were digging holes through six inches of concrete and asphalt, then five feet of soil — only to have the foreman inspecting them say, “OK, fill ’er up,” and send them down the street to blast another deep hole. By lunchtime they were in full rebellion. “No one makes fools out of us — digging holes and filling them up!” blurted out one worker. But when the foreman explained, “We’ve lost the city records, and we’re trying to find the water mains,” the crew returned to work, satisfied that their work had a purpose.
La reconstrucción después de la tormenta Sandy ha sido lenta para algunas personas en Nueva Jersey, especialmente las más desfavorecidas. Misión Nueva Vida ha trabajado desde 2015 para ayudar a las personas que viven en el Parque Metropolitano de Casas Móviles, en Moonachie, donde las inundaciones continúan dañando casas de familias inmigrantes hispano-latinas, y donde hace mucha falta el dinero. Tres casas móviles han sido arregladoa y levantadas, y pronto se completará una cuarta.
The recovery from Superstorm Sandy has been slow for some in New Jersey, especially the underprivileged. Misión Nueva Vida has worked since 2015 to help those in the Metropolitan Mobile Home Park (Metropark) in Moonachie.
Business is looking good for a group of Somali refugee women seeking to support their families in Columbus, Ohio. The group is part of the Capital Park Women’s Empowerment Project, working to give low income women an opportunity to forge their own path and market their business.
Do churches care about working people? The Social Creed for the 21st Century says yes. Right after its adoption in 2008, for example, it was invoked to support ballot initiatives to raise the minimum wage. So how did the 33 churches in the National Council of Churches reach agreement to update the original Social Creed of 1908? The answer is threefold and gives us hope for ecumenical cooperation to advocate for working people.