Today in the Mission Yearbook

Minute for Mission: Fair Trade Day


May 8, 2021

Recovering from the pandemic gives the world a chance not just to build back better but build back fairer. We cannot
simply go back to the old normal. The old normal left millions behind and was destroying our planet. We have the
opportunity to reboot our economies so it is equitable and sustainable. Through Fair Trade, organic and social
enterprises, cooperatives and other social and solidarity actors, we can channel profits to the many, not the few. Putting
people and planet first in trade and business, we can ensure the economy serves those who are otherwise left behind.
Learn more about World Fair Trade Day.
Credit: Jessica Maudlin

The Presbyterian Hunger Program accompanies Presbyterians doing the important work of questioning our economic lives as we move beyond what our dollars do in the offering plate, to considering what our dollars do in the marketplace. Over the years, educational resources, travel experiences and direct outreach to congregations via projects has helped Presbyterians ask themselves important questions like: Does my coffee provide good wages to small farmers or does it enrich CEOs at the expense of the producers? Are our Palm Sunday palms damaging God’s Creation? Is my savings account supporting development and women’s rights or fueling human rights abuses? Were our youth group T-shirts printed in a sweatshop?

Fair Trade is an economic model that ensures we are practicing our values through our money. Fair Trade provides access to needed resources, allows workers to provide for their families while having control in their lives that allow them to live with increased dignity and tell their own stories.

You can encourage congregations in your neighborhood or presbytery to support Fair Trade. Also consider working with your presbytery’s camp or conference center, local campus ministries or other Presbyterian facilities or ministries within your presbytery’s bounds.

You also can incorporate prayers for Fair Trade farmers and artisans all over the world into your own prayers and into the prayers of your congregation.

Jessica Maudlin Phelps, Associate for Sustainable Living and Earth Care Concerns, PHP

Today’s Focus:  Fair Trade Day

Let us join in prayer for: 

PC(USA) Agencies’ Staff
Ray Jones, Presbyterian Mission Agency
Rick Jones, Office of the General Assembly

Let us pray:

A Prayer for World Fair Trade Day
Peter Bush, Moderator
143rd (2017) General Assembly
The Presbyterian Church in Canada

God who cares about our business and shopping practices, we hear the words of the prophet Jeremiah: “Woe to those who builds his house by injustice, making their neighbors work for nothing, and not giving them their wages” (Jeremiah 22:13) and we are confronted by our greed, our self-centeredness, our sin. We confess that we have benefited from the unrealistically low wages and compensation paid to workers and farmers in other parts of the world. For we are more interested in a good deal and bargain prices than in asking if we are paying a fair price for the products we purchase. We fail to seek justice in the way we spend our money. We confess that we … fail to show kindness in our business dealings. We confess that we often separate our spiritual life from our business/consumer life, locking you, O God, out of our financial decision making. We fail to walk humbly with you in choosing how to use the financial resources you give to us. We thank you for collectives and cooperatives, missions and agencies that make it possible for us to purchase goods at a fair price. We pray that you would move us to use our wallets for your honor and glory, not only in our giving but also in our purchasing. Change our hearts so that we as consumers would willingly seek fairness in our dealings with others. We pray for laborers and farmers around the world who do not receive a fair wage. Use us and others to advocate for them, use us and others to change the system so that they receive a fair wage. These things we pray in the name of Jesus, who told of a landowner who gave all the workers in the vineyard a day’s wage. Amen.