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Matthew 25 and Eradicating Systemic Poverty

How we approach the ministry of eradicating systemic poverty; Core principles #2 and #3


We continue to learn the best way to approach our ministry to help eradicate systemic poverty. Last week, we considered the first core principle, to ask, listen to, and be led by those who live in impacted communities. This week we look at the last two principles and how they might be implemented.

2. Seek equity and diversity in leadership, believing that the early church in Acts and the ongoing work of the Holy Spirit in our world affirm the necessity and vitality of multiple voices within the Body of Christ. Therefore, we will pay special attention to seek out the leadership of those who have been traditionally left out or marginalized.

Practices and approaches:

a. We include diverse voices of those who are fighting against poverty, have experienced poverty and have established/respectful/mutual relationships with those living with poverty in the planning, staffing and coordination of programs

b. We prioritize the leadership of women, BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and people of color), and LGBTQIA+ community leaders and movement organizers

3. Learn about systems, structures, and practices that perpetuate poverty, knowing that Jesus asked questions that turned traditional understandings upside down, used stories to help challenge accepted ways of thinking, and continues to invite us into deeper understandings of situations than what may first appear.

Practices and approaches:

a. We recognize that systemic poverty cannot be reduced to individual behavior, nor can it be adequately addressed with individualized solutions

b. We pay attention to the intersectionality of poverty with race, gender, class, ability, nationality, age, and other markers of social location

c. We look at our denominational doctrines, traditions, theology, worship practices, policies, and scriptural interpretation through the lens of people living with poverty

d. We consider ecumenical and interfaith perspectives and resources on eradicating systemic poverty

Practices and approaches: Core Principles

Drawn from: The Poor People’s Campaign; Soul Fire Farm equity principles; Jemez Principles; US Food Sovereignty Alliance adaptation of Jemez Principles; Faith in Action resource books

3. Learn about systems, structures, and practices that perpetuate poverty, knowing that Jesus asked questions that turned traditional understandings upside down, used stories to help challenge accepted ways of thinking, and continues to invite us into deeper understandings of situations than what may first appear. a. We recognize that systemic poverty cannot be reduced to individual behavior, nor can it be adequately addressed with individualized solutions

b. We pay attention to the intersectionality of poverty with race, gender, class, ability, nationality, age, and other markers of social location

c. We look at our denominational doctrines, traditions, theology, worship practices, policies, and scriptural interpretation through the lens of people living with poverty

d. We consider ecumenical and interfaith perspectives and resources on eradicating systemic poverty

Practices and approaches: : Core Principles Drawn from: The Poor People’s Campaign; Soul Fire Farm equity principles; Jemez Principles; US Food Sovereignty Alliance adaptation of Jemez Principles; Faith in Action resource books

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