Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Basic Income?

Yesterday folk were lined up out the door at Bridge St. UC to pick up frozen meals from our Thank God It's...well, usually Friday, but also Tuesdays and Thursdays at the end of the month. Later a crowd arrived for a hot meal as part of End of the Month Meals. I also chatted with our Property Team chairperson about the ten by twelve walk-in freezer which will be built to replace the armada of chest freezers we use now. It will be installed before our Inn from the Cold Program begins in January. This year the three programs have distributed and served roughly 13,000 meals, with two months to go before the end of the year.

All of this is impressive in terms of volunteer effort, community involvement, and the commitment of the congregation to live out the gospel message of responding, in Christ's name, to those who need to be fed. Despite our affluent society and a social safety network too many people make difficult choices about which bills to pay and how to balance this with healthy meals.

Our team knows that serving meals is helpful in keeping the wolf from the door and providing a safe and welcoming social environment. It certainly isn't the answer to social inequality in our country. We are aware that mental and physical health suffer when people are poor and so does education and other opportunities.

When I saw the book above advertised I was reminded once again that we need to have the conversation about basic income for all to address all these issues. While lots of people are against this for a number of reasons, there are economists and sociologists who are convinced that it would benefit society and the economy. This is a matter of justice which is at the heart of Christ's teachings. It's time to listen. In the meantime, we feed, and pray that all will be fed.


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