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09 November 2011

Oxford: Ending The Recession: What If This Is The Approach That Would Work?


With almost three-quarters of a billion dollars going to tax credit programs in MO annually, our unemployment rate is still high, and many of our neighbors suffer foreclosure, hunger, and the chaos of poverty. The gap between the top one percent and the 99% that we hear so much about these days continues to grow.

About six centuries before the Common Era, the Hebrew prophet Isaiah wrote a recipe for how to produce a vibrant society in a bold series of "If......then" statements:

If we share our bread with the hungry......
        If we bring the homeless poor into our homes......
                If we clothe those who are naked......

.....Then our light will break forth like the dawn.
        .....Then our healing will come quickly.
                .....Then we will be like a watered garden.

(More of this powerful formula may be found in Isaiah 58 at -

I am proud of the United Church of Christ for initiating a bold national campaign to address hunger - the Mission 1 campaign which runs from 11/1/11 to 11/11/11. During these 11 days, UCC congregations are working together to collect:
  • more than a MILLION healthy food items for local food banks and outreach services;
  • $111,111 for Neighbors in Need food-related ministries;
  • $111,111 for famine relief in East Africa; and
  • 11,111 letters to Congress to reform foreign assistance related to poverty and hunger
Read more about it at:

Here are ways you can help locally:
  • Come to a forum on hunger tonight at First Congregational Church, Nov. 9, 7 p.m. at 6501 Wydown (flyer attached) - Senators McCaskill and Blunt have promised to send staff, as have Congressman Carnahan's office and Congressman Clay's office. Speakers include Glenn Koenen of Circle of Concern, Gedlu Metaferia of African Mutual Aid Association of Missouri, and Clint McCann of Eden Seminary (representing Bread for the World). I am honored to be moderating the panel.
  • If you come to the forum, bring a donation of healthy food items (e.g., tuna packed in water, oatmeal, whole wheat pasta, canned fruit in light syrup or natural juices, peanut butter, etc.).
  • If you cannot come to the forum, make a donation at a local UCC by this Sunday. We would welcome your gift at Epiphany UCC, 2911 McNair - or call my cell to arrange to drop off food at my home - 314-775-8940.
  • Make an online donation at:
  • Send an e-mail to Congress (or learn more about sending a snail mail letter) at:
What if Isaiah's words are true? (In my own paraphrase) "If you remove the yoke of oppression from among you, if you stop pointing fingers and speaking evil of others......then your ancient ruins will be rebuilt, then you will be called repairers of the breach and restorers of streets fit to live in." Wouldn't that be wonderful?

Hope to see you tonight or at any Mission 1 related event. (Please help pass the word to others as well.)


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