Newscasts

PNS Daily Newscast - July 20, 2018.  


Trump now wants Putin to visit the White House this fall; Also on the Friday rundown: health insurance rates to rise by almost 9 percent in California; and as the climate crises reaches “Zero Hour” young people take a stand.

Daily Newscasts

As Unemployment Rises, the Faithful Fight Back

December 6, 2010

PORTLAND, Ore. - The national unemployment rate inched upward again last week, and Oregon's rate is stuck at double digits – and faith communities say it will take more than prayer to reverse the trends. The group Interfaith Worker Justice (IWJ) has kicked off a campaign that offers churches of all denominations a "Congregational Toolkit" to form support committees to help unemployed workers in their area.

The Rev. Paul Sherry, IWJ policy director, expects the effort to be embraced by largely rural states, including Oregon.

"Often, rural poverty goes unnoticed. My sense is that faith-based people in rural areas will respond very positively to this campaign, because they are very aware of the severe unemployment situation."

Some of the content in the Congregational Toolkit is overtly political. IWJ encourages congregations to take a stand on certain policies that will help those affected by the Great Recession, from labor law reform to job creation, adds Sherry.

"We are very much concerned that we need more stimulus - including the possibility of a public jobs program, support for unemployed workers and families, and support for states and municipalities."

He says the effort is driven by the large body of scripture, from the Bible and the Koran to other holy texts, that calls the faithful to help those who are suffering. The goal is to form at least 1,000 support committees across the country. IWJ is also planning a nationwide tour, with events and speakers on the same issues.

The Congregational Toolkit is available at www.iwj.org.

Chris Thomas, Public News Service - OR