“There is nothing but a lack of social vision to prevent us from paying an adequate wage to every American whether he [or she] is a hospital worker, laundry worker, maid, or day laborer.”
– Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
Labor Day Sunday this year is August 31 — a day to remember all who labor with special thoughts for those who labor for less than living wages. These include fast food workers, farmworkers, hotel industry workers, caregiving workers in homes, hospitals, and nursing homes, associates and clerks in our stores, and many more. All who take care of and provide services for others but then struggle for their own and their families’ survival need to be remembered.
As people of faith, may worker justice be part of our worship, especially on Labor Day Sunday. Interfaith Worker Justice (IWJ) offers comments and resources for faith filled worship.
In the Social Creed for the 21st Century, churches are called to work for “The rights of workers to organize, ands to share in workplace decisions and productivity growth.” Rev. Dr. Amy Laura Hall. Professor at Duke Divinity School is encouraging congregations to mention the words labor unions in worship services. More information is available here and you can read a local news article highlighting this effort. Labor unions give workers a voice in their own working conditions with dignity and fairness — a Jesus Idea! Be sure to register your church’s involvement.
As churches, we are all concerned about worship but might want to remember words from the Presbyterian (USA) Book of Confession of 1967, 9.46
“… A church that is indifferent to poverty, or evades responsibility in economic affairs…makes a mockery of reconciliation and offers no acceptable worship to God.”