Justice & Witness

Justice Witness Committee News

The mission of the Justice and Witness Committee (formerly The Social Issues and Services Committee) is to provide or develop educational resources and/or programs for local churches and associations addressing the ethical, social and religious issues of our time.

Members of the committee ask each congregation to answer a few questions and email the responses to Alan Blakeburn, chair of the JWC.

  1. Do you know who brings awareness to your congregation about issues affecting your neighborhood?
  2. Do you have a Justice/Witness group?
  3. Do you know if you answered yes to either question and/or your church gives to the Neighbors in Need special mission offering, that your church is already doing justice and witness work?

If you have a group in your church that is doing this work, or if you want to start one, please let the JWC know and provide contact information. This committee seeks to develop a network of churches to add strength to causes close to you and others.

 

This committee is currently working on several tasks. One task is working with the Rev. Dr. Chip Jahn, chair of the Sri Lanka Mission Partnership, to provide voice and support to the Just Peace initiative. Another important cause the JWC asks you to support, as you are so moved, is the Moral Monday movement. Moral Monday is a movement of everyday citizens working against injustice in their areas. The committee is also working with the Indiana Lutheran Synod to counter the injustice of payday lending throughout Indiana and Kentucky.

 

The IKC Justice and Witness Committee joins the Indiana Lutheran Synod with this call to action:

 

The Justice and Witness Committee calls upon the Indiana-Kentucky Conference of the United Church of Christ to support legislation in Indiana and Kentucky restraining exorbitant interest by establishing a cap of 36% APR for all small loans and to support any other protections necessary to protect individuals from lending abuse.

 

We call upon the members of the IKC to make known to state legislators in their districts their opposition to abusive payday lending practices.

 

We call upon each congregation to study payday lending, whether or payday lending stores exist in their community and what their impact is on the citizens in their community. We also ask members of congregations to talk with banks about offering small dollar cash advances to customers at rates capped at 36% or less.

 

We call upon IKC congregations to identify next steps to take in support of the Justice and Witness Committee efforts to combat abusive payday lending practices.

 

Future local issues to be addressed are racial justice, equality for all and your suggested issues.

 

For the Justice and Witness Committee,

Pastor Alan Blakeburn, Chair