Creating Common Good: A Practical Conference for Economic Equality

April 21, 2015

Creating Common Good: A Practical Conference for Economic Equality

“The common good starts with the intrinsic value of each human being…”

- Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby

Thursday, March 19, 2015 – Inter-Church Ministries partnered with Trinity Wall Street and its Trinity Institute (TI2015) to bring to Erie, PA the “best of the best” live re-broadcast video content from TI2015 – an annual conference held each year in NYC.  Forty-five  individuals from across the region gathered at the Episcopal Cathedral of St. Paul in Erie to view, react and reflect upon the video content.  This one-day local conference took on the overwhelming issue of economic inequality and provided a local venue for thoughtful, engaged conversation about “Creating Common Good.”

Featured speakers included The Most Rev. Justin Welby – Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr. Cornel West, Barbara Ehrenreich, Juliet Schor, The Rt. Rev. Julio Murray (Panama), Rachel Held Evans, Jennifer Jones Austin, and Rusty R. Reno, among others.

Just a few select quotes from the Conference speakers:

Dr. Cornel West: “…Creating Common Good…is a process…not a matter of reaching a particular end.  It’s an endless process in many ways.  I think love, in the end, has got to be at the center of it, because justice is intimately connected with love, but it’s not identical with love. Love cuts much deeper than justice.”

Bishop Julio Murray:  “What the church does is create the space so the people living on scarcity can be seen and heard.”

Rachel Held Evans:  “When people have to work 2, 3 jobs just to make ends meet, just to provide for their families, that’s oppressive, that’s unjust.”

What Can We Do in the Face of Economic Inequality?

Here are just a few of the ideas and/or comments gleaned from the Conference:

1.  “Keep it simple…Break the problem down into manageable steps.”

2.  “Team up…Join with other parishes or organizations that offer services.”

3.  “Be an advocate…Write, visit or call your representative. Stay informed…let your representative know what’s important to you.”

4.  “Enter into relationship with those who are most in need…this is important to mutually learn and be transformed by one another…and it will make you a better advocate.”

5.  “Speak unarmed truth, but with unconditional love…Integrity, Honesty, Decency and Virtue…Be self-critical, not self righteous…” – Cornel West


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