Monday, August 25, 2008

LABOR DAY: Labor in the Pulpits

I had meant to post this last month. It's a message from Interfaith Worker Justice about planning a Labor Day worship service or other event that focuses on worker justice. Think about it for next year.

LABOR in the PULPITS, on the BIMAH, in the MINBAR

Planning a Labor Day Weekend service focused on worker justice issues

Organizing a service on worker justice over Labor Day weekend is a great opportunity for your congregation to recognize the sacred work of all its members and support low-wage workers’ struggles for justice. If there is a local Interfaith Worker Justice (IWJ) group in your area, that group can connect your congregation with a union member or labor leader who can talk about the connection between his or her faith and the struggle for justice in the workplace. Labor Day speakers receive special training and sample reflections to help them develop their presentations. Congregations organize Labor Day services on the Friday, Saturday, and Sunday before Labor Day or special services on Labor Day Monday. (In some cases, congregations organize services, or reflect on worker justice issues, in the week or two after Labor Day.)

If there is not an IWJ group in your area, consider identifying a Labor Day speaker from your congregation or community or discussing workplace justice in the pastor’s homily. If there is an IWJ group but your worship service or congregation tradition does not accommodate outside speakers, you could use these speakers before or after mass or at adult or teen education classes, or your pastor could incorporate a worker justice theme into the worship service. Think creatively about how best to plan a Labor Day service that will provide support to those struggling for justice on the job and lift up everyone’s spirits in the process. IWJ provides a variety of worship resources that will help you plan a successful Labor Day weekend service.

If you are interested in organizing Labor in the Pulpits/on the Bimah/in the Minbar at your congregation, please sign up here so we can count you as one of the hundreds of congregations around the country lifting up worker justice issues over Labor Day weekend. Getting an accurate count will enable IWJ to publicize the faith community’s concern with worker justice in the national media, which will help bring worker justice issues to an even wider audience. Congregations and religion-labor groups organizing Labor in the Pulpits will receive a sample press release before Labor Day with the number of congregations planning to participate for use in publicizing the program locally.

Labor in the Pulpits/on the Bimah/in the Minbar is a joint project of Interfaith Worker Justice and the AFL-CIO.

If you have any questions or would like to brainstorm ideas for a Labor Day service, contact Renaye Manley ( at Interfaith Worker Justice, 773-728-8400 x15. You will find resources online.

No comments: