Last week I had the distinct honor and privilege of joining a formidable group of clergy, activists, advocates, and scholars for The Trinity Institute’s Creating Common Good conference on economic inequality in New York City.
Joining the likes of Cornel West and the Archbishop of Canterbury left me feeling a little (….okay, a lot….) out of my depth, so I focused on listening and learning, taking furious notes during each keynote, notes I managed to lose somewhere on the great island of Manhattan along with any notion that I could survive winters there.
Thankfully, videos from nearly the entire conference are available online.
I participated in two panels:
“Is Inequality Sinful?” with Justin Welby, (Archbishop of Canterbury),
Rt. Rev. Julio Murray (Bishop of Panama), and R.R. Reno (editor of First Things)
“The Agape Community” with Amy Butler (Riverside Church), Jennifer Jones Austin (Federation of Protestant Welfare Agencies), Douglas Meeks (Vanderbilt Divinity School), and Rt. Rev. Julio Murray (Bishop of Panama).
[Of the two, I especially recommend “The Agape Community.” Lots of practical ideas for addressing inequality from my fellow panelists in that one.]
My favorite keynotes included Julio Murray’s “The Agape Community,” Cornel West’s “The Rich and the Rest of Us”, and Barbara Ehrenreich’s “Nickel and Dimed.”
So if it’s still too cold to go out this weekend, consider brewing some coffee, getting out a notebook, and jotting down some ideas for how you and your church might better engage the pervasive problem of inequity.
…And don’t judge me for wearing jeans at The Trinity Institute. I’m told Stanley Hauerwas did the same thing once too.