Labor in the Pulpit
Prophetic Preaching Guide 2016
September 18, 2016
Bethlehem Lutheran Church: 9:00 a.m. service
October 2, 2016
Lake Edge Lutheran: 9:30 adult education
Congregation Sha’arei Shamayim: 10:30 service
Labor in the Pulpit/ on the Bimah/ in the Minbar
Resources compiled in 2012 by ICWJ Board Member Pastor Marianne Cotter
Labor Day is an opportunity for religious leaders to take a step back from the divisiveness we’ve experienced in our state. I suggest that our prophetic voice could best be heard right now in offering a historical perspective on why it is important that we continue to support collective bargaining rights, worker justice and economic equality.
Religious leaders in the Methodist, Reformed and Lutheran traditions will find resources to do just that here and on ICWJ’s website at www.workerjustice.org. Leaders in other faith traditions are invited to contact their own offices of social responsibility for information that will educate their members (and the public at large) about the historical foundations of their social teachings on the rights of workers and caring for “the least of these”. Faith specific materials can also be found at http://www.iwj.org/resources/labor-day-weekend-resources. In addition, the prayers by Walter Rauschenbusch and the article by Richard Ely (identified as United Methodist Resources) would be of interest to non-Methodists as well.
In addition to including materials in sermons and liturgy, one simple way for faith communities of all kinds to observe Labor Day would be to invite people to share the first job experience they ever had and what they learned from it during a fellowship time after worship on August 31, September 1 or 2nd. It would also be appropriate to take a special collection for worker justice that can be donated to ICWJ at 2300 South Park Street #115, Madison, WI 53713.
I am grateful to Rev. Mark Yurs of Salem United Church of Christ in Verona, Rev. Phil Haslanger of Memorial United Church of Christ in Fitchburg, and
Rev. Neal Christie of the General Board of Church and Society of the United Methodist Church in Washington D.C. for their help in making these resources available.
Please let ICWJ know by emailing Rabbi Renee Bauer at firstname.lastname@example.org if and how you use these materials. Do not hesitate to contact Rabbi Bauer with questions about these materials.
Board Member, Interfaith Coalition for Worker Justice, South Central Wisconsin
Pastor, Trinity United Methodist Church in Madison