Economic Inequality Fishbowl Discussion

by | Feb 14, 2020 | Conference Newsletter

March 10, 2020, from 6:30–8:30 PM with the DSC Economic Inequality Task Force

Come join clergy and laity for a lively discussion on economic inequality and the church. Our fishbowl participants are Rev. Louie Lyon, attorney Tom Griggs, Rev. Khalif Smith, General Conference delegate Julie O’Neal, and Pastor Deb Schauer. And one empty chair for a variety of folks – could be you!

We will examine questions such as:

    1. Do you know someone that finds it difficult to make a living that sustains them and/or their family, providing for food, housing, child care if needed, and other necessities?


    1. 53 million Americans, 44% of all workers, qualify as low wage income earners. Their median annual earnings are about $18,000. What effect does this have on them/their family?


    1. What is the cause of their inadequate income?


  1. From the perspective of our Judeo-Christian faith tradition, is there ever a circumstance in which it is permissible for the pure profit of one person or entity to cause another person or group of people to lose something essential, such as food, housing, health care, education, or financial security? Why or why not?

In the world we live in today there seem to be two different ways to interpret what’s important. Biblical or the social gospel? The patriarchs and prophets of the Old Testament, Jesus, many of his disciples, and John Wesley, the founder of our Methodist tradition, were unanimous in teaching a priority on serving the needs of the less fortunate, and on condemning the personal accumulation of superfluous wealth. Yet, many churchgoers resist a public policy that would act to give vital assistance to those with fewer resources by requiring individuals and entities with abundant resources to make fair share contributions. Is this a reasonable response? Why or why not? If policies such as these are not defensible from a faith perspective, what other means can be used to effectively address issues of inequality?

Our prayers will be answered if you and several members of your church can attend this important event. All participants will receive “Wrestle with the Topic,” a document designed as a tool for local church event replication.

Please come – we can’t wait to see you! RSVP attendance numbers to Director of Outreach & Justice, Billie K. Fidlin, at bfidlin@dscumc.org. Click here to download the event flyer for inviting others to join us for this event.


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Author: Billie K. Fidlin

Billie K. Fidlin is the Director of Outreach & Justice for the Desert Southwest Conference. She is a graduate of Western Michigan University and attended Claremont School of Theology for religious studies. Ms. Fidlin currently serves as the President of the Arizona Faith Network in her second term. She is President & Founder of Whisper n Thunder Inc., and sits on various boards including the Justa Center and the Phoenix Police Department's Faith Advisory Council. Her awards include the UM Foundation for Evangelism 2004 Distinguished Evangelist; 2016 Church Women United / United Nations Human Rights Award; 2018 Servant Leader Award AZ Faith Network; 2022 Southern Poverty Law Center Certificate of Recognition; and 2022-23 Class of Who's Who in America.
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