SPIRITUALITY, FAIR TRADE AND SOCIAL JUSTICE
13
November
2013

Building on Faith

Text 1:

The whole section on the 'Miracle of Loaves and Fishes'
"The feeding of the 5,000, also called the miracle of the loaves and fishes, is one of only two miracles included in all four Christian gospels... They open up their knapsacks and share what they have, and it was more than enough."

Response 1:

I love the comparison to the gospel story. It fully demonstrates the power that generosity can create. The ideas presented become much more clear and simple when the author says, "We had to look at the loaf of bread or piece of fruit in our knapsack and override our impulse to save it for later, maybe for breakfast tomorrow. The tensions were between our own needs and the needs of others, between the present need and the future need. Inspired by the power of community, the generosity of Jesus, and the connection we felt to each other, we shared, and not only were out physical needs met, our spiritual needs were met, too." Reading this section really reassured my belief in the possibility of the ideas presented. The Economy of Communion also introduced the power of generosity among communities, and this reading just strengthened the ideologies that were presented.

Text 2:

"Over at Trinity, the numbers are not quite as daunting, but nevertheless, the tension persists. In January, the foundation board looked hard at two numbers. The first was our $20,000 deficit for 2010, which we needed to cover from our meager operating reserves. The second was the fact that we had given $135,000 to other organizations, $55,000 each to our Bostonians for Youth partners and $25,000 we had raised in response to the earthquake in Haiti and used to inspire a much larger citywide faith offering. So on a $1.3 million expense budget, we had both run a deficit and tithed. Best business practice? I am not sure. Faith calling? I hope so."

Response 2:

This passage struck a chord with me. I especially loved the last line, because the author realizes the potential of the Trinity Boston Foundation. The fact that the foundation was able to run a deficit of $20,000 and also give $135,000 to other organizations was very surprising. The author really does a great job of making the project seem highly successful and hopeful. However, I do realize it requires a lot of hard work even though the author makes it seem simple. Questioning whether it is the best business practice made me think, even though it may have been a joke. Fair trade and these other faith-driven business organizations are all working to achieve this "best business model" and I think it is only a matter of time before one of these revolutionary models breaks mainstream.



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