Day: October 8, 2008

Bread lines and tent cities

 I’ve been writing about the coming, and now present, economic crisis since last year (here, here, and here).  Popular financial advisor, Suze Orman, speaking on Anderson Cooper’s show tonight, said that the economy is in “intensive care” right now and will be for a year to 18-months.  Then, she continued, we’ll be in the “hospital” for another year or two, and then we’ll move to “rehab” for a couple of years.  Bottom line:  we’re looking at 5-years of decline, struggle, rebuilding, and finally recovery.  Five years.  

When asked if this means “bread lines” or something else, Orman said, “It could mean bread lines.”  Wow.  She went on to add that some who are calling in to her show are already living in their cars.  In America.  In 2008.  And, it will get worse. 

My question is:  Are church leaders paying attention?  I read a lot of blogs, both on my feed and browsing.  Several have made comments about the presidential election, the debates, or hot-button cultural issues.  Very few — I found only one today — are addressing the current economic meltdown.  Shouldn’t somebody be giving churches advice, guidance, and help through these rough economic times?  Shouldn’t we in churches be thinking about how our churches will help our communities during the next 5 years?  

Of course, this stuff isn’t attractive.  It isn’t about growing our churches.  It distracts us from parsing arcane theological positions or running off to the next conference.  But, this crisis is unprecedented, pervasive, and pernicious.  This is not “the-sky-is-falling” alarm.  The sky has fallen, and now we have to figure out how we will function in this new global economic mess we find ourselves in.  What are you doing?  What conversations are you having at your church?  I’d be interested to know.

Water into wine again, almost

 In the little Italian town of Marino, south of Rome, they celebrate a famous victory with a wine festival — Sagra dell’Uva — each year.  During the festival, plumbers rechannel the town’s fountain so that white wine flows from it at the height of the celebration.  This year, however, a slight plumbing miscalculation sent water to the fountain and wine into the homes of local residents.  While not exactly a miracle, local residents were still extremely thankful!