In 1908, the first Social Creed of the Methodist Episcopal Church called for "a living wage in every industry." One hundred years later, The United Methodist Church remains steadfast in the belief that "every person has the right to a job at a living wage" (Social Principles, ¶163C).
Listen! The wages of the laborers who mowed your fields, which you kept back by fraud, cry out, and the cries of the harvesters have reached the ears of the Lord of hosts.
James 5, NRSV
Unfortunately, the disconnect between the church's prophetic stance and the world's profit-driven policies is growing. In the United States, income and wealth inequality - the gap between those at the top of the economic ladder and those at the bottom - is on the rise. Currently, the gap is the highest since the 1920s. And globally, the contrast between the wealthiest and poorest individuals is even more stark with 2.5 billion people living on less than $2 day.
One of the surest ways to raise individuals out of poverty and ensure self-sufficiency is through employment - specifically in a job that pays a wage high enough to afford the cost of living (i.e. a living wage). GBCS, in partnership with faith, labor and community allies, is supporting efforts to raise the minimum wage as a step towards the goal of a living
Experience, Equip, Engage
- Urge your member of Congress to support an increase in the minimum wage and to implement a living wage.
- Find out if your church has adopted a living wage model for the entire staff.