As the pandemic has raged over the past year and a half, the daily work of nearly all Americans has drastically changed. Many who worked in offices or face to face have begun to work remotely. Those whose work was deemed “essential” have been called upon to put their lives in danger on behalf of others. Millions of Americans have left the labor force, and some are unable or unwilling to return, even as employers are experiencing a shortage of workers.

A few weeks ago, I came across this 2020 Labor Day Message from the Presiding Bishop of the ELCA, Elizabeth Eaton. She wrote:

“The origins of Labor Day, established as a federal holiday in 1894, lie in the labor movement's persistent organizing for the rights and recognition of American workers. This year's impact of the COVID-19 pandemic has revealed the heroics and faithfulness of the many we now know to be essential workers.  …

Our church's social teaching reminds us that work is a way we serve God and our neighbor. The ELCA social statement Sufficient, Sustainable Livelihood for All states: "In Genesis, work is to be a means through which basic needs might be met, as human beings 'till and keep' the garden in which God has placed them (Genesis 2:15). Work is seen not as an end in itself, but as a means for sustaining humans and the rest of creation.”

In this strange moment, how are we to understand God’s call to labor in service to others, and our call to promote meaningful and safe work for all people?

This Tuesday, join me for a lunchtime conversation about Worker Justice. We’ll dig into what scripture and theology have to say, and also share our own experiences and ideas about what meaningful work for all people means to us.

Hope you’ll join me at 12:15 on Tuesday! Bring your own lunch and we’ll gather outside the student center on the patio (or inside if there’s bad weather).

Looking forward to our conversation!

In Christ, 

Pastor Emily

LCM Students - Fall 2021
Sept 19, 2021
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