Lack of good jobs in Memphis is more than an economic problem, says Dr. Chris Scruggs of Advent Presbyterian Church. “It’s also a spiritual problem. If we do not create an environment in which people can find good jobs, we deprive our children of the opportunity to use their unique God-given talents, gifts and abilities. We impoverish ourselves and our society.”
Do you agree? What can the faith community do about this? What is your congregation doing specifically – mentoring, job training, etc. – to help?
Yes, the issue of the lack of quality jobs is a spiritual issue–one of the first reforms that John Calvin instituted in Geneva was a jobs program!– but in a deeper sense than what the Rev. Scruggs suggests. The heart of job availability, economic investment and a healthy community is education reform, which is known most readily in Memphis in the school consolidation issue. Education is at the heart of the long-term jobs issue. When our state legislators seek to keep privilege in place for the outlying suburbs without regard for a quality and equitable education system for the greater community, we fail our children and sentence them to an even bleaker future.
I would hope that all faith communities would do all they can to help those unemployed, but I would also hope they would work towards a strong, quality educational system for all. It would pay off in the long run!