Friday, October 22, 2010

Jubilee! Church and Community Support For Local Economic Growth in a Book That Matters to All of Us

By Karl Evans
CSS Publishing Company, of Lima Ohio, has just published a book which will interest almost everyone.
Jubilee! A Workbook for Church and Community
ISBN 978-0-7880-2608-9.

Karl Evanshas spent the last 25 years developing his thinking on poverty in the USA. This book outlines the legitimate, appropriate and theologically correct targets for mission and action in both rural and urban economically deprived areas. It will soon be available from CSS Publishing Company. It is also available from any bookstore.
In addition, Evans has prepared a CD-led local church and community workshop. The workshop is available from Evans. Bulk purchases are available from him for slightly less. The workshop is good for a lengthy series of church school classes, a one or two day workshop, family development studies, community discussion series, etc. It can be led either using or not using the spoken dialogue on the CD.
The book centers on the study Evans led for the United Methodist Church General Board of Global Ministries in 1988-89. In that study, several researchers visited and studied the 25 counties of the USA with the lowest per capita income of 1987. The counties included the major ethnic groups of the country: Anglo, Black, Latin, Native. The effort was to find what executives should do when they went into these counties. That result was a recommendation that the staffers not be afraid to talk about what they saw in the counties. That was about all.
However, Evans pushed ahead with the study. Karl and Donella Evans have visited and studied most of the 250 lowest income counties of the nation since that study. The results have extended the findings of the first small study dramatically. The work has isolated 15 factors missing or weak in local realities. These economic hardships are theologically correct for almost all faith groups. They are legitimate and appropriate for the Church and other non-profit organizations, and Biblically oriented as mission and action targets. These factors are the core of Jubilee! The book is a handle for the pastor, congregation and community as it comes to grips with the call of Christ to mission in this area.
Jubilee! will serve as a planning guide to local church mission in economic strength. The outcome of the process will strengthen preaching, worship, leadership development, education, missions, inclusiveness, church expenditures, and a host of other areas. Finding handles on this subject is very difficult in our time.
Evans hopes various local pastors and lay persons will find a way to build local workshops around these presentations. With some resourcefulness, Evans and the support group will encourage them to raise their own funds for the workshops, including the purchase of books and CD, supplies and advertising. Raising about $250 will give them materials for the workshop for ten persons and about $100 general expense money and potential net. This should be an attractive package for many in low income communities..
Evans have a special heart for pastors serving very low budget ministries around the world. A majority of all congregations around the world can not afford full time pastors. He wants to make it possible for them to use these materials to produce and lead workshops in areas of need. Evans believes he can prepare the work in such a way that the local leader can realize a small profit from the process. Those local leaders will not become wealthy from the workshop, but any increase will be helpful to them. It will also give them a new sense of what must be done to support local economic growth.
This may well be one of the most important Christian social missions of our time.


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