07 September 2012

students of debt

Last year, I noted how the Occupy Wall Street movement was leading many economists to make comparisons between it and the year of Jubilee.  That’s a law in Leviticus which mandates debt forgiveness.  (It’s interesting that that’s one Biblical concept which politicians never seem to mention!)

In the September-October issue of Utne Reader, we’re reminded of the student debt crisis.  Due to much higher tuition, reduced financial aid, and increased reliance on credit cards, graduating students find themselves in holes so deep that one might be “forgiven” for saying that they’re in a state of indentured servitude.

The article says, “Before Congress agreed not to hike student interest rates in June, [the interfaith group Jubilee USA] organized eight weeks of call-ins, petition drives, and communal prayer.  The strategy worked, and now leaders have set their sights on the structural problems like rising tuition that underpin the crisis. 

Forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors…

01 September 2012


Yesterday, we completed our Transitional Ministry training week at Montreat Conference Center.  It was a good time in the mountains of western North Carolina.  (Next year, we’ll have another week to do.)

Yesterday was also the feast of St. Aidan.  He was a Celtic luminary in the early seventh century.  He organized the monastery on the island of Lindisfarne, just off the coast of northern England.  He followed a missionary who said that the English were a lost cause.  They could not grasp the good news of Christ!

Today, my wife and I look forward to greeting another Aidan.  Sometimes we think our Shetland Sheepdog is a lost cause, but inevitably, he brings us good news.