As members of the Diocesan Economic Justice and Income Equality Coalition, we have been charged with giving life to the resolution that was passed in our most recent Diocesan Convention. The resolution called upon our bishop, the House of Bishops and the Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church, the President of the House of Deputies and the Executive Council to speak out and name economic inequality as a spiritual and moral issue of immediate and urgent concern. We have transmitted that request, and Bishop Ely has been pressing for action to be taken by the Presiding Bishop and the bodies of The Episcopal Church. He also focused his Ash Wednesday message on this topic.
The resolution, as amended, further charged that to put our faith and conviction into action, the Diocese of Vermont, and all congregations and institutions within the Diocese are urged to pay all lay employees the hourly liveable wage determined to be applicable by the State of Vermont as annually computed by the State in its Mandatory Liveable Wage Report (2 VSA 505). The liveable wage is calculated biennially in VT. The last available figure is calculated on 2012 data for a “basic needs budget” and is an average of urban and rural costs.
|Single adult (two wage earner household) no children||the 2012 liveable wage was $12.48/hour|
|Single adult (living alone) no children||$15.77/hour|
|Single parent with one child||$24.35/hour|
|Single parent with two children||$28.93/hour|
|Two adults (two wage earners) with two children||$18.64/hour|
|Two adults (one wage earner) with two children||$29.61/hour|
The resolution ends with this statement: “We must take responsibility for our own relative wealth and evaluate our own financial practices individually and as a church. We must use our voices and our assets to seek justice and relieve the suffering and inequity that surround us.”
We encourage you to begin the conversation in your congregation. We are offering single page reflections, suitable for use as bulletin inserts with the request that you make these available during Lent. We also invite you to share these by way of any printed, or on line communication (newsletter, website, etc). Our hope was to have these in your hands by Ash Wednesday, but alas we were delayed. We appreciate your cooperation in the distribution of this material. We hope they will be a catalyst for some lively discussion and action.
Economic Justic inserts (pdf format):