Saturday, April 21, 2007
Yesterday, I got to spend some time with two people doing amazing things to connect faith and economics --- Ben Corey-Moran, from Thanksgiving Coffee Company and David Funkhouser, a strategic outreach person for TransFair --- we were joined for lunch by two of my colleagues from work and a woman named Lee from Georgia who belongs to a fascinating faith community connected with an interesting place called Hildegard's. I've been getting to know Ben through the San Francisco Interfaith Council and their effort to support an interfaith co-op in Uganda. David, I met a few months ago, he's also an Episcopal priest, grew up just a few miles from my childhood summer camp, Shrine Mont and actually spent summer's working there. Our group had a wonderful, rich and deep conversation about coffee, the fair-trade movement and how faith communities can help support this global movement for sustainable development, just labor practices, gender equality and environmental protection.
A very inspiring and wide-ranging conversation, full of hope, new information and opportunities for working together. I first heard about Fair-Trade through two organizations one religious and one fairly secular but both committed to justice and peace, Ten Thousand Villages and Global Exchange. We in the church are always talking about putting our beliefs into practice --- Fair-Trade perhaps may be one way to take our commitments into the marketplace. Many Episopal Church's have been supporting Fair-Trade through the ERD's Bishop's Blend Coffee as well but there perhaps may be many other ways to encourage this important work. Just saw a story in Sunday's New York Times on Fair-Trade, worth a read.