Dec. 4 Update: The UCC has surpassed their goal, so far raising nearly $75,000. it's not too late to give at: www.ucc.org/giving_tuesday
The three Bridge Conference Ministers are calling for support for the United Church of Christ's Giving Tuesday campaign to erase medical debt.
The United Church of Christ has set a goal of raising $50,000, which will erase approximately $5 million dollars in medical debt for people who are facing insolvency, and for whom medical debt is 5% or more of annual income.
“What a great way to kick off the season of Advent, when we anticipate the greatest gift of all," said Marilyn Kendrix, Rhode Island Transitional Conference Minister. "I hope everyone in our new Southern New England Conference will participate in this wonderful gift, knowing that it will mean so much to folks who have enough to worry about when going through challenging medical situations.”
Celebrated on the Tuesday following Thanksgiving in the US, which this year is Dec. 3, Giving Tuesday inspires millions of people across the globe to show up and give to causes and issues that matter to them.
In October, Trinity United Church of Christ in Chicago, along with other Illinois UCC and Baptist churches, the Illinois Conference and UCC National ministries, collaborated on investing $38,000 to abolish $5.3 million in debt in some of the poorest communities in Chicago. They did so working with RIP Medical Debt, a New York-based nonprofit that identifies and purchases medical debt for pennies on the dollar in order to abolish unpaid and unpayable medical debt. The #GivingTuesday effort will also be in partnership with RIP Medical Debt.
"This is a remarkable program for its scope and impact," said Don Remick, Massachusetts Conference Interim Transitional Conference Minister. "And it is generating a lot of enthusiasm among our clergy and churches. It is an effective and powerful way for us to Live the Love and Justice of Jesus."
In calling for support of the campaign, Connecticut Conference Minister Kent Siladi quoted Romans 14:12b:
“Let us then lay aside the works of darkness and put on the armor of light."
"As the season of Advent begins the ritual of lighting candles will take place in many sanctuaries. We start this season of waiting with hope. We are invited to be messengers of hope in the midst of a world torn by violence and hate, by racism and sexism and homophobia and a planet that is aching for us to change our ways," he said.
"As the Romans passage invites us to put on the armor of light I believe one way that I can do this is to participate in reducing medical debt for those who have been saddled with what seems like an insurmountable burden from which there is no hope. I invite you to join me in contributing to the UCC’s Giving Tuesday Initiative. It is really a remarkable way to offer hope. A blessed Advent to each of you."
Read more and make a contribution at: ucc.org/giving_tuesday