What to Say about Fair Trade in A Church Bulletin
Your church’s bulletin is a terrific way to let the people in your congregation know why you partner with Equal Exchange. And Fall is the perfect time for a reminder! But what to write?
Maybe an example will help! Here’s a bulletin insert shared by Peter Buck, who works at Equal Exchange and worships at Parish of the Sacred Heart in Roslindale, Massachusetts. Use it as inspiration. Or copy it — Peter doesn’t mind! Just insert your church’s name and the ways you serve or sell Equal Exchange in the second paragraph. Don’t forget to delete the brackets.
That Coffee the Hospitality Committee Buys
We’re all back from the summer. The kids are back in school, or soon will be; or our grandchildren have gone back home; and our jobs and activities are gearing up.
Here at [church name ], we’re getting back into our schedule, including [name of activity #1] and [name of activity #2], using fairly traded products from Equal Exchange.
Fellowship is important for building community; it brings us the opportunity to spend time together in the afterglow of worship. It also affords us the opportunity to build community with our neighbors across the world, by enjoying a cup of fairly traded coffee, tea or cocoa grown by small farmer communities and brought to us by Equal Exchange.
Why do we purchase our coffee from Equal Exchange?
Equal Exchange purchases coffee, tea, cocoa beans and other crops from forty communities in twenty countries. They pay a stable, above-market price; they purchase in advance of harvest (when farmers need the money) and collaborate, over the long term, in the sustainable development and empowerment of their partner communities. They sell their products through grocery stores and cafes, and through partnerships with a dozen religious denominations.
What does this have to do with church?
A lawyer asks Jesus what he must do to inherit eternal life. Jesus asks him what is written in the law. Replies the lawyer: “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your strength, and with all your mind; and your neighbor as yourself.” Jesus tells the lawyer he got it right. “And who is my neighbor?” says the lawyer.
Jesus replies with the parable of the Good Samaritan: A man is robbed, beaten and left for dead on the road to Jericho. A priest and a prominent citizen of his own community both see him and cross the road to avoid getting involved. But a Samaritan, a foreigner, a member of a despised community, stops and cares for the victim. So who was the real neighbor, asks Jesus. “The one who showed him mercy” replies the lawyer. “Go and do likewise.” says Jesus. (Luke 10:25-37)
Using fairly traded coffee, tea and other products is one of the many ways we can “Go and do likewise.”
Read our other tips for spreading the word about Fair Trade.
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