What suffering, or brokenness, or unmet need begs for Christ’s love, through us?
How would our neighborhood or Washingtonville or the Hudson Valley be different if we asked people that question and lived to meet that need?
Here’s an example of the Church living in the real world.
Comforting the Loan-Sharked Brethren
By THE EDITORIAL BOARD
Britain’s new archbishop of Canterbury, the Most Rev. Justin Welby, is inviting the humblest of money lenders, credit unions, into the temple. His aim is to undercut the “payday lender” industry that routinely and notoriously charges usurious interest rates to the working poor, and is now the subject of national scandal.
“We’re trying to compete you out of existence,” Archbishop Welby told a ranking executive of the payday industry, which is under government investigation for charging borrowers what amount to loan-shark rates of interest compounding to as high as 5,000 percent a year.
The Anglican leader knows whereof he speaks. He is a former financial executive from the oil industry who is a member of the government’s banking commission. He arrived as an outspoken prelate who wasted no time in announcing that some 500 credit unions with drastically lower interest rates could use the church’s 16,000 properties to set up shop as rivals to the booming payday lenders. The initiative may take time because the credit union system is relatively undeveloped in Britain. But it is hard to doubt the archbishop’s refreshing resolve.
After promising the church would put its “money where its mouth is,” Archbishop Welby was confronted with a surprising disclosure that a small part of the church’s wealth was invested in a payday company. The archbishop accepted the news as an embarrassment and a reason to look closely at church holdings, but not as a fatal blow to his efforts.
The archbishop presents an unusual challenge to financial predators: a church leader who can track spread sheets alongside scripture in an innovative mission to galvanize credit unions and help the poor.