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United Church Moderator To Address The Moral Crisis of Our Economy

June 19, 2000- Glynis Maxwell wants to create a people-centred economy. Maxwell, Coordinator of IDEA Burlington, a local interfaith organization, has seen a decline in economic and social conditions in developing countries in recent years.

"We are now seeing this decline in Canada as well," she worries. "As a society we have turned our back on the principle that the economy should serve the needs of people not the reverse."

IDEA Burlington is working with other local groups to help people think critically about the economy. They hope a visit of United Church Moderator Bill Phipps will help.

Phipps recently led a two year cross-Canada consultation on faith and the economy.
"We must return to a time where a caring economy is seen, not as a fiscal nightmare, but rather as a guiding light," he concluded.

The Halton Social Justice Coalition's Brenda Dolling agrees that ethics are losing out in market economy. She thinks Phipps is someone to be listened to.

"He has spent the last two years analyzing the economy in terms of how it serves people. Bill Phipps is a theologian who challenges people to really think."

God and the Market: Steps towards a Moral Economy, a book published by the United Church, summarizes the consultation and documents Canadians' desire to reconnect their faith with their economic lives. Edited by Ted Reeve, with an introduction by Phipps, the book will be available following Phipps' speech, according to Doug Simpson a Board Member with the Halton Social Planning Council and Volunteer Centre. Simpson explains that the Council supports the exchange of ideas where the complex interrelationships between social and economic issues are examined critically. We welcome the insights that Phipps and the faith community brings to these issues.

Rev. Peter Hoyle, Chair of the ecumenical group the Interchurch Council of Burlington, hopes people will attend. "Bill Phipps has been called and empowered by the Holy Spirit to be a prophet talking to us about poverty and oppression," Hoyle declares.

Phipps presentation will begin at 7:30 p.m. at St. Volodymyr Cultural Centre on Monday, June 26th. St. Volodymyr is located in Oakville at 1280 Dundas Street West (Highway 5 and 4th Line).

Further information is available from the Halton Social Planning Council and Volunteer Centre at (905) 632-1975.