From Interfaith Worker Justice (http://www.iwj.org):
Organizing a service on worker justice over Labor Day weekend is a great opportunity for your congregation to recognize the sacred work of all its members and support low-wage workers’ struggles for justice.
But you can honor workers anytime.
Go to http://files.www.iwj.org/resources/StudyGuide.pdf to download a six unit Study Guide for your congregation or faith community.
Step One: Let others know
If you are interested in organizing Labor in the Pulpits/on the Bimah/in the Minbar at your congregation, let us know so we can count you in as one of the hundreds of congregations around the country lifting up worker justice issues over Labor Day weekend and throughout the year. Getting an accurate count will enable IWJ to publicize the faith community’s concern with worker justice in the national media, which will help bring worker justice issues to an even wider audience.
Tell us if you’re planning a Labor in the Pulpit/on the Bimah/in the Minbar event in your congregation at http://www.iwj.org/resources/labor-in-the-pulpiton-the-bimahin-the-minbar/were-in.
Your congregation can also let others know about your Labor in the Pulpits/on the Bimah/in the Minbar events. Reach out to your local media by sending a press alert or press release with the details. Use social media (like Facebook) to invite your friends. Send invitations out to your neighbors via U.S. mail and invite your members using your e-newsletter. Get creative!
Step Two: Find an interfaith group to connect with in your area
If there is a local Interfaith Worker Justice (IWJ) group in your area, that group can connect your congregation with a union member or labor leader who can talk about the connection between his or her faith and the struggle for justice in the workplace. Labor in the Pulpit speakers receive special training and sample reflections to help them develop their presentations. Many congregations organize Labor in the Pulpit events on the Friday, Saturday, or Sunday before Labor Day – or with special services on Labor Day Monday.
Find an interfaith group or workers center in your area. NOTE: There are only two groups affiliated with IWJ—Philadelphia and Pittsburgh (http://www.iwj.org/locations/pennsylvania).
If there is not an IWJ group in your area, consider identifying a Labor in the Pulpit speaker from your congregation or community or discussing workplace justice in the pastor’s homily.
If there is an IWJ group but your worship service or congregation tradition does not accommodate outside speakers, you could use these speakers before or after the service or at adult or teen education classes.
Step Three: Incorporate a worker justice theme into a worship service, educational or other kind of event
Think creatively about how best to plan an event that will make sense in your context, provide support to those struggling for justice on the job and lift up everyone’s spirits in the process. IWJ provides a variety of resources that will help you plan a successful Labor in the Pulpit/on the Bimah/in the Minbar event.
- Speakers’ Training Guide (http://files.iwj.gethifi.com/resources/lip_training_guide_copy.pdf)
- Media Guide (http://files.iwj.gethifi.com/resources/labor-in-the-pulpiton-the-bimahin-the-minbar/LiPMediaKit_copy.pdf)
- Organizing Guide (http://files.iwj.gethifi.com/resources/labor-in-the-pulpiton-the-bimahin-the-minbar/LiPOrgGuide_2008.pdf)
- Hear from some faith leaders who have led a Labor in the Pulpit/on the Bimah/in the Minbar event (http://www.iwj.org/resources/labor-in-the-pulpiton-the-bimahin-the-minbar/voices)
- Browse the resource center for educational, prayer and worship materials you can use (http://www.iwj.org/resources#faith-special)