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Wednesday Night Connections

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We invite you to join us at Wednesday Night Connections, an opportunity to be the church community complete with dinner provided! Chef Patti wows us with her culinary delights, with options for vegetarians and gluten-free needs.  Please sign up by clicking on the SignUp Genius button to let us know you will be here for dinner.  There is also a myriad of other classes and activities going on.  We hope our intergenerational offerings nurture your soul.  Join us during the Fall session of Wednesday Night Connections for enriching and FUN Wednesday nights with our church family! (Oct. 4 – Nov. 15)

The schedule for Wednesday Night Connections is:

3:30 – 5:30 p.m.                 Way of Grace (meeting in the Chapel)

5:15 – 6:00 p.m.                 Children’s Activities (downstairs in the Atrium)

5:30 – 6:30 p.m.                 Bell Choir (meeting in the Sanctuary)

6:00 – 7:00 p.m.            Dinner (meeting in Fellowship Hall, October 4~November 15)*

7:00 – 8:30 p.m.                 Our Whole Lives: Sexuality and our Faith (meeting in Peter Horn Lounge)

7:00 – 8:30 p.m.                 Sacred Conversations (meeting in the Chapel)

7:00 – 8:30 p.m.                 Choir (meeting in the Wheeler Room)

*Please consider volunteering to help with dishes from 5:30 – 7:00 p.m., with a dinner break at 6:00 – 6:30 p.m. so that all can enjoy dinner together and being in community with each other.  We only have 7 dinners this fall, so if you could take just one of these dish-washing shifts…many hands make easy work! Please sign up on SignUp Genius to help.

Sacred Conversations – Income Inequality

This series has now ended for the season and Sacred Conversations will resume in January.

Additional links to various resources are available below on the subject of Income Inequality.

The Adult Education Committee offers a series of Sacred Conversations on Income Inequality from Oct. 4 – Nov. 8. These sessions are not designed to make you feel guilty about what you have, or upset about what you don’t have. They are designed to help you understand how the richest country in the world came to have the greatest level of income inequality on the planet.

  • We will look at the history of income distribution in the United States
  • We will examine economic and political policy changes over the past 30 – 40 years that allowed the present income situation to be.
  • We will look at the lives of those at the top and those at the bottom of the economic ladder and examine the accessibility of the American Dream.
  • We will explore the impact income inequality has had on unions, race, education, housing and transportation, and, yes, democracy.

If you think you understand income inequality, think again. There is so much about income inequality of which the majority of Americans are totally unaware. This is your time to learn, to share, to understand more about this very vital topic.


Week One – Oct. 4

1.  “9 Out Of 10 Americans Are Completely Wrong About This Mind-Blowing Fact” examines the distribution of wealth in the United States, comparing reality with what most Americans think about income distribution. Use this form to do your own assessment prior to watching the video, then compare it with how income is actually distributed. (6:05) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gk5OJBry2ss

2.  Article:  “A Brief History of Income Inequality in the United States”   http://www.investopedia.com/articles/investing/110215/brief-history-income-inequality-united-states.asp

3.  Article, “U.S. Census Bureau Records Improvements In Income, Poverty And Health Coverage”http://www.npr.org/2017/09/12/550492811/u-s-census-bureau-records-improvements-in-income-poverty-and-health-coverage

4.  “Land of the Free, Home of the Poor”:  Financial gains over the last decade in the United States have been mostly made at the “tippy-top” of the economic food chain as more people fall out of the middle class. The top 20 percent of Americans now holds 84 percent of U.S. wealth, as Paul Solman found out as part of a Making Sen$e series on economic inequality.  (11:46)    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YnQwTS-K6jI

5. New York Times Article, “Bump in U.S. Incomes Doesn’t Erase 50 Years of Pain” https://www.nytimes.com/2017/09/16/business/economy/bump-in-us-incomes-doesnt-erase-50-years-of-pain.html?_r=0

6.  “What the 1% Don’t Want You to Know”:  Economist Paul Krugman explains how the United States is becoming an oligarchy – the very system our founders revolted against.  (25:00)    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QzQYA9Qjsi0

Weeks 2 and 3 – Oct. 11 & 18

7.  Noam Chomsky’s “Requiem for the American Dream” available for a fee on Netflix, Amazon, and YouTube. Chomsky details 10 Principles of Concentration of Wealth and Power. (1hr 1 min)

8. “Inequality for All”: Robert Reich, Secretary of Labor under President Clinton, concedes that some income inequality is inevitable and examines what is happening, why and when it interferes with democracy.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fjYlr5G22IY

Week 4 – Oct. 25

9.  “The Costs of Inequality”:  Joseph Stiglitz is University Professor at Columbia University, the winner of the 2001 Nobel Memorial Prize in Economics, and a lead author of the 1995 IPCC report, which shared the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize. He examines the cost to society of income inequality in his TED talk. (16:00)    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GYHT4zJsCdo

10.  “Joseph Stiglitz: It’s Time to Get Radical on Inequality”:  Nobel laureate Stiglitz, author of The Price of Inequality and The Great Divide, studies the forces driving inequality and what is at stake if it continues. (18:30)     https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2NsTeeb-87w

11. “How economic inequality harms societies”:  We feel instinctively that societies with huge income gaps are somehow going wrong. Richard Wilkinson charts the hard data on economic inequality, and shows what gets worse when rich and poor are too far apart: real effects on health, lifespan, even such basic values as trust. (16:54)    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cZ7LzE3u7Bw

12. “How the feeling of falling behind fuels deadly distress for white Americans”:  Why have middle aged, white Americans experienced a stunning rise in premature deaths due to alcoholism, suicide and drug abuse? Economists who have documented the dramatic decrease in life expectancy say an obvious place to look is the loss of work and economic status for the working class. But economics correspondent Paul Solman finds that’s not the whole story. (8:24)    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=INDs43eQRJA

13. “Beware, fellow plutocrats, the pitchforks are coming”:  Nick Hanauer, a rich guy, an unrepentant capitalist — has something to say to his fellow plutocrats: Wake up! Growing inequality is about to push our societies into conditions resembling pre-revolutionary France. Hear his argument about why a dramatic increase in minimum wage could grow the middle class, deliver economic prosperity … and prevent a revolution. (21:00)   https://www.ted.com/talks/nick_hanauer_beware_fellow_plutocrats_the_pitchforks_are_coming/details?language=en

Week 5 – Nov. 1

14.   OCCP Webinar:  Income Inequality in Oregon 2017:  The Oregon Center for Public Policy debuted new research on income inequality in Oregon during a webinar on October 4, 2017. The report uses 2015 data, the latest data available. (40.04)https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kIXvAVxzCbA&feature=youtu.be&blm_aid=382976

15.  “We Must Talk About Race to Fix Economic Inequality”:  Demos President Heather McGhee and UC Berkeley Law Professor and author of Dog Whistle Politics Ian Haney López tell the story of how racism fuels economic inequality and what we can do about. (4:13)

16.  Book Review, “The Color of Law” by Richard Rothstein.  Rothstein provides a good history of government discrimination against African-Americans in the housing market and details how government programs intentionally widened the economic gap between Whites and African-Americans. http://marginalrevolution.com/marginalrevolution/2017/09/the-color-of-law-2.htmlA preview of the book can be found at https://www.amazon.com/Color-Law-Forgotten-Government-Segregated/dp/1631492853/ref=mt_hardcover?_encoding=UTF8&me=&dpID=610AYfYLWaL&preST=_SY291_BO1,204,203,200_QL40_&dpSrc=detail#reader_1631492853

Week 6 – Nov. 8

Suggestions created at the end of class: What Can I do About Income Inequality?

17. “Why so many Americans in the middle class have no savings”:  Could you come up with $2,000 in 30 days if you had to? As many as 40 percent of American families can’t, despite the improving economy. Among them is Neal Gabler, who is frequently broke despite his successful career as a writer. As part of a collaboration between The Atlantic and the PBS NewsHour, Judy Woodruff looks at why Gabler and so many other Americans are struggling with savings.  (11:59)     https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tamC-M8TxtY&t=11

18. “How the upper middle class keeps everyone else out”:  In the United States, people within the top 1 percent income bracket own one-third of the nation’s wealth. But scholar Richard Reeves, author of “Dream Hoarders,” argues that the top 20 percent has created an even starker divide with behaviors and policies that limit economic mobility for lower-income groups. Reeves joins Hari Sreenivasan. (7:09) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QPnxOOeY1Kg&t=16

19.  New York Times Article, “How We Are Ruining America” by op-ed columnist David Brooks https://www.nytimes.com/2017/07/11/opinion/how-we-are-ruining-america.html

20.  Article:  “Poverty or Inequality: Does It Matter?”    https://inequality.org/research/why-economic-language-matters/

21.  Forbes Magazine Article:  “Let’s Get This Straight:  Income Inequality and Poverty Aren’t the Same Thing” https://inequality.org/research/why-economic-language-matters/

Louisiana Huey Long’s 1934 “Share the Wealth” speech. Long speaks passionately about income inequality and the wealthy in the United States; still relevant today. (3:48): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hphgHi6FD8k

Extra Links

22.  “The One Percent” focuses on the growing wealth gap in America, as seen through the eyes of filmmaker Jamie Johnson, a 27 year old heir to the Johnson and Johnson pharmaceutical fortune. (1 hr:15 min)     https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HmlX3fLQrEc

23.  New York Times Article, “What the Rich Won’t Tell You”:  Rachel Sherman explains that the rich aren’t always so comfortable with the economic gap in the US and how they deal with it.    https://www.nytimes.com/2017/09/08/opinion/sunday/what-the-rich-wont-tell-you.html?_r=0

24.  “The Rise of the Super Rich: Untold Wealth of the One Percent 1”— Concerns of the 1% about what to do with their wealth: Leave it to their children or donate it. What does abundant inherited wealth do to the children of the super-rich? Does it inhibit their incentive to create and produce their own wealth? (3:12)   https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A_LFlx1PBPE

25.  Forbes Magazine Article, “America is the Richest, and Most Unequal, Country” http://fortune.com/2015/09/30/america-wealth-inequality/

26.  Wikipedia List of countries by income equality: Click on the arrows in this graph to re-organize the data to answer questions you may have.


27. “Rising inequality threatens social cohesion and growth”:  Income inequality has reached record highs in most OECD countries and remains at even higher levels in many emerging economies. The richest 10 per cent of the population now earn 9.6 times the income of the poorest 10 per cent in the OECD, up from 7:1 in the 1980s and 9:1 in the 2000s, according to “In It Together: Why Less Inequality Benefits All”. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xyprxOa1H1s   (1 min 30 sec)

One page summary of “Why Less Inequality Benefits All”  http://www.keepeek.com/Digital-Asset-Management/oecd/employment/in-it-together-why-less-inequality-benefits-all/summary/english_bc9f5d0b-en#.WeuHXoZrxPs#page1

28.  “15 Things Poor People Do That The Rich Don’t”:  Advise from Alux.com, founded in 2013 and self described as “the homepage of luxury and fine living”.  Be aware: There is a strong tone of classism and superiority that many will find insulting. (13:25)

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Upcoming Events

  • House Band Rehearsal
    December 14, 2017 @ 5:30 pm - 6:30 pm
    See more details

  • Advent Candlelight Garden
    December 14, 2017 @ 5:30 pm - 6:30 pm
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  • Festival Choir Dress Rehearsal
    December 16, 2017 @ 10:00 am - 12:00 pm
    See more details

  • Service of Longest Night
    December 21, 2017 @ 7:00 pm - 8:00 pm
    See more details

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