Comprehensive Digest of Social Witness at the 220th PC(USA) General Assembly


Economic Justice

Item 11-01: On Economic Justice in These Troubled Times

Approved with amendment by the Assembly. This item condemned personal and corporate greed as sin; expressed concern for those affected by the troubled economy; and overtured for advocacy for those who have lost homes, jobs, health insurance benefits, and basic community services. It also requested advocacy for policies that meet human needs and support the public good. Amendments removed reference to Occupy Wall Street and added wording about upholding the church’s role in supporting legislation, ballot initiatives, constitutional amendments, and other means to prevent unlimited money from corporations, unions, and individuals, while distinguishing between corporations and persons.

Item 11-02: On Calling for an End to Poverty Zone Development and for the Advocacy of Fair Development

Approved with amendment by the Assembly. This overture called for more equitable treatment of low-wage service workers in malls, tourist destinations, and re-development areas. It also requested that the church foster a national public policy dialogue on ways to ensure that public resources are used to benefit the public good instead of private development interests.

Item 11-09: World of Hurt, Word of Life: Renewing God’s Communion in the Work of Economic Restoration (from ACSWP)

Approved by the Assembly. This recommendation, from the Advisory Committee on Social Witness Policy, proposed a framework of principles and actions for faithful response to the economic crisis, while offering a supporting analysis documenting the economic dangers to jobs, families, neighbors, and long-term sustainability. This document probes the moral significance of these challenges based on the church’s biblical and Reformed heritage.

Download the finished document (in PDF) as approved by the General Assembly. See the ACSWP Salt & Light summary, including recommendations for a tax reform study.

Item 11-20: A Statement on the Housing and the Mortgage Crisis

Referred by the Assembly to Mission Responsibility Through Investment (MRTI) to report back to the 221st General Assembly (2014). This item overtured all PC(USA) councils and entities to review their financial ties to large banks and Wall Street institutions to determine whether any of them operate against the common good or the socially responsible investment policies of the General Assembly—and if so, to move their monies into local banks, savings and loans, and credit unions. It also called on Congress to initiate an independent investigation of large banks and practices that put corporate profit ahead of community and societal welfare.

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