Saturday, December 24, 2011

NorthHaven Church Presents Tapestry of Light, Part 5

The NorthHaven Church Choir in Norman, Oklahoma under the direction of Dr. Mark Lucas perform "Tapestry of Light" by Joseph M. Martin on December 18, 2011. Part Five -- Bethlehem Light and Carols of Celebration.

Friday, December 23, 2011

2010 Census Reveals Decade of Declining Income

Click here for more analysis from the Brookings Institute regarding the 2010 Census.

NorthHaven Church Presents Tapestry of Light, Part 4

The NorthHaven Church Choir in Norman, Oklahoma under the direction of Dr. Mark Lucas perform "Tapestry of Light" by Joseph M. Martin on December 18, 2011. Part Four -- Carols of the Quest and A Celtic Gloria!

Middle Class Toil Index

Chart produced by Robert Frank, Visiting Professor of Business Ethics at New York University.

The index was "constructed to portray the most dramatic element of the middle-class squeeze -- the effort required to rent a house served by a school of average quality. "

Thursday, December 22, 2011

NorthHaven Church Presents Tapestry of Light, Part 3

Tapestry of Light, Part Three from Bruce Prescott on Vimeo.

The NorthHaven Church Choir in Norman, Oklahoma under the direction of Dr. Mark Lucas perform "Tapestry of Light" by Joseph M. Martin on December 18, 2011. Part Three -- O Wondrous Night and A Celtic Noel.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

NorthHaven Presents Tapestry of Light, Part 2

Tapestry of Light, Part Two from Bruce Prescott on Vimeo.

The NorthHaven Church Choir in Norman, Oklahoma under the direction of Dr. Mark Lucas perform "Tapestry of Light" by Joseph M. Martin on December 18, 2011. Part Two -- An Advent Garden and The Holy Child of Mary.

Part three will be posted tomorrow.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Thursday, December 08, 2011

Prayer Rally at U.S. Rep. Lankford's Office

I am headed to U.S. Representative James Lankford's office this morning to attend a Prayer Rally encouraging Lankford to extend unemployment benefits at this time of dire economic crisis in our country. Here is what I said at the rally this morning:

"But whoever has the world's goods, and sees his brother in need and closes his heart against him, how does the love of God abide in him? Little children, let us not love with word or with tongue, but in deed and truth." (1 John 3:17-18 NASV)


It is time to stop giving lip service to our love and concern for the unemployed. We want to see some love in action. We want Rep. Lankford to vote to extend unemployment benefits.

Let us pray.

Heavenly Father,

We are here to pray for those who are out of work -- suffering and anxious about how to feed and clothe and house their families. We know that you are concerned about them. We know that you expect everyone to be concerned about them.

We know that you have given gifts and skills to all your children that should be of benefit to all society. We know that you expect us to create an economy that employs every able bodied person and enables everyone who wants a job to exercise their energy in creative and productive ways.

We confess that the economy that our society has created does not recognize and respect the gifts and skills of all your children. Our society has never had an economy with full employment. Our society has always underutilized the gifts and skills that you have given some of your people. Today, the failures of our economic system are apparent for all who have eyes to see.

We stand before the office of one of our elected leaders – one of those who have been entrusted with the responsibility to see that the economic system we create is fair and just and offers gainful employment to every able bodied person in our land.

Today we lift up James Lankford, Lord. Open his eyes, Lord. Help him see that our economy is skewed to the benefit of the few to the detriment of the many. Open his eyes and enable him to see a system that encourages the 1% to build bigger barns overseas and hoard their wealth in ever bigger banks at home instead of encouraging them to share their wealth with the 99% at home. Help him realize that the policies he supports are enabling the 1% to gain the whole world at the cost of losing their own souls.

In times past, our leaders recognized the injustices that are hardwired into our economic system. In times past, our leaders built a safety net to provide for the needs of those who were unemployed and underemployed. They had empathy and compassion on those who were left out of our flawed -- very flawed -- economic system. But this generation has seen the rise of leaders who knew not FDR. We have leaders who have hardened their hearts against the unemployed and are preparing to dump them in the streets -- hungry and cold.

Open their eyes, Lord. Don’t let them close their eyes and harden their hearts. How can the love of God abide in those who close their hearts to brothers and sisters they clearly perceive to be in need? Open their eyes, Lord. Help them see that we need a bigger safety net for those who are unemployed.

In your name we ask this,

Amen.

Wednesday, December 07, 2011

Payday Loan APR is Annual Percentage Robbery

Arnold Hamilton, writing for the Urban Tulsa Weekly, wrote an article about our New Baptist Covenant II project regarding payday lending in Oklahoma. He gave it a clever title: Annual Percentage Robbery.

Monday, December 05, 2011

Podcast: Kate Richey Interview

Podcast ( 27MB Mp3) of Dr. Bruce Prescott's 12-4-2011 "Religious Talk" radio interview with Kate Richey, policy analyst with the Oklahoma Policy Institute. We talk about the work of the Oklahoma Policy Institute, about Kate's report on the need for Affordable Credit in Oklahoma, and about payday lending in Oklahoma.