Sometimes when people of faith come together from a variety of perspectives, good ideas arise that may not have arisen had the gathering been homogeneous.
For instance, back in 1968 at a World Council of Churches gathering the idea that today has become Oikocredit came forward. It became the Ecumenical Development Cooperative Society and finally Oikocredit.
The term "oiko" or "oikos" means house or family, and Oikocredit describes itself this way on its website: "Oikocredit is a worldwide financial cooperative that promotes global justice by empowering disadvantaged people with credit."
I had heard of this kind of microfinancing work but had sort of lost track of its World Council of Churches origins until Cheryl Smith, the daughter of friends, recently told me about her involvement in OikocreditUSA as a board member.
As you can see from the link I just gave you, Cheryl works with Trillium Asset Management, which focuses on sustainable and socially responsible investing. So she's a natural for Oikocredit.
There are ways that you can become involved in the work of Oikocredit and its many projects all over the world. Surf around on its website to see what interests you.
Cheryl told me about Oikocredit after reading one of my National Catholic Reporter columns that talked about capitalism. Glad she did. It gave me a chance to introduce you to a faith-based way of investing in people who need a little help to make it.
And isn't that what people of faith are supposed to do?
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ANOTHER SYRIA'S PROBLEM
David Gibson at Religion News Service says one more casualty of the crisis in Syria may be the traditonal Christian "Just War Theory." People citing it are coming up with opposite conclusions, he notes. Well, yes, but in rhetorical terms that's just war.