The Rev Jay Lawlor reflecting on stewardship and generosityThe Rev. Jay Lawlor Articles and Papers

The Rev. Jay Lawlor Articles and Papers is a collection of writings on various topics of Christian faith and economic, social, and environmental justice. Postings are organized with the most recent at the top of the page. A summary is provided with links to the full article or paper. In a few cases, I no longer have the original text (lost to old computer files).


Millennium Villages in Rwanda are Turning the Page on Poverty,” January 5, 2017

Originally published on Episcopalians for Global Reconciliation, January 9, 2009

When most people think of Rwanda they recall the tragic genocide of 1994. The genocide should never be forgotten and we must always be looking to how we can foster greater justice, compassion, and reconciliation in our world so such tragedies can be avoided. Nonetheless, Rwanda has spent the past 14 years journeying from the genocide to become a nation of reconciliation and one deeply committed to eradicating poverty. Rwanda’s President Kagame and its Parliament have made significant commitments toward achieving the Millennium Development Goals. A critical component of Rwanda’s MDG strategy is their partnership with the Millennium Villages Project.

Read more here . . .

What Your Congregation Can Do to End Extreme Poverty,” January 5, 2017

Originally published on Episcopalians for Global Reconciliation, April 3, 2008

Next Monday (April 7, 2008), Millennium Congregation (formerly advertised as the Millennium Villages Faithful Action Initiative) will officially begin connecting congregations throughout the United States in partnership with Millennium Villages. Our initial goal is to fund five villages in the Mayange region of Rwanda and then continue to increase our support as part of Rwanda’s national scale-up of Millennium Villages across the nation — helping Rwanda become the first “Millennium Nation” in achieving the MDGs and building sustainable village economies nationally.

Read more here . . .

“Witness of the Early Church in Ending Poverty,” January 2, 2017

Originally published on Episcopalians for Global Reconciliation, March 3, 2008

Early Christian communities took quite seriously their responsibility in caring for one another and others in need. This does not mean that they always got it right – as many of the Epistles address, but they often were intentional communities of faith that are described as exhibiting economic fellowship, joy, and generosity (Acts 2:43-47). They sought to live according to Jesus’ vision for community where they shared possessions and distributed goods as those had need (Acts 4:32-37). And recognizing the need of the poor widows in their midst, the apostles appoint Stephen and six others to serve the poor widows a daily meal (Acts 6:1-7).

Read more here . . .

“The Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and the Episcopal Church’s Role”,

Originally published as LEAP Position Paper, Every Voice Network, August 2003

In September 2000, world leaders agreed to a set of measurable goals and targets for combating poverty, hunger, disease, illiteracy, environmental degradation and discrimination against women. These commitments are known as the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and are set at the heart of the global agenda. At the International Conference on Financing for Development in 2002, leaders from both developed and developing nations began matching these commitments with a global deal in which sustained political and economic reform in developing countries will be matched by direct aid, trade, debt relief, and investment from the world’s richest countries. The MDGs provide a framework for the entire United Nations system and others around the globe to work together toward a common end of poverty, disease, oppression, and the degradation of our planet. Read more here . . .

“MDG Action Steps” – Eight practical steps you can take to support the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).

“Parish-Based Economic Development.” A report to the Executive Committee of Episcopal City Mission, Diocese of Massachusetts, September 2002.

“Building Bridges will Increase Security,” The Standard Times, New Bedford, MA, September 9, 2002

Jubilee and Debt Forgiveness (paper I presented at various congregations in the Episcopal Diocese of Massachusetts during 2000)

On page 305 of the BCP, part of our Baptismal Covenant reads (Read from the BCP itself) “Will you strive for justice and peace among all people, and respect the dignity of every human being?” The response, “I will with God’s help.”

When we are baptized into Christ we gain new life through him and become members of his body and ministers of God’s Word in the world. Through our baptism we join the priesthood of all believers and promise to live out that ministry by striving for justice and peace among all people, and respecting the dignity of every human being. The challenges of the world’s poor call each of us to witness to that baptismal promise in very real ways.

Read more . . .

“Sustaining the Jubilee Spirit: A Jubilee 2000 Perspective,” The Episcopal Times, Vol. 23, No. 5, The Diocese of Massachusetts, Summer 2000

As we entered the new millennium we also embarked on a Jubilee year. Jubilee is a call for the liberation of humanity that comes from God’s revelation to ancient Israel. It challenges the injustices of society in order to bring about a just world for all. Both Hebrew and Christian Scriptures clearly proclaim a Jubilee message. Read more . . .