Pat Conover: Sharing the Journey
Reducing Poverty

Corfe Castle by Andrea Crema (some rights reserved)
Seekers Church School of Christian Living Class
Spring 2009
Pat Conover


This class will consider strategies and tactics for addressing different kinds of poverty. It will build on the multi-causal, multi-path, multi-grounded conceptions of poverty developed in the Understanding Poverty class. Strategies and tactics for reducing poverty will all be presented as having strengths and weaknesses. We will consider the strengths and weaknesses and interactions of economic approaches, cultural approaches, social approaches, political approaches, empowerment approaches, legal approaches, institutional and bureaucratic approaches, volunteer small scale approaches, etc.

Session One - Goals and Motives

This class will start the process of unpacking the goals and motives of the different players in processes intended to reduce poverty. After a general introduction, discussion will focus on exploring goals and motives of players in a few examples developed in the Understanding Poverty class. Then there will be a discussion of Christian goals and motives.

Session Two - Educational Strategies and Tactics

Who needs to learn what to help in reducing particular kinds of poverty? Picking any set of strategies and tactics leads to particular kinds of educational needs. For example, empowering individuals in poverty needs very different education, than organizing the community that individual lives in, versus providing skill training to the individual, versus electing a new alderman to serve the community the individual lives in.

Session Three - Individual Focused Strategies and Tactics

What do individuals need to gain income to reduce their poverty? There is a lot of difference between advocacy to increase the amount of disability payments, versus establishing training programs for former coal miners, versus therapy for depressed single mothers, versus mentoring to improve life skills for people who want to become first-time home owners.

Session Four - Community and Group Focused Strategies

What do communities and groups need to reduce their poverty. Helping a small town keep its school is different from helping a union organize and fight for wages and benefits.

Session Five - Political Advocacy

What can we do as citizens to shape public policies that will reduce poverty? What can we do, and what is good for us to do, as individual Christians and as congregations?

Session Six - Callings and Solidarity

How can we grow as individuals and as Seekers Church to help people with low incomes and to stand with people with low incomes?

Session One | Session Two | Session Three | Session Four | Session Five | Session Six | Worship Resources

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