Thoughts and Links on Recession and Economic Crisis

Well, it seems pretty official now (well, it has been official for a little while but I’m just getting around to writing about it) – America is definitely in a financial and economic “crisis”. People are clearly stressed and worried about where it’s going to go and what’s going to happen next.

Bryan and I may be all the way across the ocean in Europe, where the effects of the American financial down turn are just starting to be felt, but we personally have been feeling the pressure for months. I feel like in some ways we were feeling the pressure and stress of all this before most other people. We were laid off back in July, before the markets crashed and all the talk turned to bailouts. We left on fairly good terms with our boss and actually talked with him this past week and found out firsthand about how much has changed for the company in the past few weeks. Honestly, I couldn’t help thinking “wow, it’s a really good thing he fired us when he did.” Not that I think we deserved to be fired, I don’t at all, and not that I’m glad we were, I would much rather have a steady pay check, but I know good and bad business when I see it and it was good business for him to fire us. Our jobs were helpful and beneficial to the company but not essential or necessary. I have a few business owners in my immediate circle of friends and family and I understand that sometimes firing people is just good common sense.

Anyway, enough of my random tangent, what I really wanted to do in this blog was pass on to you some articles about the economy and stress and dealing with this financial crisis that I thought you might find interesting. So, here it goes…

I just read this article on Yoga Journal’s web site about the Yoga of Money, I thought it was interesting and thought I’d share it with you.

I was reading Christine Sine’s blog today and was both humbled and inspired. First I read this blog she wrote about financial stress. I have been struggling to trust God during this time of uncertainty and her words were a good reminder that God does still provide for his people and he will provide for Bryan and I, at just the moment when we really need it. It was also a good reminder to continue to live generously and openhanded even in times of uncertainty. The second blog of hers that I read was even more touching for me. She will occasionally share liturgies that she has written on her blog and the one that she shared this week was all about Faith in Turbulent Times. It was beautiful, and inspiring and encouraging and challenging all at once. It will be a prayer that I come back to often in the weeks and months to come.

I found this post on Cerulean Sanctum entitled Still-in-the-Red Friday? – Further Thoughts. This post asked churches and Christians if they were ready for recession and how they were preparing to respond to the problems that so many people will face in a recession. The body of Christ clearly has a responsibility to provide for and assist and help the “least of these.” What does that look like in a recession when it is likely that the so many of the church’s members will have lost jobs and tight belts? Even if this we recover quickly from the current economic crisis these are important questions to ask – is the church prepared and how do we help those in need around us?

I love how the Mustard Seed House in the Seattle area is wrestling with these questions. The first article I read there discussed how a few weeks ago they had gathered a variety of people from their community in Seattle to discuss ways that Christians and churches should prepare for recession and how Christian communities could prepare to help others during times of recession. They share here some of the ideas they came up with at that meeting. I also found this article from them with ideas about things people and churches have done during recessions in the past. It talks about some great ways to live simply in community and how that can help financially.

EDIT: I just found this site that explains the whole mortgage/financial crisis through a cartoon of stick figures - I found it to be a helpful, creative and easy way to understand what's going on and how we got here.  

Hope you enjoy reading these and maybe they will get you thinking about how you can be prepared and actively involved over the coming months of recession.

Rejoicing in the journey - Bethany