An Interfaith Conversation on Fair Trade

Check out the Mirembe Kawomera blog for some interfaith musings on the meaning of Fair Trade, moderated by my friend Ben Corey-Moran at Thanksgiving Coffee. I was honored to provide the Jewish point of view, alongside Reverend Will Scott (of Grace Cathedral in San Francisco), Nyla Khan (a teacher at the Islamic Foundation School in West Chicago) and Reverend Anne Myosho Kyle Brown (of the Kumeido Zen Center in California).

Here’s an excerpt from my piece:

I find a great deal of spiritual power in this teaching: that the world becomes ours to enjoy only when we acknowledge that it really doesn’t belong to us. I also believe that this insight has profound implications for a world in which humanity too often claims exclusive proprietorship over its bounty – where increasingly powerful interests are claiming ownership over increasingly diminishing resources.

I sometimes find myself wondering, what would it mean for our global world economy if we truly took this teaching to heart: that none of it was ever really ours to begin with? One thing I do believe is that it would force us to confront the chronic sense of entitlement we have toward the earth’s resources. And I also believe it would give us a much deeper sensitivity to the process by which goods and services reach our door.

You may recall my earlier posts about Miremebe Kawomera the incredible Ugandan Jewish/Christian/Muslim Fair Trade Coffee cooperative with which JRC has partnered actively over the years. I’m excited to report that we will be visiting our good friends at the MK coop as part of JRC’s congregational service delegation to Rwanda/Uganda this July. Stay tuned for much more on this one!

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