I know many of you reading this may not struggle with poverty. But of some of you may be like me who has recently had hours cut at your job or you may be wrestling with unemployment. For millions of us, the poverty line is always above our heads – and in our current economic meltdown more of us are falling below that line. More and more of us are struggling to make ends meet and on a bad day have trouble putting food on the table. If you have never dealt with this hard reality I encourage you to seek understanding and compassion on an issue that effects more of your neighbors than you think.

Too often I hear people casting judgement on those who deal chronically with financial instability or lack. The assumption often is that these people can choose to lift themselves out of their current situation. While I believe we must rise above an attitude of shame and victimization – the reality is – for many of us there are no easy answers. I was encouraged to hear about a local viewing of a new movie that uncovers what may be hidden to those who are yet unaffected by the economic crisis.

The Line‘, a new film from the Christian non-profit Sojourners and the Emmy-Award winning writer and producer Linda Midgett, is shedding light on this expanding reality that too often goes ignored and untalked about:

“From Emmy Award-winning producer Linda Midgett, The Line is a groundbreaking forty-minute documentary uncovering the emerging and entrenched faces of poverty in our country. As Sojourners CEO Jim Wallis puts it, “more and more of our friends are in poverty — in the pews, in our workplaces — through no fault of their own, and they are slipping below the poverty level.”

In the Chicago suburbs, a single dad was laid off from his bank and is now a regular at the local food pantry, trying to make it by with three kids. On Chicago’s west side, deep poverty creates a culture of violence and hopelessness. On the Gulf Coast, a fisherman struggles post-BP oil spill and Hurricane Katrina because environmental crises mean the loss of his livelihood. In North Carolina, we see that hard work and determination don’t always mean success.

What does this mean for the future of our country? How do real-life stories change the narrative about poverty? What can we do about it?”

If you are in the Lynchburg regional area I hope you will be able to make it out to a viewing of ‘The Line’ tomorrow night. See details below. If you are not in the local area please look for a local viewing (or host your own screening) in your town at: the film’s website.

“The newest film from Emmy Award-winning writer and producer Linda Midgett is coming to Lynchburg. As part of a broader campaign to bring light to the new faces of poverty and the aftermath of the recession, national Christian non-profit Sojourners has produced a documentary film called The Line. Other support organizations include Bread for the World, World Vision, the MacArthur Foundation, The Annie E. Casey Foundation, Christian Community Development Association, and OXFAM America. This 40-minute film uncovers the emerging and entrenched faces of poverty in our country. The screening is free and open to the public. Space is limited.”

WHAT: Screening of the film The Line
WHERE: The Lodge of the Fisherman, 4415 Boonsboro Rd, Lynchburg, VA
WHEN: Friday, October 19, 2012, 7:00 pm
CONTACT: Kaye Edwards, kaye.edwards6@gmail.com (Church of the Covenant, United Church of Christ/Disciples of Christ, www.chcov.org)

 

J. Fowler

J. Fowler is the website editor and co-founder, along with his wife Pamela, of the Sustainable Traditions project. The Fowlers live with their seven children on a farm near the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia.

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