The Pew Research Center came out with data today showing a dramatically rising wealth gap between older and younger households. This gap is long-standing–younger people don’t have the same earning power or time to accumulate resources, but it’s gotten significantly worse in the last twenty years. The effects of our current recession are likely to exacerbate the situation.
Carol Howard Merritt has written compellingly in Tribal Church and online about the implications of this for the church. She writes about how it affects how we think about stewardship, pastoral care, and intergenerational relationships. It means we need to ask questions such as, how might young adults be members who are silently in need in our congregations? How can we support families that work two jobs, and still don’t make ends meet? How do these become justice issues that we address in our preaching, teaching, and advocacy?