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The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America

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Remember workers' lives and deaths

A "memorial day" for people most don't consider heroes will be observed Sunday, April 28, sponsored by the National Interfaith Committee for Worker Justice. They include the 6,000 workers killed yearly in on-the-job injuries and the 50,000 who die from occupation-related diseases. "We don't easily think of those who have died as a result of industrial carelessness or greed as heroes," says Rabbi Robert J. Marx, committee president, "yet in their own unique way they are."

Wayne Stumme, retired ELCA pastor who taught at Trinity Lutheran Seminary, Columbus, Ohio, is a founding board member of the committee. He calls the poor, especially the working poor, "the greatest uncared-for population in this country." Observing a special memorial day, he hopes, will awaken church leaders to their responsibilities to low-income people. "I'd like to see a serious effort in our congregations to study the exploitation, to bring it to the light of day--and then to take action, right in their own communities," he said. The ELCA contributed $10,000 to the committee last year.

For a service of remembrance, with prayers for just workplaces, visit the group's Web site: www.nicwj.org.


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