by Abby Dibert
Throughout all of BUP, we have been studying different themes. Within each of these, we have been studying Scripture, hearing from a speaker, and watching a documentary. Sometimes our weekly cultural event also relates to the theme for that week.
The theme for this past week was redistribution. We began by studying God’s commands in the Old Testament regarding the distribution of wealth and other resources. It is really sad how much we have strayed from the commands in the Bible. We talked about the process of gleaning, which involves farmers intentionally not harvesting all of their fields or vineyards. We also discussed the Year of Jubilee and the Sabbath Year and how much faith would be required to fully engage in those practices. We also talked about other commands regarding money in the Bible, about what happened when those commands were followed, and about what happened when those commands were not followed.
We then went on to define redistribution. It involves everyone bringing something and then sharing as a community. It can apply to basically any area of need. Redistribution is not a free handout. Instead, it allows opportunities for just access to resources.
For someone who is already planning on moving into another community to serve, using redistribution makes so much sense to me. It is different and not as simple as free handouts, but it seems to me to be more effective. Our speaker this week commented that her education and employment experiences equipped her to plan great events with no shortage in food and everything that would be needed. But she alone would have great difficulty drawing people to the event. Her coworker is the neighborhood, so his connections are crucial for informing people about the events. If he alone were in charge, there would be a ton of people but his experiences did not prepare him well for event planning. Each person provides what they can for a successful event. To me, this makes so much sense.
I came into the program knowing little about the needs of of Mt. Clare. It was through with the neighbors that I began to understand some of the broken things and beautiful things in thus neighborhood. Working alongside neighbors allows those who aren’t from the community to help where it’s needed. Those coming in to serve are not the ones who have lived here every day of their lives, so they don’t know what it’s like to grow up here. There is still a lot that I don’t know, but I got to know quite a bit from interacting with the neighbors and hearing from them what they see as areas of need in this neighborhood.
We then went on a redistribution tour, which involved visiting coffee shops, an urban farm, a construction warehouse, and some other places to learn more about how redistribution is currently happening. It almost seems crazy to me that we don’t see it more often. It just makes so much sense for everyone to bring something for everyone to share as a community.
by Abby Dibert