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Matthew 25 Congregation - First Project

Bower Hill Community Church became a “Matthew 25 congregation” in April. This acknowledges that we take seriously our commitment to God’s people, as described in the Parable of the Sheep and the Goats. We chose as our emphasis the dismantling of systemic poverty. One of the things that makes people in the United States poor is our medical system. It is estimated that one in five families is struggling with medical debt. Even those with medical insurance can experience this with large deductibles or out-of-network visits. Maybe you have experienced this yourself. The real trouble starts when folks are unable to pay, and these debts are added to credit reports. Medical debt is one of the major factors in bankruptcy in this country and bankruptcy is a factor in homelessness.

Our first Matthew 25 project is a crowd-funding campaign to reduce the medical debt burden for our neighbors in the geographic area of the Synod of the Trinity, using the nonprofit organization RIP Medical Debt. Did you know that if you’re a member of our church, then you’re also a member of the Synod of the Trinity? We hope to inspire all 120,000 plus members of the Synod (all of PA, Southeastern Ohio, and most of West Virginia) to donate at least $5 to our campaign. If you saw my minute-for-mission on Kickoff Sunday, then you know that $5 is about the cost of a box of muffins, a Sunday Post-Gazette, or a Starbucks. Many of us drop $5 without giving it a second thought. Click here to view the attached informational leaflet about the campaign, including a link to a segment on CBS Sunday Morning about RIP Medical Debt, which explains how just $5 can abolish $500 of medical debt. It also contains the link to our RIP Medical Debt campaign webpage. You can scroll down and learn more about RIP and also donate to the campaign, either immediately online or by sending RIP a check. If you prefer to send a check to the Bower Hill Church, please put RIP in the memo line.

The goal for this campaign is $500,000, easily achievable if everyone participates. This could abolish nearly 50 million dollars of medical debt for our neighbors in the Synod. I hope you will take this opportunity to realize a possible 100-fold return on your investment in the well-being of our neighbors.

Thanks very much!

Jean Miewald, Mission Committee

“Truly I tell you, just as you did it to one of the least of these…you did it to me.”

~Matthew 25:40


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