With many others, I lobbied Congress in 1996/97 to pass legislation enabling the creation of the State Children's Health Insurance Program (SCHIP) for children of poor working families. With the enabling federal legislation in place, my colleagues and I turned our attention to state legislatures. I was director of the WV Council of Churches at the time, and so worked with, and sometimes against, the WV Legislature to fully fund and implement the program. SCHIP’s renewal is before Congress now.
I'm pleased to say that my own denomination, the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), is encouraging its members to support SCHIP’s renewal. In a recent letter, Rev Dr Sharon Watkins, our head of communion, wrote that nine million children in the United States are without health insurance coverage.
“How we treat our children says something about the kind of people we are – and about the kind of God we serve,” she wrote. “I have decided that I need to speak out on this issue and I am writing to urge you to enter into prayerful discernment about whether or not it is time for you or your congregation to also take a stand.” For her letter in full, go to: http://www.disciples.org/dns/releases2007/07094.pdf
To view a website with resources that address this issue, go to: www.discipleshomemissions.org/familyandchildren/HealthCareForChildren/index.htm
This is a good program that has helped many children, families and communities. It's worth getting involved, so I hope you will.
Lots of hope,
Incoming senior minister of First Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in Shelbyville, IN, Nathan enjoys writing on a range of issues and working with others to resolve conflict, develop consensus and build communities of hope and action.