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Engage in faith and economic justice with the 1K Initiative

We have a tendency to describe our economic systems as though they are outside of our control and unchangeable. We talk about economic forces, upturns, and downturns as if they are naturally occurring phenomena. In fact, the rules of these systems are created by humans. And, since we made them up, we can make up something different.

Congregations regularly engage in different economic practices. The 1K Churches project, developed by the Criterion Institute, helps ELCA congregations examine how this engagement happens and what it all means for us as people of faith and for our communities, and to discern how God is calling us and our church as an economic being.

Participating congregations  journey together through five Bible studies to learn more about the biblical vision of a local economy that serves the common good. Each session also offers an “investment pathway,” an action your congregation can take today to make a difference in your community. At the end of the Bible study, groups will practice intentional engagement in the economy by providing a small, community-based loan to a local business that aligns with their ministry focus around hunger, poverty and justice. This type of lending, called microlending, is a practice ELCA World Hunger has supported internationally through our partners and companions. The loans provided to participants through these projects can help them grow or launch a business that will help them support themselves and their families. Such loans can be a source of financing for individuals who may not have access to funds through formal financial institutions.

Interested in participating? Let ELCA World Hunger know! Please contact Megan Neubauer at or by phone at (773) 380-2423.

1K Churches Initiative Welcome Letter
1K Churches Bible Study Leader’s Guide