Nativity’s Commitment to Economic Justice

Economic Justice

Economic JusticeFor well over 20 years, Nativity has had $8600 invested with the Opportunity Resource Fund. This investment represents a significant commitment of Nativity to its historic concentration on Outreach and we are proud of our involvement in this effort of economic justice.

This Fund began as the Economic Justice Loan Fund of the Diocese of Michigan. In the 1990’s, the fund was renamed the McGehee Economic Justice Loan Fund, after the original advocate and proposer of the Fund and long time Nativity member, H. Coleman McGehee, Jr., then Bishop of Michigan. Since then the name of the Fund has changed two more times, once to the Michigan Interfaith Trust Fund (upon the Fund’s merger with the Michigan Housing Trust Fund), and again to the Opportunity Resource Fund.

At the Episcopal Church General Convention held in Detroit in 1988, this original idea of Bishop McGehee led to the establishment of the Episcopal Church’s Economic Justice Implementation Committee and the Episcopal Church Economic Justice Loan Fund, which today still carries on this important work of justice.

The investments in the fund provide loans for low income housing developments, small businesses and single family mortgages to those who are economically barred from access to loan funds of conventional banks. It is a registered CDFI (Community Development Financial Institution) and has over $10,000,000 out on the street in loans to the underprivileged.

Our investment bears no interest, thus allowing the Fund to further leverage our investment and provide additional assistance to the economically distressed. Projects of the Fund are located throughout the entire State of Michigan, but many are concentrated in the major urban areas of the State. Since its inception, not one single dollar of any investor’s money has been lost due to foreclosures or defaults.

Our Congregation’s involvement goes beyond our monetary investment. Bishop McGehee was a spearhead and guiding light for the Fund, Cary McGehee serves on the Fund’s Advisory Council, and Tim Wittlinger serves on the Fund’s Board, and on its Finance and Committee.

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