Understanding poverty is topic for workshop

The better you understand how the poor think, the better you will be able to serve them.

That’s the premise for a workshop from 3 to 7:30 p.m. on Sunday at the Granbury Church of Christ, 1905 W. Pearl St.

The presentation is by Bill Ehlig, a minister and co-author of the book, “What Every Church Member Should Know about Poverty.”

Although there is no cost to attend, registration is required to get a head count for food preparation. Call the church office at 817-573-2613 for more information, or to sign up.

Ehlig was been a Church of Christ minister in Scotland and Texas. More recently, he was executive director of the Baytown Resource and Assistance Center, an organization assisting families in economic stress.

“I had been interested in poverty issues since my days as a bookmobile driver in college,” Ehlig said.

He has been presenting materials on poverty to churches and civic groups since 1999.“Christians, despite heavenly mandates, take on poverty on a volunteer basis,” Ehlig explained.

Ehlig has been questioned why others need to understand the thinking of people in poverty. “My answer is that this could help level the playing field.”

Schools and municipalities have a great deal at stake when working with families in poverty, he said. Churches take the process farther.

“When a church takes in a family, rich or poor, they are family. Often, church leaders – like city fathers and school board members – are heavily resourced. Almost as often these leaders were born into families with their resources long established.

“The assumption that hard work alone and virtue have brought life’s blessings can complicate the planning and execution of ministries to less resourced individuals,” Ehlig said.

The presentation attempts to bring a mutual respect and appreciation of various economic and cultural perspectives.

Some topics include the “hidden” rules of economic class, and distinctive mind-sets about family, marriage and work.