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Dr. Paul Chapman - Air date: 05-02-99

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Published on Mar 19, 2008

Dr. Paul Chapman Download Missionary Newsletter The subject of work has long fascinated Dr. Paul Chapman, Co-Director of The Employment Project in New York City. "For many years, I have been intrigued by the role of work as it relates to daily life," Chapman says. "What I see is a change in the role of work in our society resulting in threatened income for families, and diminished job security and self-esteem for workers."

According to Chapman, many people struggle with work issues despite media reports of a booming economy. "Daily work doesn't serve people well today," he explains. "It is a totally inadequate means of wealth distribution. Some of our young can't find decent work, many who are middle-aged have experienced downsizing, and older workers face discrimination in the workplace. There are simply not enough fair wage jobs for everyone."

The Employment Project works with people whose lives are affected by workplace changes and people who have been forced off welfare into dead end jobs. Chapman facilitates a support group for those looking for better jobs and helps churches start similar groups in their communities. He also writes a monthly newsletter on economic justice and the impact of workplace changes on people and the global economy. Bible study and other resources on the subjects of work and economic justice are available through The Employment Project.

Chapman keeps a copy of Jeremiah 22:16 on his desk. ("'Is not this to know me?' says the Lord. 'To judge the cause of the poor and the needy."') He sees a role for the church when people struggle with poverty and unemployment. He also insists that it is the job of the government to provide for the general welfare. Despite our best efforts, the church cannot possibly substitute for the government in the provision of human services. He encourages the church to use its prophetic voice when the economy keeps so many people behind. "Jesus identified with farmers, fishers, and the working poor," Chapman says. "Faithfulness in our time requires that we look at economic issues like fair distribution of resources, fair wages, unemployment, and underemployment."

In addition to his professional work, Paul Chapman is the Technical Director of Downtown Art, a youth theatre in New York and also has a passion for sailing. He is the father of four adult children, Mark, Sarah, Rachel, and Timothy.

EDUCATION:
D.Min., New York Theological Seminary, New York City, NY; Diploma in ecumenical studies, Ecumenical Institute, Geneva, Switzerland; M.Div., Andover-Newton Theological School, Newton Centre, Mass; A.B., Brown University, Providence, RI

EXPERIENCE:
Executive Secretary, North American Maritime Ministry Association, New York City, NY; Director, Center for Seafarer's Rights, Seaman's Church Institute, New York City, NY; Director, Packard Manse Retreat Center, Boston, MA

IMPORTANT DATES:
• Launched The Employment Project in September 1994
• Ordained: 1984
• Commissioned an American Baptist home missionary: June 1983
• Birthday: September 11

HOME MISSION HIGHLIGHTS:
• Despite media reports of widespread prosperity, up to one-fourth of the children in the U.S. are growing up in poverty.
• As much as one-third of the world's population lives in housing without clean running water or electricity.
• One-third of American workers are classified as "contingency workers" (often lacking job security or basic health and other benefits.)
• The Employment Project provides a variety of resources regarding work and the role of the church to individuals and local congregations. For more information, e-mail Paul Chapman at p.chapman@mindspring.com or call him at 917-400-4303 .

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