United Church of Christ Helps to Eliminate $26.2 Million in Medical Debt for Families in Seven States

United Church of Christ congregations based in New England recently helped to eliminate $26.2 million in medical debt for families in seven states and first responders nationwide.

The amount was raised by a coalition of 122 UCC congregations, four associations, and over 100 households based in the mainline Protestant denomination’s Southern New England Conference.

The regional UCC body worked to raise the money in cooperation with a New York-based nonprofit called RIP Medical Debt, which buys medical debt at a reduced price.

This is the second major buy that the denomination has overseen, making the total amount of medical debt paid for $51.8 million, according to a UCC announcement on Sunday.

The Rev. Jocelyn Gardner Spencer, senior pastor of the United Church on the Green in New Haven, Connecticut, was part of the charitable endeavor.

“Our scriptures call us to bring good news to the poor, to proclaim release to the captives, to let the oppressed go free,” said Gardner Spencer in a statement.

“In the midst of a pandemic that is disproportionately impacting communities of color and with widespread unemployment causing people to lose their insurance just when they may need it most, eliminating medical debt for vulnerable individuals and families is a tangible way in which we are responding to our call to make God’s love and justice real.”

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SOURCE: Christian Post, Michael Gryboski