St. Louis churches raise money to forgive $5 million in medical debt – Episcopal News Service


Press Conference: Episcopal Churches Raise Funds to Forgive Over $5 Million in Medical Debts

Thursday, November 10, 2022
Christ Church Cathedral, 1210 Locust Street, St. Louis

Live stream of press conference available at

[Nov. 4, 2022 – St. Louis] St. Louis-area Episcopal Churches have raised more than $25,000, which will clear more than $5.5 million in medical debt for low-income people in our city, county, state, and region.

This fundraising project began with a 2021 budget surplus in the Episcopal Diocese of Missouri. The Rt. Rev. Deon Johnson, Bishop of Missouri, decided to give each parish in our diocese a check for $1,000 and asked them to use the money for evangelism in their communities.

The Emery Washington Convocation of the Diocese, which includes 15 parishes in the St. Louis area, has decided to partner with RIP Medical Debt, a nonprofit organization that uses donations to redeem unpaid medical debt from low-income families. income for pennies on the dollar.

As our parishes donated their $1,000 checks, other members of the community heard about the project and added to the effort. The campaign raised $25,287.24 in four months.

Medical debt is cited by many researchers as the leading cause of bankruptcy in the United States and one of the leading causes of financial instability for low-income families. The money our convocation raised will not fix our country’s broken health care system, but it will bring some relief to families in our area.

By pooling our resources and collaborating in shared ministry, our churches are making a tangible difference in people’s lives while sending a message to our neighbors that the gospel of Jesus is about love. And this is what love looks like: it looks like good news for the poor, freedom for the oppressed, and liberation for the captives – especially those held captive by debt.

Presentation at the press conference: Bishop Deon Johnson, Cathedral Dean Kathie Adams-Shepherd and several priests from the Diocese of Missouri. We will also hear from a single mother without health insurance who will share her story of living with medical debt.

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