- How You Can Help
- Write to Congress
- Become a Member
- Take Part in Bread Rising
- Engage Your Church
- Organize Your Community
- Join an Event in Your Area
Observing Bread for the World Sunday
Advent Devotions: Magnificat 2014 December 21
Pray and Reflect
- Design a worship service focused on the theme of hunger and our call as Christians to respond. Utilize pieces of the liturgy prepared in the Reflection Resource and other materials on Bread for the World's website as components of your service.
- In preparation for Bread for the World Sunday, ask members of your congregation to submit their favorite table blessings or to write new ones. In these prayers, ask members to remember those who are hungry and go without food while we are blessed with so much. In the spirit of giving thanks for food, intersperse these blessings throughout your Sunday service, or ask members to read their blessings at a given point during the service.
- Add a common table blessing (such as God is Good or Come, Lord Jesus) to the Communion Prayer. Have children gather around the bread and wine and say this prayer together. Interspersed table blessings will pick up on the theme of Jesus' parable from Luke 18 to "pray always and not to lose heart" and to cry incessantly for justice. Collect these table blessings and distribute to members of your congregation for use at home.
Educate your church community about hunger
- Bread for the World has resources to help you teach about hunger in your church services, Sunday School classes, coffee hours or other settings. Take time to go through the links at the left for more ideas and tools to help make hunger and poverty
- Make Bread for the World Sunday a time to begin a JustFaith group in your church. JustFaith, a partner with Bread for the World, provides a lively and challenging opportunity to be formed by the Biblical call to compassion and the voices of the poor, hungry and vulnerable in our communities, nation and world.
Integrate advocacy into your hunger ministry
- As part of your Bread for the World Sunday celebration, set aside a few minutes during the service to write letters to congressional representatives. Provide paper and pens for members of the congregation to hand-write their letters supporting anti-hunger legislation. Through these letters, we lift our voices on behalf of justice, much like the widow in Jesus' parable in Luke 18. Collect these letters with the offering for the day, during the offering and send them to your members of Congress the following day or sometime later in the week.
- Set up a letter writing time following worship, during your fellowship or coffee hour. Have paper, pens and envelopes ready on tables for members so that members can write letters before heading home.
- Offer a prayer over the letters asking that the words and intentions expressed by your church members would influence and encourage members of Congress to work on behalf of hungry and poor people.
Make a commitment to Bread for the World
- Together, we can end hunger in God's world. Through your church's financial support and by encouraging individuals to join Bread for the World, your congregation becomes a partner with the nation's largest faith-based grassroots advocacy organization on international and domestic hunger issues. Bread for the World pew envelopes can be used to collect individual membership forms from the back of the bulletin inserts or special donations.
- If your church is not already, become a Bread for the World Covenant Church. By becoming a Covenant Church, your community is making a commitment to integrate hunger concerns into the life of your congregation. Bread for the World provides tools that will equip your church to learn more about hunger, pray for hungry people, and take action to end hunger through advocacy.
Most of all, be creative!
Think of new and creative ways to get the message out, especially if this is not your church's first celebrating Bread for the World Sunday. There are many ways to include members of your church in hunger-related activity like soup suppers, hunger meals, fasts or baking and selling bread. Some ideas:
- Hold a canned food drive to highlight the issues of hunger and poverty. Have individuals place their gifts of canned food and money on or by the communion table at the same time. If your church is also participating in letter writing, have members to present these letters as well. These gifts represent a collection for the poor and symbolize the connectedness of compassion and justice.
- If celebrating Holy Communion, include, in your prayer of thanksgiving for bread and wine, information on the source of these gifts. Include prayers for those who grow and process these gifts. Reflect on the methods involved in the processing these foods and how these practices affect the land on which they are grown. How do they affect global poverty and hunger? Use bread that comes from a variety of different countries to highlight our gratitude for the sources of our food.
- Reflect on the traditions of the early Church for inspiration. When the early Christian church used to gather together, they often shared a common meal consisting not only of bread and wine, but also of cheese and olives, and other fruits such as grapes, pears, and apples. These foods represented the gifts of their harvests. Eventually, the Christian community began to distribute the food and money they had collected among those members of the community who were absent and among the poor and hungry.
- In this spirit, complement your service by serving a full meal for Holy Communion or hosting a "love feast". In addition to bread and wine, serve cheese, apples, olives, and other fruits and grains of the harvest. Serve real loaves of bread, instead of unleavened bread or wafers. Then, set aside a portion of what you serve to distribute among those who are hungry in your community. Host a free meal at your church following your Bread for the World Sunday service or donating that food to your local food pantry or soup kitchen.
Get updates on issues and actions to take on behalf of hungry people.