Reach Out and Spread the Word
We can't accomplish our goals alone. Spread the word to your family and friends. Engage with your church or campus. Together we can ensure that everyone has a place at the table.
Ways to Engage Your Church
- Motivate church councils by organizing an Offering of Letters and promoting Bread for the World at meetings of your faith tradition's synod, diocese, presbytery, or general conference.
- Gather a study group to read Bread for the World Institute’s 2013 Hunger Report, Within Reach: Global Development Goals and study guide. See www.bread.org/go/hungerreport.
- Connect with your church’s mission activities by engaging volunteers and recipients at your church's food pantry or shelter. If your church has mission relationships in the United States or abroad, consider connecting with them as well. Gather their stories to inform your congregation about how U.S. nutrition programs, tax credits, foreign assistance, and international food aid affect their lives.
- Organize your congregation to become a Bread Covenant Church. Strengthen your church’s hunger ministry through a Covenant Church relationship with Bread for the World: www.bread.org/covenant. When you commit to integrating hunger concerns into the life of your congregation, Bread for the World provides tools to help your church learn more about hunger, pray for hungry people, and advocate to end hunger.
- Celebrate Bread for the World Sunday, an annual opportunity for your church or campus to renew its commitment to overcoming hunger. On October 20, 2013, or another Sunday this fall, worshippers will lift their voices on behalf of hungry and poor people. Visit www.bread.org/sunday for more details.
- Subscribe to Bread for the Preacher, a free monthly email message for busy pastors. Each edition features lectionary-based preaching aids and worship resources that address issues of hunger and poverty. Sign up at www.bread.org/preacher.
Ways to Engage Your Campus
- Raise awareness. Contact your organizer for ways to turn the 2013 Offering of Letters campaign into educational activities and actions that focus on the root causes of hunger and poverty. Consider writing letters to members of Congress during your campus' hunger awareness month or at the end of a hunger fast. End a service event with an advocacy action.
- Invite a speaker. A Bread for the World organizer or local activist can come to your campus to speak about the 2013 Offering of Letters or about solutions to hunger and poverty. For larger audiences or for additional speaker ideas, contact your Bread for the World organizer.
- Use social media. Get the word out about Bread for the World’s work to end hunger in the United States and around the world. "Like" us on Facebook (facebook.com/breadfortheworld) or follow us on Twitter (twitter.com/bread4theworld). Encourage others to check out our blog at www.bread.org/blog. Share advocacy ideas and tell others what you're doing!
Spread the Word
Since the announcement is part of the worship service, it should reflect the experience of worship — encouraging faith and understanding of God's message. Don't just tell the congregation the details of the Offering of Letters. Tell them why this is important, grounding your words in your own experience of faith. Ultimately, you best know your faith community and what speaks to their hearts, but here are some ideas that can help you develop your announcement:
- Tell a personal story or explain why advocating on behalf of poor and hungry people is a valuable part of your faith walk.
- Connect the Offering of Letters to the day's sermon, reiterating any points made by the pastor or speaker about helping hungry and poor people.
- Present a skit with your ministry team encouraging congregants to live out their faith through advocacy.
- Show one of the short Offering of Letters videos that speaks to you, followed by an announcement of where and when the Offering will take place, why you'll be participating, and how people can see the entire A Place at the Table film.
- Compare current facts on hunger and poverty to God’s vision to help congregants re-envision the world. Recite a few facts from the Hunger and Poverty Facts sheet in the front pocket of this kit and talk about how those facts would change in a world in which everyone has a place at the table.
Sample Wording for a Pulpit Announcement:
What would it take to realize God’s vision for a world in which everyone has a place at the table? We have the resources now to feed all people, but we need the political will to make it happen. Our president and Congress could craft policies that establish pathways out of poverty so that all people can find a place at the table. This is God’s vision. But leadership must come from God’s people: you and me.
That is why I am asking you to join me in Bread for the World’s Offering of Letters on (date/time/place) to write letters to your members of Congress asking them to make a place at the table for hungry people. I am also asking you to sign a petition to the president urging him to set a goal and work with Congress to end hunger in the United States and abroad.
God's people are called to create a place at the table for everyone.
Bulletin Announcement or Newsletter Submission
Bulletin announcements should be short and include clear information about the purpose of the Offering of Letters as well as the time and the place. For a newsletter submission, look for a way to make the issue of hunger real and personal, using one of the ideas mentioned in the pulpit announcement section above or a story from the Offering of Letters web page.
Sample Text for a Bulletin Announcement:
A Place at the Table
"A Place at the Table," Bread for the World's 2013 Offering of Letters, aims to realize a world in which all of God's children are fed. Our goal is to create political will by writing our policy makers, urging them to create pathways out of hunger and poverty. Join the [committee or group] this [date /time/place] as we turn our faith into action by writing letters to our members of Congress and signing a petition to the president.
Many churches reach new audiences and keep their congregation informed of upcoming events through Facebook or Twitter. Does your church or pastor have a blog on which to announce an Offering of Letters? Consider posting pictures after the event and writing about what you have accomplished.
Sample Facebook Post:
Join us [date] as we put our faith into action. We will be conducting a Bread for the World Offering of Letters, asking our president and members of Congress to enact a plan to end hunger. We will begin with an adult forum on hunger at [time/place], followed by letter writing and a blessing of the letters before we send them to Washington, D.C.
Join us for an Offering of Letters [date] & ask Congress & the president to prioritize hunger (calendar link) #aplaceatthetable.