New Resources for 2014 Elections
Bread for the World is gearing up and preparing its members for the 2014 congressional elections. To equip activists who want to engage candidates during campaign season, Bread has produced these new and updated resources:
- Elections Matter handbook
A comprehensive guide for engaging with candidates and raising awareness of hunger issues
- 10 Ways Christians Can Help End Hunger During Elections
Ideas for using your church and your faith to help end hunger during campaign seasons
- Effectively Using Public Meetings to Engage with Congressional Candidates
Tips to ensure your voice is heard at public meetings with candidates
- Voting Record: 113th Congress
How your member of Congress voted on recent laws vital to hungry and poor people
All are available to download for free at www.bread.org/elections. Some are also available in Spanish.
Pray with Bread for an End to Hunger
One aspect of Bread’s new Bread Rising campaign is prayer (the campaign is asking Bread members to pray, act, and give). To help members engage in this part of the campaign, Bread has two new resources:
- Journey around the world in prayer with Bread: Bread Blog has a new series on prayer. Posts in this series appear on Fridays and provide a prayer for a different set of countries and their efforts to end hunger every week. The series follows the Ecumenical Prayer Cycle, a list compiled by the World Council of Churches that enables Christians around the world to journey in prayer through every region of the world, affirming our solidarity with Christians all over the world, brothers and sisters living in diverse situations, experiencing their challenges and sharing their gifts. Follow the series at blog.bread.org/prayer.
- Bread prayer cards: In prayer, God’s story and our own story connect—and we and the world are transformed. In a prayer common to all of us—the Lord’s Prayer/the Our Father—we pray, “Give us this day our daily bread.” This line from this prayer can also be a prayer for the end of hunger. Order Bread prayer cards for your Bread team, members of your congregation, or other groups. These cards have excerpts from Bread's credo on one side and "Give us this day our daily bread..." with an image of the biblical five loaves and two fishes on the other side. They are ideal for carrying in a wallet, pocket, or purse for a daily reminder of God’s call to remember hungry people.
New Staff at Bread for the World
Bishop Jose Garcia, director of church relations
Before coming to Bread, Garcia completed a ten-year appointment as California State Presiding Bishop for the Church of God of Prophecy, a worldwide Pentecostal denomination with thousands of churches. In that position, he was responsible for the organizational structure, implementation, and administration of all ministries of the English and Spanish-speaking congregations in California. He was also responsible for the supervision, pastoral guidance, and appointment of the ministers and ministry staff involved in those programs and ministries, which include 150 ministers, 117 churches, eight missions, a Bible institute and a seminary.
Garcia has also served as the executive director of the National Hispanic Religious Partnership for Community Health. In that capacity, he assisted Hispanic religious organizations in an ecumenical approach to partner with the federal government and private organizations through grants and service contracts to address disparities in health, social, and economic status. He is a member of several interdenominational ministerial boards involved in social justice at the state and national levels.
Garcia has a master’s degree in public health education from the Graduate School of Public Health in San Juan, Puerto Rico.
Rev. Dr. Angelique Walker-Smith, associate for national African-American church engagement
Walker-Smith comes to Bread with deep experience in and connections to national African-American churches. She was previously the executive director of the Church Federation of Greater Indianapolis, where she oversaw a broad range of ecumenical activities. In addition, she has served important roles in the broader church through the National Council of Churches and the World Council of Churches. She has partnered with Bread in previous work and has a ringing endorsement from Don Williams, her predecessor in her new position.
Stephen Hill, senior organizer for elections issues
Hill will be focusing on Bread’s election work in Virginia’s 10th congressional district.
He is originally from Cincinnati and relocated to Fairfax, Va., in December 2013. He earned a B.S. in psychology from Cedarville University and an M.A. in philosophy from the University of South Florida. He is a veteran of the U.S. Navy, where he worked as a plane captain and troubleshooter while assigned to Fighter Squadron Thirty-One at NAS Oceana in Virginia Beach, Va.
Most recently, Hill served as the deputy district director for Rep. Steve Chabot (R-Ohio-1), overseeing district operations, community outreach, small business outreach, faith-based outreach, and coalition building.
Plan Now for Bread for the World Sunday on Oct. 19
Now is the time to encourage your church to schedule Bread for the World Sunday. Sunday, Oct. 19, the closest Sunday to World Food Day (Oct. 16), is the day many churches will select. Other churches will choose another Sunday during the fall when their worship service will include prayers and other activities focused on ending hunger. Rev. Dr. Barbara Rossing, professor of New Testament at the Lutheran (ELCA) School of Theology in Chicago and author of The Rapture Exposed: The Message of Hope in the Book of Revelation, has written a lectionary study on Matthew 22:15-22, the Gospel appointed for Oct. 19, for Bread for the World Sunday. This and other materials can be pre-ordered at www.bread.org/help/church/bread-sunday.
Bread for the World Celebrates the Life of Sr. Mary Evelyn Jegen, SND
One of Bread for the World’s early leaders, Sr. Mary Evelyn Jegen, SND, died on July 4 in Cincinnati after a long illness. Sr. Jegen served as the first executive director of Bread for the World’s Educational Fund, which later became the Bread for the World Institute, the research arm of Bread’s work.
“She was bright, deeply faithful, and a dynamo who got the Institute off to a strong start,” Art Simon, Bread’s founder, recalls.
In Bread’s formative years of the mid- to late-1970s, Sr. Jegen arranged seminars on hunger and poverty at universities and seminaries. Numerous Bread activists emerged from their involvement in these events. One of the speakers she brought in was Rev. David Beckmann, then at the World Bank, who would go on years later to become Bread’s second president after Simon. This was one of Beckmann’s first active engagements with Bread. During this time, the Institute also published a book by Beckmann on work opportunities in developing countries.
Simon remembers that several books from seminar presenters came out around the same time, mostly published by Paulist Press. “Their titles still sound quite contemporary: Growth with Equity; The Causes of World Hunger; andThe Earth is the Lord's.”
After she left Bread, Sr. Jegen became one of the early leaders of Pax Christi USA, taking on the role as its first national coordinator in 1979. She had come to know of the work of Pax Christi International while in Rome in 1971, where she had been teaching women from developing nations and doing research for the Pontifical Justice and Peace Commission. During her last year as national coordinator, she was chosen by the membership as the third recipient of the Pax Christi USA Teacher of Peace Award.
"Mary Evelyn Jegen was teacher and mentor for an entire generation of Catholic peace activists like me," Tom Cordaro, Pax Christi USA's "ambassador of peace," author, and lay minister, said in a statement at her death. "She had that rare combination of gifts that set her apart from many others in the movement. She was an excellent theologian, a gifted writer and, most importantly, she was a strategic thinker and visionary.”
Bread gives thanks for the life of Sr. Jegen, grateful that she shared her vision for a world without hunger with us.