Urging our nation's leaders to end hunger
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Let the children come

July 24, 2014

For weeks, the news has been filled with stories of unnamed, faceless, unaccompanied children crossing the U.S.-Mexico border in droves. Americans have greeted them with varied responses, from blocking buses to welcoming children into churches. Our texts this month offer insights into a faithful response to people fleeing danger and hunger in search of safety and security. We are reminded of God’s promise of abundance, God’s steadfastness, God’s miracles, and God’s call for us to be God’s justice-making hands in the world. »

Hunger is a Hot Issue This Summer

June 26, 2014

The last couple of years have required us as an anti-hunger movement to focus on protecting our country's safety net. Yet we know that in order to actually end hunger, we must wrestle with the issues and policies that keep people poor. The texts this month offer strange and confounding stories that help us get to the many dimensions of the work of ending hunger. »

Bringing God's Reconciling Love to the World

May 21, 2014

As we come to truly understand that it is possible to end hunger by 2030, this month's texts remind us that we follow a God who truly fights for those who are vulnerable. We are invited to join in that fight — without glorifying war and death — at Pentecost. Jesus sends the Holy Spirit so that we may be bearers of the spirit of forgiveness, love, peace, and justice as we engage the sinful systems in our world. As our eyes are opened to the ways in which humans are seen as disposable in our society we bring God's reconciling love to the world. May you be swept up in the Pentecost spirit in the coming weeks. »

Out of the Tomb and Into the World

April 22, 2014

After the grand celebration of the resurrection of Jesus on Easter Sunday, we are ready to get down to the business of being the church in the world — of being Christ's body in the world. We see a world that is broken and in need of God's restoring love and grace. The way things are isn't the way they have to be, and guided by God's already-present reign of justice and peace, we have the tools to help us. As followers of Jesus, being church in the world means living as a resurrected people. Renewed and emboldened by the Spirit of Christ, we engage the world around us prayerful, hope-filled, encouraged, inspired, and imaginative about how things can be when infused by God’s saving power. »

Resurrection and Restoration

March 24, 2014

The end of Lent and Holy Week usher in the spring season of rebirth in nature around us. Many of us have trudged through harsh winter weather, but now we see glimpses of new buds on trees and the tips of leaves poking through the cold ground. In light of Christ’s resurrection, the budding flowers of spring remind us of a similar budding within us to be agents of transformation and restoration in a suffering world. »

Looking to Lent

February 20, 2014

In March, we round out the season of Epiphany with Transfiguration Sunday, which grounds Jesus in the long tradition of Moses and the Elijah, who represent the law and the prophets. From there, we turn our attention inward, asking the questions Who are we? and Whose are we? Many of our churches' members will give up sweets or caffeine during this season. Or perhaps they will add some kind of healthy habit to their daily routine. Our challenge is to help them dig deeper to recognize our corporate identity inaugurated in the "new Adam," to remember that God often favors the outsider and the excluded, and to take risks on the road to justice. »

The 'Why' and 'How' of Justice Work

January 24, 2014

In this season of new year's resolutions and new starts, we celebrate that Congress just last week passed a budget without shuttering the government. Perhaps we are seeing small cracks in the walls that divide us politically. Our pleas and prayers for an end to the political brinkmanship are making a difference.

The lectionary passages for this month address the Why? and the How? of doing justice work. The texts urge us toward justice and righteousness, not only in our personal devotions, but also in our public lives. In some instances, we will challenge our communities to ground their justice work in a devotional life. And in other cases, we will challenge our communities to extend their personal devotions into the world to act for justice.

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The "So What?" Of Christmas

December 26, 2013

No doubt you are up to your neck in Christmas preparations, so you may not be ready for January lectionary commentaries, but here they are anyway. Tuck this email away while you deal with the shepherds and angels, but remember that your January preaching provides the "So what?" follow-up to the Christmas message. »

Praying with Pope Francis

November 26, 2013

On the third Sunday of Advent (Dec. 15), the Gospel lesson is Mary's song of praise to the God who "has filled the hungry with good things, and sent the rich away empty." My Advent prayer is that our nation's policies will reflect the same priorities and that Congress will not be voting that week to further cut food stamp benefits for families struggling to feed their children. Pope Francis will be issuing a call for the whole world to pray on the preceding Tuesday, Dec. 10, for an end to hunger. He is asking people to pray at noon local time in what will become a global "wave of prayer" across time zones. I hope you will encourage your members to join Pope Francis in this prayer (see the text of the prayer below). Please put the date on your calendar now. (Some churches are planning to include prayers related to the pope's Dec. 10 day of prayer in their services on the preceding Sunday, Dec. 8.) As the day approaches, you will find prayer resources from various Christian traditions at www.bread.org. »

Weeping Over Washington

September 24, 2013

Last Thursday, the House of Representatives passed a bill cutting nearly $40 billion from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, formerly known as food stamps.) The annual cut they approved is equal in size to all of the food assistance of voluntary food efforts – all of the church food pantries, all of the food banks, all of the food drives by postal workers and Boy Scouts, all of the food donated by stores and manufacturers – combined. That day, as I looked out my window at the Capitol, I couldn’t help but weep. When I looked in the other direction, toward the Washington Navy Yard, the tears continued to flow. »

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