Advocacy and the 2012 Hunger Justice Leader Program
Photo: Hunger Justice Leaders pose in front of the Eisenhower Executive Office Building after meeting with people working in the White House Office of Public Engagement in Washington, D.C., on Monday, June 11, 2012. (Laura Elizabeth Pohl/Bread for the World)
Editor's note: This article originally appeared in The Chinook: GPNW Community of Christ, Autumn 2012 edition.
By Lyle Anderson II
We live in a world with enough food for everyone, and yet so many go to bed at night not knowing where their next meal will come from. Caring for, and seeking, an end to the injustices of hunger and poverty has been a part of our story as Community of Christ from our earliest beginnings as a movement, and a part of our calling we have been reminded of in Doctrine and Covenants 163:4a,c: “God, the Eternal Creator, weeps for the poor, displaced, mistreated, and diseased of the world because of their unnecessary suffering. Such conditions are not God’s will… Do not turn away from them. For in their welfare resides your welfare…. Prepare new generations of disciples to bring fresh vision to bear on the perplexing problems of poverty, disease, war, and environmental deterioration.”
It was a great honor to be selected as one of 70 young adult ministers from 16 Christian traditions and 26 states to participate in Bread for the World’s 2012 Hunger Justice Leaders Workshop. We descended on Washington, D.C., on June 8; over the next few days, we learned about hunger, poverty, anti-hunger and poverty programs, and citizen advocacy.
We were a diverse group of people from varying backgrounds, but we shared one thing in common: grounded in our faith as disciples of Christ, we had a conviction and passion to end the injustice of hunger.
The next day we were joined by many others, in person and virtually, as we descended on Capitol Hill to visit with members of Congress. At our opening worship and orientation, Senator Lugar of Indiana talked about the moral imperative we have to end hunger. As I shared with my Senators and Representative, I found encouragement and hope as I asked them to form a circle of protection around programs for the hungry and poor. At our closing reception, Senator Murray of Washington stopped in and gave encouraging words to us about the power of what we were doing.
Throughout the workshop, I also shared in conversation with Bread staff who expressed appreciation for Community of Christ’s long lasting support, and the joy of seeing that support not just being intellectual and financial, but also starting to include more engagement in the advocacy work.
If you and your congregation would like to learn more about becoming involved in hunger justice and advocacy, consider holding a class series using Hunger No More, a resource Community of Christ collaborated on, and/or the 2012 Hunger Report and Christian study guide; holding an Offering of Letters in your congregation; becoming a Bread covenant congregation; or organizing a meeting with the local office of your member of Congress.
For more information, get in touch with your regional organizer, or contact Bread for the World at 888- 75-BREAD (7323).Lyle Anderson II, from Aumsville, OR, is a Hunger Justice Leader and an associate pastor at Tuality Community of Christ and Community of Christ churches. The Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) is one of the denominational partners of Bread for the World.
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