Advocacy in Action: Gathered and Sent
On an unseasonably warm morning in early February in Cincinnati, Ohio, more than 30 new and long-time Bread for the World members from around the region gathered at St. Monica-St. George Catholic Church to renew and recharge their efforts to build the political will to end hunger and to address the realities of hunger and poverty in their community and around the world.
Rev. Dr. K. Nicholas Yoda, pastor of Pleasant Ridge Presbyterian Church and professor at Xavier University, rallied those in attendance: "Call it a career move for the human race, but we are facing a goal worthy of our generation, of our country, of our religion, and Jesus is leading the way. It is the defeat of humanity’s oldest enemies: poverty, hunger."
Bread for the World has had a long and vibrant history in Southwest Ohio, serving as a prophetic voice to the area’s legislators for more than three decades. Local Bread members hoped to broaden the table at which they gather for fellowship and their work together. The Bread team in Cincinnati also celebrated new relationships, like the one with the HELP program, which is featured in Bread for the World Institute's 2014 Hunger Report: Ending Hunger in America, and deepened connections to long-time partners like Comboni Missionaries, both local organizations that work to end hunger.
In the coming year, Bread members hope to organize educational events in the area, continue to meet and lobby local legislators on hunger-related issues, coordinate Offerings of Letters across the region, and engage new partners and congregations in this work.
The activities of the members in this region are only one example of the similar good work by activists that is going on across the country. Bread organizers have been conducting relational campaigns that have so far seen more than 600 one-on-one meetings with members and citizens working to engage and reinvigorate our work in local communities. From these conversations, events like this one in Cincinnati have sprung up.
Pastor Yoda left those gathered that day with a charge to carry with them, which stands for all of us: "We stand at a crossroads where we need to stop giving excuses and offer solutions. We need to stop the dance of the one step forward and then two steps back and start marching with Christ, who has had his boots on for over 2,000 years!"
Photo: Bread for the World activists come together at local and national gatherings for inspiration and to be equipped for service. Rick Reinhard for Bread for the World.
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