Urging our nation's leaders to end hunger

174 posts categorized "Bible on Hunger"

Sister Simone Campbell: Fiery Advocate, Sister to All

Sister Simone Campbell, executive director of Network, a national Catholic social justice lobby, speaks at the "Nuns on the Bus" tour stop on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC, on Monday, July 2, 2012. Photo by Laura Elizabeth Pohl/Bread for the World.

From June 17 to July 2, a small group of nuns toured the nation by bus to protest budget cuts that would endanger poor and hungry people in the United States. Known as the "nuns on the bus," this powerful contingent of women religious raised awareness at every stop on their tour about cuts to federal funding for programs such as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, formerly food stamps). The bus tour ended yesterday with a rousing rally in Washington, DC (see our coverage of the event here). Today, we sat down with Sister Simone Campbell, executive director of Network -- a primary organizing group of the bus tour -- to hear her stories from the road and find out what we can expect next from the "nuns on the bus."

Read part 1 of our interview below. (Part 2 will be posted on the Bread Blog later this week.)

Why did you want to go on a bus tour of the nation?

Well, we needed to get the story out into the country about what was going on, on Capitol Hill. People don’t understand what’s happening with the House budget. And we needed to get to places where ordinary people are. Unlike some presidential candidates, you can’t exactly fly from place to place for us. So it seemed to make sense to do a bus. And then we got to joking about nuns and school buses (laughing). But, actually, it was a genius idea.

Continue reading "Sister Simone Campbell: Fiery Advocate, Sister to All" »

United Church of Jesus Christ (Apostolic) Pastors Bless More Than 500 Letters to Congress

United Church of Jesus Christ (Apostolic) pastors bless more than 500 letters urging Congress to protect programs that are vital to hungry and poor people. The letters were collected as part of Bread for the World’s annual Offering of Letters campaign. From L to R: Lewis Payne, Bishop, Shrewsbury, PA; Robert Williams, Bishop, Richmond Heights, OH; Izett Scott, Bishop, Ft. Lauderdale, FL; Cleven Jones, Bishop, Detroit, MI; Monroe Saunders, Presiding Bishop, Baltimore, MD; Colie L. Lorick, Bishop, Columbia, SC; Don Williams, Bishop, Martinsville, VA; Louis Stokes, Bishop; Hampton, VA; John M. Lewis, Bishop, Waldorf, MD; Robert Johnson, Bishop, Baltimore, MD.

Bread for the World participated in the 46th Annual International Holy Convocation held June 20 to 23, 2012.  Nearly 70 United Church of Jesus Christ (Apostolic) pastors -- including Bishop Don Williams, racial/ethnic outreach associate at Bread -- gathered from around the country in Baltimore, MD, for the annual event. Pastors delivered 509 hand-written and typed letters from churches all across the country for Bread’s Offering of Letters campaign.

During the closing worship service on June 23, the letters were blessed by Monroe Saunders, Presiding Bishop for the United Church of Jesus Christ (Apostolic.) Churches came together and over 2500 people attended the conference on the last day. The event demonstrated an important show of support for poor people by the bishop and churches.

Courtney-ryanCourtney Ryan is media relations intern at Bread for the World and a student at Eastern Mennonite University.



'We're Here to Support Our Sisters': Attending the Nuns on the Bus Rally

Sister Simone Campbell (waving) and other sisters from the "Nuns on the Bus" tour wave to a crowd of about 120 people waiting for them on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC, on Monday, July 2, 2012. Photo by Laura Elizabeth Pohl/Bread for the World.

Crowds of reporters and enthusiastic supporters gathered in front of the United Methodist Building to welcome the "Nuns on the Bus" back to Washington, DC. The song "Eye of the Tiger" played as the nuns got off the bus, much as if they were rock stars entering a sold-out concert.

Dozens of hand-made signs with messages such as, “You speak truth and power,” colored the rally.

The sisters hope to influence Congress to create “reasonable revenue for responsible programs,” the five-word mantra for their alternative budget . Driving for “faith, family and fairness,” their journey, says the sisters was “spirit-driven.” 

Continue reading "'We're Here to Support Our Sisters': Attending the Nuns on the Bus Rally" »

Black T-Shirts and the North Carolina Sun at the Wild Goose Festival

Bread staffers (from left to right) Carter Echols, Nancy Neal, LaMarco Cable, Jen Fraser, and Michael Smith at the Bread for the World tent at the Wild Goose Festival in Shakori Hill, NC, from June 21 to 24, 2012.

"Are you trying to bake us in these black T-shirts in this 97 degree summer sun?" 

That was the first thing a festival goer said to me at the outdoor Wild Goose Festival in Shakori Hills, NC,  this past weekend. I immediately doubted our decision to give away black Bread for the World T-shirts to people who stopped by Bread’s exhibit tent.

Five Bread staffers and I drove to Shakori Hills, NC, on June 21 to join 2,200 artists, faith leaders, and activists to camp at the four-day Wild Goose Festival. Inspired by the United Kingdom’s Greenbelt, the Wild Goose Festival serves as an intersection of justice, spirituality, music, and art. Over the course of the festival, hundreds of attendees stopped by Bread’s 10 by 10 tent to meet Bread staff; play educational games about hunger; contact their members of Congress through social media; eat fresh baked bread; make anti-hunger art; and, yes, receive a free black Bread T-shirt.

Continue reading "Black T-Shirts and the North Carolina Sun at the Wild Goose Festival" »

The Nuns on the Bus Arrive in Washington, DC

The Starbucks Barista and the Senator: In God's Mission, the Last Shall Be First

Photo by Flickr user  Berto Garcia

I am new to the Wild West, but I do have the cow-girl boots to prove I am not averse to a little rough-and-tumble cowboy culture.  Last fall, when I moved to my newest hometown of Casper, WY, I was transitioning out of seminary and into pastoral ministry.  I chose to work at our local Starbucks as a way to get to know my new community. People and coffee are two of my life’s great passions, so what better intersection to participate in God’s reconciliation mission than a coffee shop? 

I did not know until a few months into working at the shop that Sen. John Barrasso and his wife, Bobbi, were regular customers.  I came to know them by their preferred coffee drinks as every good barista identifies their customers. 

When I graduated from high school in Kenya and left our family home in Malawi to attend university in Idaho, my parents gifted me with a necklace from which hangs a pendant of the African continent.  It has been a great conversation starter, including with Sen. Barrasso, who inquired from the other side of the espresso machine about my connections to the vast continent.  I explained that South Africa was my birthplace, and we chatted about his visits to the country. 

Little did I know when I was chosen as a Hunger Justice Leader for 2012 that serving coffee to one of Wyoming’s senators would become a powerful point of connection when I found myself lobbying on Capitol Hill on behalf of hungry people across the globe, in America, and in my new home-state. 

Continue reading "The Starbucks Barista and the Senator: In God's Mission, the Last Shall Be First" »

The 'Nuns on the Bus' Make a Case for Food Stamps

Screenshot from video by Moyers & Company

Sister Simone Campbell, executive director of Network Lobby, is travelling throughout the United States on a two-week tour called, "Nuns on the Bus." The group of nuns are travelling to highlight their opposition to the House budget put forth by Rep. Paul Ryan that cuts funding to programs that help poor and hungry people.

In this short video produced by Moyers & Company, Sister Simone Campbell outlines the importance of protecting funding for food stamps in particular, and mentions Bread for the World's $50,000 campaign. She says:

"Bread for the World tells it that just on the food stamps alone Congressman Ryan is wrong that the churches can take care of this issue, because the cuts that are proposed and have been passed by the House is going to require every church, every synagogue, every mosque, every house of worship in the United States each year for 10 years to each raise $50,000. It’s impossible!"

Watch the video below:

Bread Congratulates Rev. Fred Luter Jr., First African American President of the Southern Baptist Convention

120620-fredluterThe Rev. Fred Luter Jr., a native of New Orleans, LA, and seasoned pastor, is the first African American to have been elected to serve as president of the Southern Baptist Convention, the world's largest Baptist denomination and the largest Protestant body in the United States.  Bread for the World joins with all people of faith who serve the Lord Jesus Christ in celebration of his achievement! 

The Southern Baptist Convention’s North American Mission Board (NAMB) has demonstrated a strong commitment to addressing the needs of poor and hungry people over its long history. NAMB administers the Domestic Hunger Fund program. Every program dollar is used exclusively to feed the world’s hungry and monies are specifically designated for and distributed to hunger ministries throughout North America. In 2011, more than $1.1 million was provided to 1,100 such hunger ministries. Also, 5.2 million meals were provided with Domestic Hunger Funds and over 30,000 professions of faith were reported through hunger ministries in North America.

Bread for the World is proud to claim Dr.  Bob Terry, president and editor of the Alabama Baptist as a member of Bread’s Board of Directors.  Not too long ago Dr. Terry affirmed that “Bread’s work for the poor and hungry is evidence of the spirit of the lord.” As Rev. Luter steps into his new role, Bread welcomes strong partners within the Southern Baptist Convention.

201200605_DianeFordDessables_12F_8inDiane Ford Dessables coordinates denominational relations at Bread for the World. 



Photo caption: Press photo of Rev. Fred Luter Jr., from Franklin Avenue Baptist Church in New Orleans, LA.

Bread for the World's 2012 Lobby Day

Meet Your Hunger Justice Leaders: Lyle Anderson II

LyleLyle Anderson, II, from Aumsville, OR, is a Hunger Justice Leader and an associate pastor at Tuality Community of Christ and Community of Christ churches. 

Q: What signs of poverty and hunger do you see in your communities?

A: I am an associate pastor and director of worship ministries in the Community of Christ. The church in Salem, OR, is really aware of hunger and poverty and they are engaging. They are trying to provide food for the weekend for kids in schools who otherwise would go without.

Q: Why do you work to advocate for hungry and poor people?

A: Hunger is a part of my own story. Even though I wasn’t necessarily aware of it, my mother’s shared stories from my childhood. As a follower of Christ, it’s just part of my essential calling to embrace the worth of all persons and caring for creation and for people.

Q: What have you learned through the Hunger Justice Leaders training?

A: I learned about the connection across the wide spectrum of Christianity. Despite all the things that divide us, there’s that common awareness and strength that we can be united in reflecting Christ when we work on hunger. I also learned that I’m not the only one who struggles to think about how to best engage our churches. And through our meetings with the White House, I realized that our voice really does have an impact. I learned not to give that up.

Q: Can you share one of the stories that your mom shared with you?

A: When we were children, one of the stories she told is how at times, even with the help of WIC, which was the only thing we had food-wise, we were still struggling financially. At one point, my mother had gone to try to get help from the faith community. A church member came and brought a box full of food and my sister and I were unpacking it and putting things away. My sister was so excited when she saw a gallon of milk that she said, does this mean we can have milk with our cereal again? It was then that the church member saw how bare our cabinets were.

This shows that sometimes you’re not necessarily aware of what the person sitting next to you at church is going through.

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