186 posts categorized "Bible on Hunger"
Yesterday, the government relations interns at Bread for the World braved the ‘July-in-DC’ humidity with more than 100 individuals, including members of Congress, NGOs, faith groups, and numerous anti-hunger advocacy organizations, to oppose the draft farm bill released by the House Agriculture Committee. Together, in front of the Capitol, we raised our voices – and our signs – against the proposed $16.5 billion cut to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, formerly food stamps). These proposed cuts would cause 2 to 3 million people to lose their SNAP benefits entirely, cause another 500,000 households to see a $90 reduction in monthly benefits, and end free school meals for nearly 300,000
Hungry children and struggling families are not just numbers or statistics -- they are human lives. They are our friends, neighbors, and fellow Americans. As each Member of Congress stood up and spoke, we heard different viewpoints on the same message: “We must protect SNAP to protect these families.” The 10 congressional leaders at this event spoke with shakings fists, raised arms, and words of devout promise -- they will not stand by and allow the $16.5 billion cut to SNAP.
Sister Simone Campbell leads evening worship at Bread for the World's Hunger Justice Leaders Program in Washington, DC, on Sunday, June 10, 2012. Sister Simone leads Network, a Catholic social justice lobby group that launched a Nuns on the Bus tour to bring light to federal budget cuts that hurt poor and hungry people. 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 Monday, July 2, with a rousing rally in Washington, DC (see our coverage of the event here).
On Tuesday, 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 2 of our interview below. (Read part 1 of our interview here.)
Where did you grow up? And were you aware of social injustice growing up?
I grew up in California. I grew up in Long Beach. But my sister and I -- this was the late '50s -- and so my sister and I really cared about civil rights when we were young. Dr. Martin Luther King was our hero, and so that shaped me early on.
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.
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.
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.”
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.
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.
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
The 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.
Photo caption: Press photo of Rev. Fred Luter Jr., from Franklin Avenue Baptist Church in New Orleans, LA.
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