Urging our nation's leaders to end hunger
 

26 posts categorized "Bread Rising"

What We Are Thankful For

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(Bread for the World)

By Rev. David Beckmann

We have a lot to be thankful for this year at Bread for the World, and you're at the top of the list. I thank God for you.

Here are just a few examples of the incredible work you have helped accomplish this year:

We won reforms that have allowed U.S. food assistance to reach 1.5 million more hungry people. Humanitarian crises in South Sudan and Syria along with the terrifying spread of Ebola in West Africa have dramatically increased the need for food aid, so our successful campaign to increase the reach of U.S. food aid could not have come at a more critical time.

As unaccompanied children crossed the U.S. border, fleeing violence at home and often deplorable treatment in detention centers, you opened your heart. You sent more than 10,000 personalized emails to your members of Congress urging them to protect these vulnerable children while addressing the root causes of their plight in the long term. A bill has been introduced into the House (H.R. 5368) to address these concerns.

On Monday, Bread for the World Institute launched its 2015 Hunger Report: When Women Flourish ... We Can End Hunger. Because of their leading role in farming, caregiving, and child nutrition, women are the primary agents the world relies on to fight hunger.  Your support makes this research and analysis possible.

And in June, we celebrated 40 years of your faithful advocacy and victories from earlier decades. We also launched Bread Rising: A Campaign to End Hunger, the most ambitious campaign in Bread's history. More to come on this campaign in the new year.

Through your dedication and through God's amazing work, we have accomplished so much. But our work isn't finished yet. As you gather around your Thanksgiving table, I ask you to pray for people who are hungry. And to pray harder for our nation and our leaders — that we might realize the political will to end hunger.

Are you asking yourself, "What more can I do?" If you have just five minutes, please help with this urgent opportunity to make a difference for people who are hungry around the world right now: email your members of Congress, and urge them to co-sponsor the Global Food Security Act (H.R. 5656 and S. 2909), which will boost agricultural development and address malnutrition. It passed out of the House Foreign Affairs Committee last week and will be voted upon next in the full House.

Rev. David Beckmann is the president of Bread for the World.

World Prayers for Nov. 23-29: Burkina Faso, Chad, Mali, Mauritania, and Niger

Mauritania
A
 Mauritanian meal – lamb stuffed with rice; French-fried potatoes; bread; and dates with a cream cheese-like dip. It is eaten while seated on the floor. Stephen H. Padre/Bread for the World

This is a weekly prayer series that appears each Friday on the Bread Blog.

One aspect of Bread for the World’s new Bread Rising campaign is prayer. The campaign is asking Bread members to pray, act, and give. In this blog series, we will be providing a prayer for a different group of countries each week and their efforts to end hunger.

This prayer series will follow the Ecumenical Prayer Cycle, a list compiled by the World Council of Churches that enables Christians around the world to journey in prayer through every region of the world, affirming our solidarity with Christians all over the world, brothers and sisters living in diverse situations, experiencing their challenges and sharing their gifts.

We will especially be lifting up in prayer the challenges related to hunger and poverty that the people of each week’s countries face. In prayer, God’s story and our own story connect—and we and the world are transformed. In a prayer common to all of us—the Lord’s Prayer/the Our Father—we pray, “Give us this day our daily bread.” This line from this prayer can also be a prayer for the end of hunger.

We invite you to join Bread in our prayers for the world’s countries to end hunger. And we encourage you to share with us your prayers for the featured countries of the week or for the end of hunger in general.

For the week of November 23-29, we pray for Burkina Faso, Chad, Mali, Mauritania, and Niger:

O God, your love is as deep as the ocean, and your mercies are greater than the sands of the desert. This week we lift up in prayer to you countries in West Africa by the ocean or desert. We pray for the peoples of these countries and the challenges they face—the ever-encroaching desert, political and economic instability, poverty, and others. Sustain the people in these places who struggle to get enough water and food in desert conditions. Bless the work of Christians and church-related organizations that work in these places, especially where Muslims are predominant. We pray for peace among people of different religions and ethnicities in these places. All these things we ask in Jesus’ name. Amen.

Percentage of the population of these countries living below the national poverty line (2014 figures):

Burkina Faso: 46.7
Chad: 46.7
Mali: 43.6
Mauritania: 42.0 (2011)
Niger: Not available

Source: World Bank World Development Indicators as found in the new 2015 Hunger Report

 

 

 

World Prayers for Nov. 16-22: Cameroon, Central African Republic, and Equatorial Guinea

Cameroune
Fried shrimp - Cameroon style - and white rice. Photo by Coco lago from Wikimedia Commons

This is a weekly prayer series that appears each Friday on the Bread Blog.

One aspect of Bread for the World’s new Bread Rising campaign is prayer. The campaign is asking Bread members to pray, act, and give. In this blog series, we will be providing a prayer for a different group of countries each week and their efforts to end hunger.
 
This prayer series will follow the Ecumenical Prayer Cycle, a list compiled by the World Council of Churches that enables Christians around the world to journey in prayer through every region of the world, affirming our solidarity with Christians all over the world, brothers and sisters living in diverse situations, experiencing their challenges and sharing their gifts.
 
We will especially be lifting up in prayer the challenges related to hunger and poverty that the people of each week’s countries face. In prayer, God’s story and our own story connect—and we and the world are transformed. In a prayer common to all of us—the Lord’s Prayer/the Our Father—we pray, “Give us this day our daily bread.” This line from this prayer can also be a prayer for the end of hunger.
 
We invite you to join Bread in our prayers for the world’s countries to end hunger. And we encourage you to share with us your prayers for the featured countries of the week or for the end of hunger in general.

For the week of November 16-22, we pray for Cameroon, Central African Republic, and Equatorial Guinea:

Triune God, we pray for relief and for peace among our brothers and sisters in Central and West Africa. God, the world’s great powers turn a blind eye, yet you see your children in Central African Republic starving, unsafe, displaced, and cut off from vital resources. Influence global leaders to put a stake in ending the crisis of conflict, violence, and displacement in that country. Enable bold U.N., UNICEF, and other relief workers to reach the poorest and most vulnerable with vital supplies to sustain life. Lord, not only do we ask for peace and relief but also for shalom, a true flourishing among people oppressed by cycles of poverty, hunger, and violence in C.A.R., Equitorial Guinea, and Cameroon. We pray for an end to attacks of the Boko Haram in Cameroon and that the people may flourish. Lord, you have made these places rich with resources to sustain the people; in Equitorial Guinea, oil is abundant, yet people still suffer from hunger and poverty. Guide their leaders to make unselfish decisions over resources management, that the people may prosper and live well, to your glory, in Equitorial Guinea. Spirit, renew the minds and hearts of rebels, politicians, and all the people of your church in these places. We pray for shalom. Amen.

Percentage of the population of these countries living below the national poverty line (2014 figures):

Cameroon: not available
Central African Republic:
62.0 (2011)
Equatorial Guinea:
not available

 Source: World Bank World Development Indicators as found in the upcoming 2015 Hunger Report

World Prayers for Nov. 9-15: Republic of Congo, Gabon, and Sao Tome and Principe

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Saint Michel of Nkembo Church, Libreville, Gabon. Photo by Vincent.vaquin from Wikimedia Commons

This is a weekly prayer series that appears each Friday on the Bread Blog.

One aspect of Bread for the World’s new Bread Rising campaign is prayer. The campaign is asking Bread members to pray, act, and give. In this blog series, we will be providing a prayer for a different group of countries each week and their efforts to end hunger.
 
This prayer series will follow the Ecumenical Prayer Cycle, a list compiled by the World Council of Churches that enables Christians around the world to journey in prayer through every region of the world, affirming our solidarity with Christians all over the world, brothers and sisters living in diverse situations, experiencing their challenges and sharing their gifts.
 
We will especially be lifting up in prayer the challenges related to hunger and poverty that the people of each week’s countries face. In prayer, God’s story and our own story connect—and we and the world are transformed. In a prayer common to all of us—the Lord’s Prayer/the Our Father—we pray, “Give us this day our daily bread.” This line from this prayer can also be a prayer for the end of hunger.
 
We invite you to join Bread in our prayers for the world’s countries to end hunger. And we encourage you to share with us your prayers for the featured countries of the week or for the end of hunger in general.

For the week of November 9-15, we pray for: Republic of Congo, Gabon, and Sao Tome and Principe:

God our creator, you created the Earth in all of its vastness. There are places that are often unknown to us but known to you, and there are needs that are unknown to us but known to you. This week we pray for far-away places from our home in the United States: Republic of Congo, Gabon, and Sao Tome and Principe.

We give thanks for Christians in these countries and people who are fighting the causes of hunger, such as HIV and AIDS and violence. We pray for an end of the suffering that hunger and these things cause. We lift up people who are involved in subsistence agriculture, that their crops may be plentiful and they have enough food to eat and clean water to drink. We pray that the leaders of these countries will use their power justly in service to all people and refrain from corrupt practices. And we pray for the just sharing of these countries’ natural resources, particularly oil, so that all the people may reap the benefits of what you have given and not just those in power or international corporations. All these things we ask in the name of Jesus, amen.

Percentage of the population of these countries living below the national poverty line (2014 figures):

Republic of Congo: 46.5
Gabon:
not available
Sao Tome and Principe:
61.7

Source: World Bank World Development Indicators as found in the upcoming 2015 Hunger Report

Bread Rising in New Mexico: Celebrating the Past, Looking to the Future

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(Left to Right) Debbie Steffen, Joan Brown, Anne Hanke, Terese Bridges , Rev. Steve Miller,  Mark Peceny, Erik Medina, and Bill Miller (photo courtesy of Carlos Navarro).

I do not understand the mystery of grace -- only that it meets us where we are and does not leave us where it found us. -Anne Lamott


By Carlos Navarro

How did we get here? What did we accomplish? Where are we going? Those central questions were part of our simple but very meaningful celebration of prayer, reflection, and song on Saturday, October 25, which we called Bread Rising in New Mexico. Several dozen people joined in the celebration at St. Andrew Presbyterian Church that afternoon.

We came together to observe Bread for the World's 40th birthday. More importantly, we put together a celebration that allowed us to stop and think of how that long history of Bread applied to us here in New Mexico. Just as all politics is local, all grassroots advocacy is rooted in local activity.

We asked St. Andrew to host the event because this congregation has been a part of Bread for the World's history in Albuquerque from almost the very beginning. (We could have also held our celebration at St. Paul Lutheran Church, with whom we also have a long relationship).

With a slide show we celebrated the decision of Jim Brown, a member of the Christian Brothers, to take on the role of  volunteer state coordinator in 1984. We rejoiced as we remembered how a group of Bread members, including Lutheran Campus Pastor Howard Corry, decided to create a local group in 1989 and then promote Offerings of Letters among churches in Albuquerque. Then we lifted up the dozens of churches that stepped up over the years to hold  letter-writing Sundays (and sometimes Saturdays and weeknights) in New Mexico, including Smith Memorial Presbyterian Church in the tiny community of Truchas, Peace Lutheran Church in Las Cruces, Immaculate Conception Catholic Church in downtown Albuquerque, St. John's United Methodist Church in Santa Fe, and many, many others. Here is a video of my introduction to the slide show.

Celebrating People

Our advocacy over the years went beyond the pen and paper (and more recently the computer). We viewed pictures of Bread members from New Mexico who took our message directly to members of Congress and of candidates with direct visits in Albuquerque and Washington. We also used the occasion to recognize one of our own members of Congress, who has been an "Outstanding Anti-Hunger Adovcate for New Mexico."

Our slide show also celebrated dozens of individuals who have long been the core of Bread New Mexico over the past 30 years, including those who were involved in the 1990s, the 2000s, those who are part of our current leadership team, and the local members who have become involved more recently. And how can we forget our regional organizers?  Emily Abbott, Zelinda Welch, Matt Newell-Ching, Holly Hight, and Robin Stephenson. We also expressed gratitude for the partnerships that we forged with the Lutheran Advocacy Ministry, The New Mexico Conference of Churches, New Mexico Oxfam Action Corps, and the CARE Action Network.

Our walk down memory lane also included scenes of those times when we came together for worship in ecumenical services, Circle of Protection prayers and songs, and to heed the call from Pope Francis to pray for an end to hunger. Because we come from diverse Christian faith traditions, our ecumenical choir was an important part of our celebration. And fittingly, the opening and closing song was Bread for the World, a piece composed by Marty Haugen on the occasion of Bread's 35th anniversary. We also have a video of the choir performing Pan de Vida (Bob Hurd).

Looking Ahead: The Bread Rising Campaign

Our review of our history was very important for the other purpose that brought us together in this sanctuary: the Bread Rising campaign, which aims to end hunger by 2030. David Miner, national chair of the Bread Rising campaign and an anti-hunger activist in Indianapolis, was a special guest at our service.

The campaign urges Bread members and supporters around the country to take three important actions: 1) increase our commitments to ongoing prayers for the end of hunger; 2) redouble our commitment to advocacy; 3) provide the resources to help our organization leverage the big changes that are needed to end hunger. We asked local Bread members to prepare reflections on those three actions as well as the goal to end hunger in our country by 2030. Those reflections are included in a separate piece that we will be posting soon.

Carlos Navarro has been a Bread member for over 20 years and has led Bread’s presence in New Mexico for the last decade. He maintains the Bread for the World New Mexico website and blog, and serves on the Bread for the World board of directors.

Reprinted with permission from the Bread New Mexico blog.

 

World Prayers for Nov. 2-8: Burundi, Democratic Republic of Congo, and Rwanda

Rwanda
The Cooperative Des Agricultures De Cereales is a farmers cooperative in Rwanda that is using techniques to increase production, improve the quality of the harvest, and use land consolidation for selected crops. Their main crop is maize as it can be dried and stored with little product loss. Bread for the World Institute's 2015 Hunger Report will focus on women's empowerment and uses cases in Rwanda as examples. Bread for the World Institute photo

This is a weekly prayer series that appears each Friday on the Bread Blog.

One aspect of Bread for the World’s new Bread Rising campaign is prayer. The campaign is asking Bread members to pray, act, and give. In this blog series, we will be providing a prayer for a different group of countries each week and their efforts to end hunger.
 
This prayer series will follow the Ecumenical Prayer Cycle, a list compiled by the World Council of Churches that enables Christians around the world to journey in prayer through every region of the world, affirming our solidarity with Christians all over the world, brothers and sisters living in diverse situations, experiencing their challenges and sharing their gifts.
 
We will especially be lifting up in prayer the challenges related to hunger and poverty that the people of each week’s countries face. In prayer, God’s story and our own story connect—and we and the world are transformed. In a prayer common to all of us—the Lord’s Prayer/the Our Father—we pray, “Give us this day our daily bread.” This line from this prayer can also be a prayer for the end of hunger.
 
We invite you to join Bread in our prayers for the world’s countries to end hunger. And we encourage you to share with us your prayers for the featured countries of the week or for the end of hunger in general.

For the week of November 2-8, we pray for: Burundi, Democratic Republic of Congo, and Rwanda:

Almighty and benevolent God, with love you created us and bestowed upon us the dignity of sons and daughters. In your divine providence, you gave us the whole world and all its fullness for our support and preservation. But because of our human greed, millions continue to suffer from hunger and are deprived the opportunity to live a life of dignity. This week, we place under your care and protection the people of Burundi, Democratic Republic of Congo, and Rwanda. Touch the hearts of all of us to challenge global injustice—that your sons and daughters on the margins of society may claim their place at the table. In your most holy name we pray, amen.

Percentage of the population of these countries living below the national poverty line (2014 figures):

Burundi: not available
Democratic Republic of Congo:
not available
Rwanda:
44.9

Source: World Bank World Development Indicators as found in the upcoming 2015 Hunger Report

November's Bread for the Preacher: Seeking Leaders for Justice

6521600661_3c17cb404f_bDid you know that each month the church relations department at Bread for the World produces a resource specifically for pastors? Whether you are searching for inspiration for a sermon you're writing, or just a lectionary enthusiast, Bread for the Preacher is for you.

After reading this introduction, explore this month’s readings on the Bread for the Preacher web page, where you can also sign up to have the resource emailed to you each month.

By Bishop José García

We are at a unique moment in history that makes ending hunger possible by 2030. In order to do this, however, the U.S. government must do its part to lead here and around the world in the work of making hunger history. Bread for the World has a plan to do our part to make this a reality. We must win a series of advocacy victories, urge our government to take the post-2015 Sustainable Development Goals seriously, and, of course, elect officials who will make ending hunger a priority by 2017. Our texts make clear this month that now is the time for justice and that justice is impossible without good leaders.

Bread for the World has launched a campaign called Bread Rising, which will enable this plan, strengthen the organization financially, strengthen our collective Christian voice in every congressional district, and ground our advocacy in prayer and God's love. In the coming months, we will be calling on our partners to pray, to act, and to give as part of the campaign. We hope you will join us. To learn more about the campaign visit www.bread.org/rising.

Bishop José García
is the director of church relations at Bread for the World.

Photo: Pastor Judith VanOsdol leads the noon church service at El Milagro (The Miracle) Lutheran Church in Minneapolis, MN. (Laura Elizabeth Pohl/Bread for the World)

World Prayers for Oct. 19-25: India, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka

India main
A farmer in India. Bread for the World photo

This is a weekly prayer series that appears each Friday on the Bread Blog.

One aspect of Bread for the World’s new Bread Rising campaign is prayer. The campaign is asking Bread members to pray, act, and give. In this blog series, we will be providing a prayer for a different group of countries each week and their efforts to end hunger.
 
This prayer series will follow the Ecumenical Prayer Cycle, a list compiled by the World Council of Churches that enables Christians around the world to journey in prayer through every region of the world, affirming our solidarity with Christians all over the world, brothers and sisters living in diverse situations, experiencing their challenges and sharing their gifts.
 
We will especially be lifting up in prayer the challenges related to hunger and poverty that the people of each week’s countries face. In prayer, God’s story and our own story connect—and we and the world are transformed. In a prayer common to all of us—the Lord’s Prayer/the Our Father—we pray, “Give us this day our daily bread.” This line from this prayer can also be a prayer for the end of hunger.
 
We invite you to join Bread in our prayers for the world’s countries to end hunger. And we encourage you to share with us your prayers for the featured countries of the week or for the end of hunger in general.

For the week of October 19-25, we pray for: India, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka:

Creator God, we lift to you this week the people of India, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka. We marvel at the rich diversity of cultures, faiths, histories, and people in these nations, bursting with vibrancy and life. We also lift to you the times when that diversity becomes the seedbed for resentment, conflict, and alienation. Bring peace, healing, and justice to the lives of all the people of these countries, especially those who suffer from the aftermath of wars, recurring climate disasters, human trafficking, and marginalization based on their ethnic identities. May these nations’ governments make human rights, an equitable stability, and reduction of violence priorities in their official actions.  

We raise up those who are displaced in these countries due to regional conflicts, in some of which our own nation has been involved. For all those people who are hungry and who live in grinding poverty, we ask for ways that we ourselves might be instruments of restoration and wholeness. We give thanks for the missionaries, health workers, educators, peacemakers, and others who continue to come alongside these nations’ people, offering hope and supporting opportunities for them to work for a better life for themselves and their families. In your holy and healing name we pray, Amen.

Percentage of the population of these countries living below the national poverty line (2014 figures):

India: 21.9
Pakistan:
12.4
Sri Lanka: 6.7

Source: World Bank World Development Indicators as found in the upcoming 2015 Hunger Report

World Prayers for Oct. 12-18: Bangladesh, Bhutan, and Nepal

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Bangladesh. Bread for the World photo

This is a weekly prayer series that appears each Friday on the Bread Blog.

One aspect of Bread for the World’s new Bread Rising campaign is prayer. The campaign is asking Bread members to pray, act, and give. In this blog series, we will be providing a prayer for a different group of countries each week and their efforts to end hunger.
 
This prayer series will follow the Ecumenical Prayer Cycle, a list compiled by the World Council of Churches that enables Christians around the world to journey in prayer through every region of the world, affirming our solidarity with Christians all over the world, brothers and sisters living in diverse situations, experiencing their challenges and sharing their gifts.
 
We will especially be lifting up in prayer the challenges related to hunger and poverty that the people of each week’s countries face. In prayer, God’s story and our own story connect—and we and the world are transformed. In a prayer common to all of us—the Lord’s Prayer/the Our Father—we pray, “Give us this day our daily bread.” This line from this prayer can also be a prayer for the end of hunger.
 
We invite you to join Bread in our prayers for the world’s countries to end hunger. And we encourage you to share with us your prayers for the featured countries of the week or for the end of hunger in general.

For the week of October 12-18, we pray for: Bangladesh, Bhutan, and Nepal:

Good and gracious God, we come before you in thanksgiving for the many blessings you bestow.  We are grateful for the countries of Bangladesh, Bhutan, and Nepal in South Asia, for the wonder of their diverse landscapes, the majestic peaks, and vast mountain ranges.  We savor the rich and vibrant cultural heritage and spiritual history of this region.  These expressions are a reminder of your impressive power and the brilliance of your created order.  May we respect and savor all of your creation by living in ways that consider the consequences this region suffers related to climate change. 

As we pray for Nepal, Bhutan, and Bangladesh, we ask you to guide the political transitions and peace-building efforts in this region as governments and civil society work toward representative structuring and public accountability. We especially lift up those who are hungry or materially impoverished because this perpetuates injustices such as forced labor, human trafficking, and abusive working conditions.  May the light of your resurrection lead us to stand in solidarity with the people of South Asia. Amen.   

Percentage of the population of these countries living below the national poverty line (2014 figures):

Bangladesh: 31.5
Bhutan: 12.0
Nepal: 25.2

Source: World Bank World Development Indicators as found in the upcoming 2015 Hunger Report

I Give Because I Do Not Have

Adlai Amor - 2 - 11_25_13
by Adlai Amor

When Bread for the World staff were briefed about the Bread Rising campaign earlier this year, I did not hesitate to commit to it by praying more, acting more, and giving more. Here are my reasons for doing so.

I support Bread Rising because I do not have anything. All that I have comes from God. I am just a steward for whatever resources God has entrusted to me during this lifetime. When I die, as we all must, I will not be able to take anything with me. Thus, whatever good I can do in this life, especially through Bread Rising, I will do.

I support Bread Rising because I know the impact of Bread’s work. Several of my family and friends were badly affected when the strongest typhoon on record, Typhoon Haiyan, hit central Philippines late last year. My cousin, a Seventh Day Adventist pastor, and his family were among those who lost so much. But thanks to Bread’s advocacy in reforming U.S. food aid, nutritious food reached them sooner than if it had been shipped from the United States.  

I support Bread Rising because it is a calling. I work with Bread because it enables me to put my faith into action. Advocacy is hard work. There are times when I doubt my calling, but God refuses to give up on me. With such love, I cannot give up on God.

Through Bread Rising, I know we can end hunger by 2030.

Adlai Amor, Bread’s director of communications, is chair of the Presbyterian Publishing Corporation.

This post originally appeared in Bread for the World's September online newsletter.

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