Urging our nation's leaders to end hunger
 

20 posts categorized "Bread Rising"

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

Post-Bangladesh-034-2
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.

Nothing Can Get in Our Way This Midterm Election

Lobby_Day_2014,_Worship_048

By Stephen Padre

Major news outlets from NPR to the Washington Post are reporting that the midterm elections – a little less than a month away – are being called the “Seinfeld election.” In other words, the election is about nothing, just as the popular comedy show of the 1990s was largely about nothing.

Granted, midterm elections don’t attract as much interest or debate from voters as a banner presidential election. Yet it’s important to remember that the entire lower chamber of Congress – the House of Representatives – is up for election as is a third of the upper chamber – the Senate. This is the case every two years, major election or not. That’s a major chunk of our country’s decision makers, those with the power of the purse.

But if this election is about nothing, that’s a problem.

This year, as part of its new campaign to end hunger by 2030, Bread for the World wants to make hunger a prominent issue. With the Bread Rising campaign, Bread wants to make hunger an issue of the midterm elections and of the election two years from now, when we will elect a new president.

Hunger is certainly not a nothing issue. It’s a major something. It’s a big topic that deserves the attention of our nation’s top leaders, especially those who have the power of the purse.

The best way to make hunger an issue for potential members of Congress is for voters and other residents of districts and states to bring the issue of hunger to the attention of candidates. Hunger affects people from all walks of life – people living in poverty, people who are unemployed, immigrants, the elderly, children, single-parent-headed households, and working families. Candidates need to hear from and about people affected by hunger in their jurisdictions.

It’s up to us as activists to speak up. As Christians, we are called to speak out. “Do not withhold good from those to whom it is due, when it is in your power to do it,” says Proverbs 3:27. We have the power already in our democracy to raise concerns with our elected leaders, and an election is an ideal time to do that as candidates speak about their plans for being in office.

With your power as an activist and voice for hunger, Bread can further equip you with tools to speak up. Fact sheets about hunger in the United States and in the states with the highest percentage of people living in poverty and hunger are available.  Pair one of these with information about how your current member of Congress has voted in the past on hunger-related legislation in Bread’s Congressional Scorecard. If you need help getting started, check out Bread’s election materials.

But if we don't speak out - if we let apathy win the day - then the nothing-ness of this election will get in our way, and hunger in our world will persist. But if we speak up in a chorus of concern for what hunger is doing, then nothing can stop us!

Stephen Padre is the managing editor at Bread for the World.

World Prayers for Oct. 5-11: Afghanistan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Mongolia, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan

Afghanbread
Bread in Afghanistan. Photo by Institute for Money, Technology and Financial Inclusion 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 October 5-11, we pray for: Afghanistan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Mongolia, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan:

God of peace, we lift up these places, many of which are unfamiliar to us. You know the needs of these nations' peoples. We pray especially for peace and justice in Afghanistan, a country that has suffered under conflict and war for many years. We pray for an end to the suffering from war and the hunger it causes. May this country know peace and the see hunger cease. Protect all who serve in our armed forces there. Keep them safe and out of harm's way. And watch over their families back at home as they go about life with their loved ones far away. We lift up those providing humanitarian aid in Afghanistan and these other countries. Give them strength and support as they address poverty and other challenging conditions. All these things we ask in Jesus' name. Amen.

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

Afghanistan: 35.8
Kazakhstan:
2.9
Kyrgyzstan:
38.0
Mongolia:
27.4
Uzbekistan:
16.0

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

World Prayers for Sept. 28-Oct. 4: Armenia, Azerbaijan, and Georgia

Armenia
Echmiadzin Cathedral in Armenia. Photo by Shaun Dunphy 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 September 28-October 4, we pray for: Armenia, Azerbaijan, and Georgia

God of places near and far, known and unknown to us: We give you thanks for the peoples of these countries and their gifts to the region and world. Thank you for sustaining Christians and churches in these places during the decades of communist domination and oppression. We pray for renewal of their faith and that they may be light and salt in their countries. We also lift up people in these countries who live with unemployment and in hunger and poverty. Empower their societies to ensure that everyone has enough to eat and live an abundant life. We pray this in the name of your son, our savior, Jesus Christ. Amen.

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

Armenia: 32.4
Azerbaijan:
6.0
Georgia:
14.8

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

World Prayers for Sept. 21-27: Belarus, Moldova, Russia, and Ukraine

Sergiyev Posal domes 1
Domes of Sergiyev Posal, Moscow, Russia. Photo by Stephen H. Padre

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 September 21-27, we pray for: Belarus, Moldova, Russia, and Ukraine:

O God of all nations, we give thanks that you sustain your creation through good government and cultural diversity around the world. We pray especially for the people and leaders of Belarus, Moldova, Russia, and Ukraine. May the long history of Christianity in these countries and their beautiful places of worship be a source of peace and strength, as their societies seek to resolve political conflicts and overcome economic challenges. May harmony and prosperity replace violence and poverty, so that these countries may see an end to hunger. We pray in the name of Jesus, who is the Bread of Life of the world.  Amen.

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

Belarus: 5.5
Moldova:
16.6
Russia:
11.0
Ukraine:
9.1

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

Bread for the World at 40: Not Aging but Rising

14221138950_575752f53c_h
Rev. David Beckmann, president of Bread for the World, speaks at the 2014 National Gathering in Washington, D.C. (Bread for the World)


By Stephen Padre

Nicholas Kristof, a well-known columnist for The New York Times, is making the rounds of talk shows promoting his new book, written with his wife, journalist Sheryl WuDunn. A Path Appears explores the question of how people can best make a difference in the world with the overwhelming array of charitable causes and organizations.

In an interview on NPR’s Weekend Edition Sunday on Sept. 14, Kristof made the argument for supporting well-established organizations. “It's incredibly glamorous to start your own organization, and it looks great on your resume. But we have this flowering of thousands or millions of tiny organizations that never gain scale and, often, after five years or so, they kind of disappear because the founder loses their initiative and enthusiasm,” he explains. “We also have to join existing enterprises and grow them.”

While existing organizations may be big bureaucracies and still aren’t able to solve enormous problems like access to water for all or the Israel-Palestine conflict, Kristoff argues that there are still advantages to working with well-established organizations.

This year, Bread for the World is celebrating its 40th anniversary. Some may think that reaching 40 is entering middle age, when we realize we’re no longer young and full of energy. But Bread has more energy than ever these days. There is new vitality as we pass the 40-year mark and set our sights on an ambitious goal – helping to end hunger by 2030 – through our new Bread Rising campaign.

What better time to set a huge goal than with 40 years of advocacy experience behind us? It’s only because we have several decades of experience in advocacy to end hunger that we’re able to set this goal, to believe that we can actually end hunger within our lifetime. We’ve built a strong foundation of legislative victories and have built up years of expertise to convince us that ending hunger is do-able.

Of course, it’s important to support startups or small organizations—the new food pantry at your church or the nonprofit trying to establish green spaces in your neighborhood. These enterprises often target local concerns and alleviate immediate needs. But nobody else is doing what Bread for the World is doing in such a big and powerful way. As with Moses, our first 40 years were only the preparation. And now we’re ready to move the mountain – Capitol Hill -- to get our government serious about ending hunger.

We’re not getting old—we’re hitting our stride! Now is the perfect time to support Bread and to be part of this 2030 goal of ending hunger.

Stephen Padre is the managing editor at Bread for the World.

World Prayers for Sept. 14-20: Bulgaria, Hungary, and Romania

Hungarian_Goulash
Hungry in Hungary? Why not have the goulash? Nothing is more Hungarian than that! (Photo by bucklava 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 September 14-20, we pray for: Bulgaria, Hungary, and Romania:

God of the north, south, east, and west, we thank you for the contributions of these countries and their peoples to the world. We thank you for the long history of Christianity there and the work of their churches. Continue to enliven the deep and abiding faith of Christians there. We pray for an end to corruption and organized crime, high unemployment, and limited supplies of food and housing. We ask you to bring healing for those who suffered under Marxist regimes. And we pray for the creation of stable economic and political systems that allow for the participation of all the peoples in these countries so that all may have enough to eat. In the name of Jesus we pray. Amen.

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

Bulgaria: 21.2
Hungary:
not available
Romania
: 22.6

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

Stay Connected

Bread for the World