Assembly voting members took up the challenge of doubling the ELCA World Hunger Appeal's annual income. They approved a resolution as part of a 25th anniversary celebration that, in part, asks the ELCA to:
• "Call upon each congregation of the ELCA to participate in this appeal and to invite members to contribute ongoing and planned gifts and to include the World Hunger Appeal in their wills.
• "Call upon this church's social service agencies to continue and intensify their work with and among people living in poverty."
Lita Brusick Johnson, director of the World Hunger Appeal, urged ELCA members to "reclaim the gift of holy imagination ... that envisions a world where chronic hunger is no more." She praised the leadership of the Conference of Bishops, Church Council and cabinet of churchwide executives for their leadership in each pledging $25,000.
Congregations are encouraged to mark the anniversary using the number 25 in fund-raising activities — for example, to contribute 25 shares of appreciated stock.
Kathryn Wolford, executive director of Lutheran World Relief, told voting members, "You are there in Nicaragua to rebuild homes and help farmers replant; you are there in Kosovo where lives are shattered beyond imagination. You are there now in Turkey. Through your gifts, LWR is there in places that never see a CNN camera crew."
Wolford thanked all coffee drinkers who, through the LWR Equal Exchange Coffee Project, help farmers in areas such as Nicaragua and El Salvador. She said Lutherans consume 38,000 pounds of fairly traded coffee a year, "giving new meaning to the idea of a wired church."
The Board of Pensions' Run, Walk 'n' Roll event drew 163 to call attention to hunger; and its oversized piggy bank, Wilbur the Pig, put on pounds to the tune of $4,500 for the World Hunger Appeal. The offering at the opening worship brought in $39,528, including $19,000 from the Eastern Washington-Idaho Synod.
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