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The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America

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Reality check, not a reality show

Advocacy and service to end hunger in our local and global communities go hand in hand, but also foot by foot.

People in many faith communities are actively supporting food pantries and serving meals in homeless shelters. They also commit their time and energy, in a faithful response, to raise money for programs that help alleviate hunger in our world. ELCA World Hunger, Lutheran World Relief and Church World Service are our hands and feet in helping hungry people.

Many Lutherans participate in area CROP Walks across our nation. These walks are coordinated by Church World Service and local faith communities. People step right up to join the CROP Walk because it's something they can do. They also can see the results—the money given to local food programs, to development work around the world and to disaster relief.

Taking that next step from giving money to volunteering time and to advocating for hungry people in letters to Congress is made easier when a Bread for the World letter-writing campaign becomes part of a CROP Walk.

I serve on the local organizing team for our area CROP Walk as the education coordinator. Education about what our monetary donations can do to change the lives of people facing hunger and poverty helps people become more informed and even more passionate about this ministry.

As part of my role as education coordinator, I also introduce the legislation going through Congress on hunger and poverty issues that will help the money we raise in the walk become more effective and go further. By bringing service and advocacy together to fight hunger, we help people take that next step of expressing their concerns to the elected officials who represent them.

When I've advocated for legislation that will change the lives of people in hunger and poverty, our representatives want to hear stories about real people. Today, television reality shows are popular, but people struggling to feed their families is what goes on in real life every day. I've lived and worked in global mission and can tell firsthand experiences, but through our church we read and hear those same stories. Our communities are full of stories that we can bring to life when we inform and educate our legislators.

When my congregation, Christ the King Lutheran in Nashua, N.H., holds an Offering of Letters, both adults and children learn about the legislation. Hunger affects people of all ages, and part of my advocacy visit to my representatives will always include an expression of concern from the young children and youth in our congregation through their letters and artwork.

I'm passionate to educate people about the root causes of hunger and how we can step into reality to make a lasting change for people in poverty. Our faith calls us to proclaim good news to the poor and also to set the captives free. Sometimes we are those captives who can be liberated from inaction to action as we live out our faith in our world.

 

This week's front page features:

cover3Approaching the global food crisis: (right)... with 'an enormous sense of hope.' 

Strong support: It's what Lutherans do.

Why bigger is better: Dairy farmer leads in innovation.

Making the most of a meal: Eating healthy on $5 a day.

Also:  Wholesome bread.

Also:  More than just daily bread.

Also:  Fill it up.

Read these articles at our front page ...
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November issue

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