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Who is Hungry?

"Give a person a fish: feed them for a day. Teach a person to fish: feed them for a lifetime."

There is real wisdom in that old saying, reminding us that people have both immediate needs and long term needs. Those different needs require different methods in order to be met effectively.

(To be fair, there plenty of assumptions in that old saying as well: Is there an accessible place to fish? Does that place have edible fish that haven't been contaminated by mercury or overtaken by invasive species? Has the water been contaminated by corporate chemical dumbing or pollution? Or dried up by climate change? Anyway...)

Our congregation has, historically, been really good at meeting immediate needs -- especially in the ways we partner with other organizations such as West Suburban Food Pantry, Northern Illinois Food Bank, DuPage PADS, and Woodridge Strong: Neighbors Helping Neighbors. 

But don't sleep on the fact that we have also done good work meeting long term needs as well! Again, especially in the ways we partner with other organizations such as Coalition of Immokalee Workers in getting tomato pickers a better wage. Or CROP Walk to provide food security. And Next Step Ministries to provide stable housing along with community development.

But it has been our work with Bread for the World over the years that has energized me the most. All the Offerings of Letters we've conducted over the years produced hundreds, if not thousands, of letters. I know that the political nature of advocacy frightens some folks. But here's the thing: meeting people's long term needs almost always requires political solutions. Here's another thing: advocacy works.  

BREAKING NEWS! On Wednesday  the U.S. House of Representatives voted 384-44 to pass the Global Malnutrition Prevention and Treatment Act! More evidence that advocacy works. Our letters — combined with many others from across the country — had the desired impact.

This Act passed the House on a truly bipartisan effort as all 220 Democratic Representatives voted for it, along with 164 Republicans. 
We can be proud of the whole delegation from Illinois:
17 of the 18 Representatives from Illinois voted YEA. (At that link scroll down to All Votes and select IL from the State dropdown menu.) That's 4 Republicans and 13 Democrats.
The lone exception was Rep. Mary Miller from downstate IL who is listed as Not Voting.

All of our local Representatives -- 
Bill Foster, Lauren Underwood, Sean Casten -- voted YEA.

But we aren't done yet. Now we need to encourage our Senators to pass the Senate version of this bill. Click here to send your Senators a letter

All those letters over the years have affected change from our Congressional leaders. Policies passed and resolutions adopted mean people experiencing hunger and poverty are fed and helped. Our letters can make the lives of our neighbors better. There is no reason to be afraid of advocacy. Advocacy is a concrete method of loving our neighbors as we love ourselves. 

It is time for our next Offering of Letters, advocating for policies that will help end hunger locally and globally. This Sunday, May 1st (like last Sunday), we offer space, time, and materials for writing letters to Congress. There is both a hand-written option and an online option. 

We will talk much more about this Sunday, but to learn more about an Offering of Letters, click here. 

To read the letter about feeding the 12 million USAmerican children experiencing food insecurity (with the option of sending it via email), click here

As above, to read the letter (with the option of sending it) about preventing malnutrition for the 800 million people across the globe who don’t have enough to eat, click here

If you want to be reminded who your Congressional Representatives are, click here. 

Together we can be the voice of Jesus with and for our neighbors experiencing food insecurity and hunger. Doesn't that sound like a great way to practice resurrection?

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"Privilege and Promise" All in One Place

“Privilege and Promise: This is America” was our long-term, overarching project the past few months. The “Privilege and Promise” enterprise envelopes 8 sermons, 8 Zoom conversations, and 7 blog posts.

Admittedly, all of that is…a lot.

I’ve recently been told that a good number of you, my dear faithful readers, missed some previous posts. As in, you weren’t aware they existed. What could possibly be going on in your lives and in the world that keeps you from putting ‘Reading Pastor Dave’s blog’ at the top of your To Do list??

While it is certainly true that the totality of the series was a lot to take, and it is demonstrably true that there is so much happening in the world right now, I also firmly believe that this series — and the desire to become actively antiracist that prompted it — is the most important project we’ve ever done.

I know that reads like hyperbole. Yet, I stand by it.

White* supremacy is the most pervasive and destructive threat our country and our Christianity faces. Basically all our issues and problems are direct result of (or at the very least have ties to) White supremacy. Our neighbors need us to become actively antiracist. Our faith in Jesus the Anointed One, the Liberating King, the Christ (three ways of expressing the same title) compels us to become actively antiracist.

The “Privilege and Promise: This is America” project can help us move along that path. But I also know that it can be a pain to sort through all the sermons and blog posts to find the ones you’re looking for. So much of a pain that you might, understandably, give up before you finished. We don’t want that. Hence, this post.

I can’t recreate the 8 Zoom conversations because we didn’t record them. We chose not to record them as a (successful!) way to encourage more honest questions and conversations. But I can link to the sermons and the blog posts that offer more commentary and resources to further your understanding and support you on your journey toward becoming actively antiracist.

Here, then, are all those links gathered in one place. Watch, read, and respond as you are so moved.

Leave a comment below and/or email me your thoughts at

The "Privilege and Promise: This is America" SERMONS:

Prologue: The Past is Prologue

Part 1: Moving Beyond Fear

Part 2: Being Colorblind

Part 3: He Said, She Said, We Should Say

Part 4: Seeding Growth

Part 5: Good Trouble Required

Part 6: Complacent, Complicit, or Converted?

Part 7: God’s Law and Order

The "Privilege and Promise: This is America" BLOG POSTS:

 Next Steps

Resources for Continuing the Conversation

More Resources for Continuing the Conversation

Intersectionality and Racism

March into Good Trouble

“This is America”

The Chief Who Listens (Ok, this one actually does capture the essence of the Zoom chat without breaking any confidences.)

*The AP style has recently changed to capitalize Black but not White. I’ve read arguments for this distinction and arguments against it. I will capitalize both because I find most compelling the reasoning that we who are White have for too long hidden behind a generic cultural sense that positions us as the default. I am convinced that has contributed to us being blinded by our White privilege. 

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