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It's Offering of Letters Day!

Last week was the preview, the teaser trailer if you will. Now it is time for the actual event!

Our annual Offering of Letters begins…right now! We’ll talk a lot more about this on Sunday as we consider “Who’s Hungry?” Here and now though you can find all the basics and an easy-to-accomplish action step. Plus all the links to the deepest deep dive you could desire. 

This year our letters will urge our members of Congress to support reauthorization of a Farm Bill that builds healthy, equitable, and sustainable food systems. The Farm Bill is a huge piece of legislation that touches the lives of nearly every person living in the United States and many millions more around the world. The Farm Bill get reauthorized every 5 years. The expiring version totaled $428 Billion. We expect the new version to be about the same $428 Billion.

We have a voice and we have influence. We have power. That’s really what any Offering of Letters is all about: Using our power to help as many people as we are able. Ensuring that our elected leaders hear our voice and know what matters to us.

With one click you can email three letters—one each to your U.S. Representatives and you two U.S. Senators.

When you click that link you’ll be prompted to enter your address. Bread for the World then automatically finds your U.S. Representative and Senators and will address your letter to them. 

—Underneath where you enter your address there is a line that reads, “Check here if you are emailing Congress as part of an Offering of Letters Event.” And a box next to a line that reads “Yes, this is an Offering of Letters.” Please check the box! Doing so aids us in tracking the letters our congregation sends.

—Next is a line that reads, "If you are writing as part of an Offering of Letters, please enter the name of the congregation, campus or organization hosting the event.”
Please enter the name of our congregation as Woodridge UMC

After those two steps you can click the button at the bottom of the page that reads, “Click here to proceed to the email.” That takes you to a page with the body of the letter. You can edit the letter as you see fit before sending it. You’ll see that it is already addressed to your Representative and Senators. 

For those of us living in Illinois it is imperative that we reach out to Senator Dick Durbin. He is on the Senate Agriculture Committee which has great influence over the Farm Bill. So if you are hand-writing your letters, please prioritize sending one to Sen. Durbin. 

Again, to get going with your email letter click here. 

On to the deep, deep dive!
The following are all kinds of links offered for you to further explore the Farm Bill and what we mean by “healthy, equitable, and sustainable.” 

For a 1-page overview of our “ask” click here

For a 3-page Farm Bill policy platform click here

For a story about how the Farm Bill helps a couple from Michigan click here

For a look into the international side of the Farm Bill click here

For a look at hunger in Illinois click here 

For more on Equity in the Farm Bill click here

For more on Sustainability in the Farm Bill click here

For more on Nutrition in the Farm Bill click here

For more about why we advocate in this way, click here.

Reach out with any questions and I’ll do my best to answer them. Then we’ll see you in church Sunday as we use the power of our voice to feed hungry neighbors near and around the globe. Let’s be the hands, feet, and voice of Jesus together!


Posted by Pastor Dave Buerstetta with

'Lift Every Voice' Series Resources

Ok friends, are ready for all the links? And, yeah, I really mean All. The. Links!

Throughout these first three weeks of our “Lift Every Voice” sermon series we’ve offered a wide variety of articles, ideas, and people for your Black History edification. So many offerings that it would be understandable if you missed some. Here, then, is the full compilation of all those articles, ideas, and people for you to read, learn with, and follow.

(Obviously it is impossible to list everything and everyone worth reading and knowing. This is just a list of those we mentioned during this sermon series. Still, if there something from the series I missed here, please let me know!)

Articles on the history and impact of “Lift Every Voice and Sing” 
—the Black National Anthem that is providing the structure for this sermon series. Click the links for the full story!

This article in the History of Hymns series on the UMC website.

This piece from the Smithsonian

This article from the Washington Post

This short piece from the NAACP

This blog post from the Roosevelt Alumni for Racial Equity

For a different approach to the song read this critique of the suggestion that the song alone can heal racism 


Daily Prayer Resource
Discipleship Ministries of the United Methodist Church offers daily prayers for anti-racism. Click here to read this week’s prayers and have the option to subscribe to their prayers for anti-racism emailed daily. 


Resources to better understand our history—and present
The National Memorial for Peace and Justice

The Birmingham Civil Rights Institute

This informative “What is?” series by the General Commission on Religion & Race of the United Methodist Church


Folks to follow on social media
I’ve noticed that I tend to follow people and accounts that look and sound and think like me. Here is an attempt to alter that pattern. These are just a couple examples that I mentioned in part 3 of the sermon series. Please share others I should add to the list!

Chef and author of Kosher Soul, Michael W. Twitty 

Artist, activist, organizer, and Confederate flag remover Bree Newsome Bass

Author Cole Arther Riley, aka Black Liturgies. She wrote This Here Flesh and posts breath prayers and longer prayers almost daily.


All those inventions!
Yet another reminder that Black history is all our history. 
Everyday inventions created by Black inventors such as folding chair, traffic signal, potato chips, refrigerated trucks, closes dryer, automatic gear shifts, peanut butter, and more

Posted by Pastor Dave Buerstetta with