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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?

Posted by Pastor Dave Buerstetta with