Dear Friends in Christ,
On behalf of all of us at the Presbyterian Hunger Program, we send our greetings and best wishes for a wonderful new year. We hope it is full of love and joy, and full of faithful effort to bring us closer to God’s vision of the beloved community here on Earth.
As of World Food Day (Oct. 16) the network of covenanting Hunger Action Congregations was up to 111. After the Sept. 30, 2018 cut-off we’ve had five new congregations join the fray. Welcome to First Presbyterian of Fredericktown, MO; Cambridge Presbyterian from Cambridge, MA; Riviera Presbyterian from Miami, FL; Presbyterian Church of Washington – Washington, MO; and Ladue Chapel Presbyterian – Ladue, MO.
Like you, we at PHP are girding up for the many challenges we face in our communities, nation and world. We are so grateful to have you and thousands of Presbyterians around the country working together toward a world without hunger and one where all of God’s children can live long, healthy and dignified lives.
Famine, poverty and climate change stand out as special priorities for our work this year.
1) PHP and Famine — In 2018, PHP reached out to food security organizations in Nigeria, Somalia, South Sudan and Yemen, all of which face extreme hunger and famine. PHP grants to these organizations will provide seeds, water pumps, fishing tools, emergency food assistance, agricultural and women’s and girls’ empowerment trainings in 2019.
2) PHP and Deep Poverty in the U.S. — Through gifts to One Great Hour of Sharing and the Presbyterian Hunger Fund, PHP provided critical financial support to 55 domestic groups largely led by community-based leaders in the most impoverished areas of the country. We plan to offer similar (ideally greater!) support in 2019.
3) PHP and Climate Change — PHP staff, representing the PC(USA), participated in the UN Climate Summit in Poland – COP24, and wrote a series of posts on the Food & Faith Blog to keep you and other Presbyterians informed about the global agreements necessary to reduce CO2 emissions. We will continue to provide opportunities for concerned Presbyterians to act faithfully to protect God’s creation this year.
And we have new resources for you…
It’s Eco-Palms Season
More than 300 million palm fronds are harvested each year for U.S. consumption alone — most of them for Palm Sunday, but also for floral displays for church-related events. Your congregation’s commitment to purchase eco-palms plays an important role in protecting forests, local jobs, and sustainable livelihoods in the harvesting communities.
Eco-Palms Bulletin Insert – Download a high-resolution bulletin insert about the Eco-Palms ministry
Eco-Palms Infographic – A high-quality informational graphic can be downloaded here
Lent is coming
In Lent, we reflect on Christ’s ministry, death, and resurrection. We slow down, take time, and examine our internal spiritual lives and the way we live out our Christian faith in the world around us.
The Presbyterian Hunger Program strives to walk with people in moving towards sustainable choices that restore and protect all of God’s children and creation. As people of faith, we seek to “serve and preserve” God’s world. However, some of our collective choices have led to a changing global climate, which translates to warmer temperatures, rising sea-levels, and severe storms, just to name a few. To turn this tide, we must tread lightly on the face of God’s Earth.
Last but not least… Stories from Hunger Action Congregations
- Ministering to the hungry: Pleasantville Presbyterian Church practices outreach
- ‘Imagine No Hunger’ a cornerstone program for New Mexico church
- Preteen tackles homelessness concerns in her community
- Vacation Bible School project helps hungry neighbors in Illinois
Let us know what your congregation is up to as you move into the new year. You can write in a comment below or send a note to firstname.lastname@example.org.
We’d love to hear from you!
andrew and the PHP team
P.S. Did you see the Presbyterian News Service article about Hunger Action Congregations? Presbyterian Hunger Program recognizes Hunger Action Congregations on World Food Day for their year-round efforts to end hunger