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Today in the Mission Yearbook

Churches to be celebrated for hunger work


New Hunger Action Congregation covenant launched

July 30, 2017

For nearly 50 years, the Presbyterian Hunger Program (PHP) has worked with Presbyterians and global partners toward the common goal of ending hunger and poverty. Now PHP is recognizing congregations involved in hunger work through a covenant called Hunger Action Congregations.

PHP wants to hear from congregations that are doing at least one of the following six activities:

  • Hunger Alleviation — providing or sharing food while looking for long-term structural solutions
  • Development Assistance — addressing the root causes of hunger and poverty through sustainable development
  • Hunger Education — learning about systemic causes of hunger and working directly with those involved
  • Lifestyle Integrity — adopting sustainable personal and corporate lifestyles to restore justice and protect God’s creation
  • Corporate and Public Policy Witness — advocating and campaigning for changes in policies and practices to end hunger
  • Worship — incorporating prayer and education and preaching about ending hunger and its causes.

Hunger Action Congregation Certificate of Recognition

“We celebrate and are grateful for local congregations who are working to help alleviate hunger in their communities,” said PHP coordinator Rebecca Barnes. “This new program will help us to recognize congregations on two levels: one is for a congregation that covenants to care for those who are hungry and is doing some level of hunger ministry. Another level is for a congregation that would like to be certified, meaning it is operating across the board in all six areas mentioned. We hope this tool will help to connect, equip and support Presbyterian congregations wherever they are in their hunger ministry.”

“Presbyterians have historically and faithfully responded to this biblical call to feed the hungry and create conditions for people to feed themselves. We estimate as many as 90 percent of all churches are already doing this kind of work,” said Andrew Kang Bartlett, associate for national hunger concerns. “We want to celebrate their efforts and create a sense of community and connection with other congregations.

“A purpose of the program is to acknowledge and also invigorate churches in the faithful work they are doing to end hunger.”

Kang Bartlett hopes the designation will inspire churches — by hearing stories and ideas from Presbyterians in other places — to support new ways to help people provide for their families. “It really is a human and political choice to put things in place that would ensure healthy food for everybody.”

All Hunger Action Congregations that have completed the covenant will be celebrated on World Food Day, Oct. 16. The application can be found online.

Rick Jones, Mission Communications Strategist, Presbyterian Mission Agency

Today’s Focus:  New Hunger Action Congregation

Let us join in prayer for:

PC(USA) Agencies’ Staff

Sherry Kenney, FDN                                                                                    
Emily Kiefer, PPC

Let us pray:

Dear God, we pray that all people will share in the abundance of your creation. Help us to pursue justice and to spread your love throughout all of creation. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.

Revised Common Lectionary Readings for Sunday, July 23, 2017, the Sixteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year A)

First Reading Genesis 28:10-19a
Psalm 139:1-12, 23-24
Second Reading Romans 8:12-25
Gospel Matthew 13:24-30, 36-43