Wednesday, June 13, 2012
Do you believe in feeding the hungry and helping the poor?
What are the root causes poverty?
What are you doing to address those root causes?
I had the extraordinary opportunity to participate in Bread for the World's 2012 Hunger Justice Leader training in Washington, D.C. I'm still processing everything we learned and all of the amazing opportunities I had over the weekend, so don't expect a full report here. I'm also still extremely tired, as this was one of the busiest, most heavily scheduled four days of my entire life!
I met a very diverse group of incredible people, and quite frankly felt unworthy at times to be in the room. I said a prayer in the West Wing in front of White House staff, met alongside a group of fellow North Carolinians with representatives of both Sens. Richard Burr and Kay Hagens' staff, and finally met personally with staff from Rep. Sue Myrick's office. I'm so thankful for the opportunity, and in the coming days I will really try to flesh out everything I learned in a way that will hopefully spark something in you, the reader.
I did want to take just a few seconds to begin to flesh out why I think the work we did, and the work I plan to continue is not only important, but is an extension of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. The questions at the top of the page really start the conversation quite well - if we as the church are going to be a part of feeding the hungry, clothing the poor, and caring for the orphan and widow, then shouldn't we also be working to end the very structures that cause the suffering we are trying to alleviate?
Most churches I have served, and that I have experience with, are good at charity, and I pray we can continue to improve our work with the least and last, but charity is a symptom of something deeper, and I think it is time for us, as churches, to become active in attacking that deeper problem of poverty.
That attack will take many forms, but since our country democratically elects leaders who answer to We the People, an obvious place to start seems to be in our local, state, and federal halls of power.
I will flesh all this out in the future, but for now, I want to leave you with the words of Rev. Gabriel Salguero who preached an incredible message Saturday, "I do not call myself a Christian activist - that is a redundancy!"
at 2:54 PM