By Dr. Tamera Zivic
Have you Heard that You may be part of a Hunger Action Congregation? So, what does THAT mean?
The Presbyterian Hunger Program, PC(USA) is celebrating the faithful work of Presbyterians responding to the biblical call to alleviate hunger and end its causes. We wish to acknowledge the work you are doing to end hunger, and to be mutually inspired to deepen and broaden our ministries. (Food-Faith Hunger Covenant. (2017, May 31). Retrieved June 30, 2017, from https://www.presbyterianmission.org/food-faith/hungercovenant/)
Through these many years, I have had the honor of working, through WHEAT and as the Hunger Action Advocate for the Presbytery, with many of our congregations as they venture into new ways to tackle the issues surrounding poverty and hunger and the struggle to find the means to help others help themselves.
Presbytery of Grand Canyon has a lot to celebrate as we continue to provide emergency food, speak out against injustices in our communities, such as supporting the Campaign for Fair Food, make lifestyle choices that have long term effects on the earth and the wages people earn like buying t-shirts from Sweat Free T’s, provide mission funds to support developing countries, participate in the Cents-Ability program and so much more.
But is celebrating the right thing to do when it is what is expected of us and is our Christian calling – to help others when they are in need? I would say ‘yes,’ not to give ourselves a pat on the back, but to celebrate what we continue to see as our personal ministry, no matter what the odds, always in all ways. This is a celebration of the human spirit, helping one another, so that no one person is left without, a way to exemplify our beliefs.
The impact of our actions on others and how we live our lives, individually and as people of faith, may never be known. That is also a celebration of our faith in the unknown and how living a life of giving will lead to joy and life for others.
Christ came so that all may have life and have it abundantly (John 10:10b)
So, start with your Congregation and help us celebrate the ways that you are making a difference in the lives of one or of many. This celebration and sharing with our fellow Presbyterians of the ways that we are ministering to, with, by and for others to alleviate hunger and poverty, also celebrates the changes that we are helping to make, worldwide, no matter how large or small.
Use this special time in the summer to acknowledge your place as a Hunger Action Congregation! Help us Celebrate the impacts that you are making!
Yours is a Hunger Action Congregation if you are doing an activity in one or more of these areas.
1) Hunger Alleviation
2) Development assistance
3) Hunger Education
4) Lifestyle Integrity
5) Corporate and Public Policy Witness
For congregations that are doing one or more activity in all six areas, you can be a Certified Hunger Action Congregation. All of the Hunger Action Congregations will be celebrated on October 16, World Food Day. The PHP program would like to have at least 25 congregations signed up by September 15; you can find the instructions and Hunger Action Congregation form here: bit.ly/hungeractionform
Need more information or guidance? I’m here to help!
Dr. Tamera Zivic serves as the Hunger Action Advocate for the Presbytery & Executive Director/CEO of WHEAT. The mission of the World Hunger Ecumenical Arizona Task Force, Inc. (WHEAT) is to educate, advocate, motivate and empower individuals to action in the fight against poverty and hunger. The Presbyterian Church in Arizona was one of 19 faith denominations that founded WHEAT in 1979 ~ that relationship continues to thrive as WHEAT and its executive director, Tamera, serve as a source and resource for hunger ministries and as the Hunger Action Advocate for the Presbytery.