FOR RETURNING PARTICIPANTS: THE 4 WEEK STUDY/ EXPERIENCE

 

A Four Week Study/Experience outline follows. Enjoy!

Week One:  Give Us Strength to See

View one or more of these films:

  1. Hungry in America: People Not Getting Enough to Eat — and Some Solutions
    A documentary series puts faces on a national crisis

    View the video online at: www.aarp.org/giving-back/charitable-giving/info-09-2011/hungry-in-america-documentary-series.html

    The introduction to the series reads:
    Who are the 9 million older Americans not getting enough to eat in the world's wealthiest nation? What are their circumstances? And who is trying to help them?

    AARP and AARP Foundation wanted to find out. Working with the renowned Magnum Photos agency and the Homelands Productions journalism cooperative, they sent teams of journalists into the field around the country.

    The stories and images these journalists collected are the basis of the four-part documentary Hungry in America

    The series can be watched all in one sitting, or over a 4 week period.

  2. When it is released, organize a trip to the movie theater to see the Sundance Film Festival documentary on hunger entitled Finding North. Or Rent the DVD. A synopsis of the film from the Sundance program reads:

    America has lost its way in taking care of its own. The shocking fact is that one in six Americans doesn’t get enough to eat on a regular basis. Even more disturbing is the fact that this new face of hunger is largely invisible. There are no breadlines in the streets, but increasing numbers of soup kitchens and food banks are feeding people who—though employed full-time—can’t make ends meet.

    Finding North unveils the human stories behind the statistics: a rancher juggling two jobs and a small-town policeman rely on food pantries to survive between paychecks; a single working mom can’t afford consistent meals for her children; a short-order cook must travel more than an hour to purchase fruits and vegetables.

    As it unravels the real societal costs and applies transparency to the causes of this hunger crisis in the richest country in the world, Kristi Jacobson and Lori Silverbush’s bracing film explores ways that we as a nation can correct this alarming and unnecessary state of affairs. - C.L.

    To view  a clip of the film: www.indiewire.com/article/watch-exclusive-trailer-for-sundance-hunger-documentary-finding-north

  3. Or, for children, view the Sesame Street one hour special entitled Growing Hope Against Hunger where a new Muppet named Lily, whose family has an ongoing struggle with hunger, was introduced.  See a clip of this program at www.hollywoodreporter.com/live-feed/sesame-street-new-muppet-Brad-Paisley-243625 (scroll down the page to play the trailer).

Week 2:  God and Justice

Debrief: Talk about the film you watched last week. Create a series of discussion-starting questions... and let people talk about how the film effected them, what they learned, and what they intend to do with this new learning.

Use the series of inspirational readings to support your discussion of any film that has helped your group to see more clearly the state of hunger affairs in your community or in the Nation. (download the Inspiraitonal Readings pdf document)

Week 3: Give us Hope

How are we doing on childhood hunger?   What would it mean to end childhood hunger by 2015?  

Read one New York Times writer’s thoughts on the Let’s Move initiative’s progress: opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/02/13/lets-move-she-said-and-we-have

Here are some ideas to consider: frac.org/initiatives/ending-child-hunger-by-2015

Consider some recent summaries of numbers of the hungry:  www.worldhunger.org/articles/Learn/us_hunger_facts.htm.

How is global progress on the United Nations’ Millennium Development Goal #1, “eradicate extreme poverty and hunger,” proceeding?www.un.org/millenniumgoals/poverty.shtml

A number of resources exist to pray for guidance and direction. For example, Bread for the World, Upon the Halfway Point Between 2000 and 2015 (litany from 2007, Bread for the World, revised) includes a litany - download the pdf version.

For more Millennium Development Goal resources, prayers, and litanies, see Making Poverty History: Hunger Education Activities that Work! www.churchworldservice.org/hungerbooklet

Week 4:  Light for the Journey

Get your group organized and go visit a soup kitchen, one of the large food cupboards (Feast of Justice, or some other), a community garden, one of the local food support organizations (Philabundance, SHARE, Greater Philadelphia Coalition Against Hunger, The Food Trust, etc.) or a congregation/ organization struggling with feeding its flock, or supporting their community in a significant way.

Get into the communities of need, find out what school meals really look like, expand your group’s horizons and visit a agency whose work you admire and with whom you may want to more deeply partner.

Please use the City Soup weekly inspirational readings from Week 2 to support your study, or create meaningful prayers or scriptural references to inspire your gatherings and your actions.

Wondering what you can do?

As a returning congregation, you have learned about the crisis of hunger in our region, and heard and read the stories of our neighbors who struggle to provide for themselves and their families.  You have prayed for those who are hungry, and your congregation now hungers to build a more just and compassionate society where all are fed.

This is an important time for your congregation and for our community. Your participation in City Soup has prepared you to play a leading role in the effort to insure that all our neighbors are provided with the simple dignity of healthy food. Here are a few ways that you can express your leadership and commitment to ending hunger.

1. Organize and advocate!  We must make our voices heard in City Hall, Harrisburg, and Washington DC.  As people of faith, we must speak out for our sisters and brothers who are suffering, and we must challenge our leaders to adopt policies that protect the most vulnerable among us.  Within your congregation, encourage members to form committees to coordinate your anti-hunger service and advocacy activities.  Speak with other engaged congregations, and see how you can collaborate to build understanding and strengthen your efforts.

For updates about anti-hunger advocacy, consider subscribing to the following newsletters.

Sign up for the Coalition Against Hunger e-newsletter and Advocacy Alerts for that the Coalition is highlighting: org2.democracyinaction.org/o/6777/signup_page/sign-up

  • For state and federal advocacy: Feeding America:www.hungeractioncenter.org
              Click “Join Today” to register and get involved, including to receive updates and alerts.
              Look at the “Take Action”area explore in ways to take action as an advocate.

2. Become food producers!  Creating a garden at your place of worship, or encouraging your congregants to work at community gardens, connects everyone to local food sources while growing valuable produce for our food banks and food cupboards.

Follow these links for inspiration or to find out where to donate the produce you grow.

3. Spread the word!  We need your help to build the anti-hunger movement.  Reach out to other congregations, speak to your religious community’s leadership, or host dialogues about hunger.

If you are looking for a speaker about hunger, consider contacting the following organizations.

Write to local government and religious officials, or ask one of them to come and speak to your group.  The question we need to ask is.."What are we going to do about this?"

4. Be a Partner!  Start or deepen a relationship with a hunger relief organization.  Find out what they need to build their capacity and what your congregation can do to share their mission.  If you are looking for a program with which to partner, contact one of the above organizations. We must believe that with God's help, and with concerted effort and partnered work, a change can be made.

5. Pray and Act...Hunger is never acceptable, especially in the proportions we are currently experiencing it!  It's time for a new plan of coordinated community action. We as people of faith must take a lead in demanding improvements.

6. Donate or volunteer if you can, to a hunger relief agency of your choice.

7. Walk+Run Against Hunger on Saturday, April 14, 2012. Learn more here: www.hungercoalition.org/story/walkrun-against-hunger

8. Commit to a Day of Prayer for an end to hunger on Friday, April; 20, 2012. Information coming to citysoupphilly.org later in March.

 

Click here to see how we are grateful for the things we have accomplished together!

Yet we have much still to do together!

Thank you for committing to the journey, and please keep moving with this issue.

Glory be to God, whose powers working through us can do infinitely more than we can ask for... or Imagine.


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