SESSION 5 TOOLKIT

 

Session 5:

Download this week's toolkit [PDF]

FOCUS: DANGERS AND OPPORTUNITIES

In our next-to-final week, we will focus on how:

  • To keep going despite our reservations
  • To look for strands of grace and opportunity
  • To ready ourselves to walk with renewed vitality

As we continue on our journey of seeing and learning about hunger, it's important to pause and reflect on what we've done so far. We've asked for:

  • Strength to See: We have started on our course, we have seen the faces of those who live with food insecurity on a daily basis,
  • Justice: We have heard about God's desire for Justice on this issue,
  • Hope: We have heard how our government, local non-profit, non governmental agencies and people are going about moving toward hunger relief,
  • Light: We have put light on ideas, policies and people that will make a big difference on turning the tide on food insecurity in our community.

What's next?

We need to be aware of dangers and opportunities.

The dangers:

  • We lose interest and turn back. We see only the flaws in the current systems and lose faith in our ability to change course.
    We harden our pre-conceived notions about why people are poor, hungry or out of work, and we judge, instead of continuing to understand the real causes.
  • Danger, doubt and fear tell us we cannot raise the monies, talents, or partnerships to really make a difference. Cynicism wins the day.

What happens:

Justice harkens and reminds us that there are no U-turns on the march toward social justice, innovation and improvement. Detours and missed opportunities, yes… but u-turns, no.

Why? Because opportunities abound.

Imagine the Possibilities:

  • Imagine... Burgeoning urban gardens and urban agriculture, bringing the beauty of nature and nourishment closer to all.
  • Imagine... Fresh food produce and whole grain breads readily available in corner stores, and supermarkets, and farmer's markets in all city neighborhoods, in all corners of the city, nourishing the food deserts in the most challenged sections of the city.
  • Imagine... Highly nutritious meals being locally prepared and served in schools and senior centers throughout the city, creating food jobs and food pride in this culturally rich city.
  • Imagine... "People's Restaurants" in distressed neighborhoods that welcome all with hospitality, beauty and regional cuisines of interest.
  • Imagine... Federal programs that recognize the cost of living decently in current times, and look to encourage affordable housing and other supports that allow all to live with dignity and within budget.
  • Imagine... Urban murals, and community gardens, and natural playgrounds, and greened housing units playing together to create communities of unique character and comfort.
  • Imagine that we might soften our hearts and our attitudes toward one another in the visioning and the doing of this work together.

Wondering What You Can DO to turn Danger Into Opportunity?

  • Take a minute to quietly reflect. Close your eyes and imagine "the imaginings" listed above, add several imaginings of your own. Imagine what Shalom in community would look like, could look like….. sit quietly and just imagine…..
  • Read Derek's story here. Derek Felton, Community Organizing Coordinator for the Greater Philadelphia Coalition Against Hunger, runs Fresh Start Emergency Food and Resources Services, a food pantry in West Philadelphia. During a recent heavy snowstorm when the rest of the city closed down, he made sure his door was open.
  • Walk, walk, walk: You should be up to 30 minutes of walking four times a week.
  • Write, Write, Write: Continue writing to our targeted elected officials to lay out your vision of cooperation. Click here for contact list, instructions and sample language.

Prayers for Imagination

Glory to God whose power, working in us, can do infinitely more than we can ask for or imagine… (Benediction adapted from Ephesians 3:20)

Gracious God, Help us to imagine the Shalom, peace and beauty that You would have all people know. Help us to imagine ….. Help us to imagine and dream and move toward Your hope and desire for all.

Or…

Holy God, you cause the earth to bring forth an abundance of beautiful and nourishing food. Thank you for your overflowing generosity toward all your creatures. Bless this meal, that it may give strength to our bodies. Remember, O Lord, those whose cooking pots are empty today. Bless them with the knowledge that you are with them and that help is coming. Move the hearts and hands of those who have the power to end hunger, so that kitchens all over the world will be filled with food, laughter and hope. Amen.
Bread For the World

Extra Credit

For church leaders, hunger relief leaders

The video of the City Harvest program is available for inclusion in sermon/homily material. (32 minutes in length). Please contact the Philadelphia Horticultural Society/Philadelphia Green, 100 North 20th Street, Philadelphia, PA 19103-1495, 215-988-8779

Suggested Recipe

Carrot Ginger Puree (pdf)

 


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