ELCA World Hungerhttp://elca.org/News-and-Events/blogs/ELCAWorldHunger/Faith, Hunger & Justice: The ELCA Young Adult Cohort at the United Nations Commission on the Status of WomenGina Tonnhttp://elca.org/News-and-Events/blogs/ELCAWorldHunger/648http://elca.org/News-and-Events/blogs/ELCAWorldHunger/648<div class="ExternalClass0AD64493280E483599C99CBC17D5E6CD"><p><img alt="10300627_935739463980_2317950265069384494_n.jpg" src="http://search.elca.org/blogs/SiteAssets/Lists/ELCA%20World%20Hunger/Browse/10300627_935739463980_2317950265069384494_n.jpg" style="margin&#58;5px;width&#58;283px;vertical-align&#58;auto;float&#58;right;" /><em>March 24, 2015</em></p><p>Looking at a picture of the ELCA Young Adult Cohort, one might think we look like quite the random conglomeration of people – 3 men, 12 women; 13 young adults, 2 not-quite-as-young adults; 5 ELCA networks. What brings this group together, particularly around the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women (UN CSW) and gender justice? </p><p>The ELCA networks from which individuals come to the ELCA Young Adult Cohort include the Justice for Women Program, Young Adult Ministry, Strategy on HIV and AIDS, Young Adults in Global Mission alumni and ELCA World Hunger. All of these groups bring their respective priorities and goals to the cohort, but more importantly, each of us comes to the table with a commitment to and interest in the intersection of faith and justice. Gender justice, or rather gender <em>in</em>justice, is prevalent in the work of each of these networks. As the ELCA World Hunger network, we are aware that <a href="http&#58;//beijing20.unwomen.org/en/in-focus/poverty"><span style="text-decoration&#58;underline;">hunger and poverty disproportionately affect women and their children</span></a>. Anthony Mell shared this example from a session hosted by <a href="http&#58;//thp.org/our-work/where-we-work/bangladesh/"><span style="text-decoration&#58;underline;">The Hunger Project in Bangladesh</span></a> and the <a href="http&#58;//www.un.org/en/zerohunger/index.shtml#&amp;panel1-1"><span style="text-decoration&#58;underline;">UN Zero Hunger Challenge</span></a> in his post on the <a href="http&#58;//www.elcayacohort.wordpress.com/"><span style="text-decoration&#58;underline;">ELCA Young Adult Cohort blog&#58;</span></a></p><blockquote dir="ltr" style="margin-right&#58;0px;"><p><em>In Bangladesh family life it is typical for the husband and other men to be given a larger portion of food relative to the rest of the family. This simple patriarchal cultural norm has profound consequences. Because of the state of poverty in which most Bangladeshi families live, the extra food taken by the husbands leads both their </em><a href="http&#58;//www.fao.org/ag/agn/nutrition/bgd_en.stm"><span style="text-decoration&#58;underline;"><em>wives and their children to malnutrition</em></span></a><em>. The injustice does not end there. The children also often suffer these nutritional deficiencies during key periods of cognitive development, the negative results of which can greatly affect them for the rest of their lives.</em></p></blockquote><p><img alt="10422094_10153098995180428_1772328731233751310_n.jpg" src="http://search.elca.org/blogs/SiteAssets/Lists/ELCA%20World%20Hunger/Browse/10422094_10153098995180428_1772328731233751310_n.jpg" style="margin&#58;5px;width&#58;218px;vertical-align&#58;auto;float&#58;left;" />Women's equality and empowerment are prerequisites for development and eradication of hunger and poverty. Through the ELCA Young Adult Cohort and our presence at the UN CSW, ELCA World Hunger connects with other faith-based groups and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) committed to relief, advocacy, sustainable development, and grassroots organizing around the issues of hunger and poverty.</p><p>From my perspective, playing double-duty as cohort member from the ELCA World Hunger network and an ELCA World Hunger staff person, one of the most impactful aspects of the trip was witnessing and experiencing the ways in which the spirit of ELCA World Hunger's message and mission touches people. The ELCA Young Adult Cohort did not only attend sessions; we also hosted several events. Over 100 members of the New York and New Jersey attended a &quot;Meet &amp; Greet&quot; to learn about the cohort and its networks. We brought young people of faith together for conversation about justice and culture. We created space for dialogue about the church's role in perpetuating and ending sexism and gender-based violence. Through all three of these events, and in all our interactions, I witnessed the spirit of our work to remain even as the specific content or presentation style varies to fit the setting. I believe this spirit endures because our work is firmly and clearly rooted in our identity as the church. </p><p>The ELCA Young Adult Cohort engages at the intersection of faith and justice. We also engage with the building up of young leaders in our church. These words shared during the March ELCA World Hunger Network Webinar by cohort member, seminary student and Hunger Leader Jessica Obrecht capture the connections between faith, work with ELCA World Hunger and membership in the ELCA Young Adult Cohort, and development as a leader in the church&#58;</p><blockquote dir="ltr" style="margin-right&#58;0px;"><p><em>As I am new to the World Hunger network, it was really stark to me how connected World Hunger and the experience at the Commission on the Status of Women was…If we truly want to eradicate poverty and hunger we really need to empower women and look at how women are oppressed in different ways and the reality that 1 in 3 women has experienced gender based violence. We need to look at how that affects not only our economy, but how we function as a world interpersonally. </em></p><p><em>The fact that so many young adults participated in the experience raises the question&#58; How do we empower young adults and pass the torch? As we listened to men and women speak about how we need to work together in the world, it was powerful to feel that we are at the table and that we are welcome to become leaders as well. </em></p></blockquote><p>While the presentations and information sessions I attended during the UN CSW were fascinating and energizing, the time I spent with my fellow members of the ELCA Young Adult Cohort was inspiring and gives me so much joy and hope to be part of our church and have the privilege to be part of a group of convicted and passionate leaders for justice. </p><p>I will end my comments about the experience and takeaways of the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women here, and allow the words of my peers shared on the <a href="http&#58;//www.elcayacohort.wordpress.com/"><span style="text-decoration&#58;underline;">ELCA Young Adult Cohort blog</span></a> during and after the UN CSW witness to the change ahead – within the church and around the world.&#160; </p><blockquote dir="ltr" style="margin-right&#58;0px;"><p dir="ltr" style="text-align&#58;left;"><em>As a church, how do we measure gender justice? At the very least, we need sex-disaggregated data about our leadership, members, communities, institutions, and the lives the church touches. We also need qualitative data to understand how women, girls, and LGBTQ persons are viewed and valued in all areas of ministry and church life. It is assumed that having females in leadership roles or educating girls will lead to empowered women…</em><em>.</em><em>In Bible studies and other spiritual formation, may we learn to directly address detrimental inequalities in our hearts, families, churches, communities, and world.</em><em>&#160;</em><em>We need to partner with others to build gender justice. Gender experts emphasize that gender is found in all sectors of life and that complicated gender issues – such as gender-based violence – must take a multi-sectoral approach. This means you can look for or assess gender in EVERY context!</em>&#160; - <strong>Crystal Corman – Young Adults in Global Mission Alumni</strong></p><p><em>Men are needed to break this silence, and the first thing to do is to become aware, a problem can't be solved if you don't even know it exists.</em>&#160;&#160;– <strong>Richard Adkins - Young Adult Ministry &amp; Strategy on HIV and AIDS </strong></p><p><em>I am a youth, children, and family minister within the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. I have returned home inspired with a renewed commitment to not only exemplify what it means to be a Christian feminist, but to be an active participant in creating a church culture that speaks about and practices taking up the cross. Within my sphere of influence, I wish to live out a theology of the cross by naming the reality and pervasiveness of sin as it is exemplified in the oppression of patriarchy and acts of gender-based violence. I will continue to recognize Christ in our midst, who bears the wounds of death, but is no longer fettered by death. I will remember the grace of the cross; that it is not our will or perfect abilities that will change the oppression of this age, but the transformative power of Christ within each of us. It is the power of Christ that strengthens us to step forward together, speak out against the reality of sin, practice forgiveness, and live remembering that the kingdom of God is among us.</em> – <strong>Casey Cross - Young Adult Ministry </strong></p><p><em>I am reminded that patriarchy is a pervasive, systemic, and viciously subtle force. It moves us and in us in ways that we struggle to conceptualize and combat. However this is not meant to be defeatist. Rather it has served to me remind of the diligence and creativity required to overcome these obstacles. Simply put combating patriarchy cannot be a part time job</em>. – <strong>Anthony Mell – Justice for Women Program</strong> </p><p><em>I get overwhelmed as I learn more about the realities of women and girls in the world.&#160; And then Jesus puts it in perspective&#58;&#160;&quot;'You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.' This is the greatest and first commandment. And a second is like it&#58; 'You shall love your neighbor as yourself.'&quot;(Matthew 22&#58;37-39) </em>– <strong>Fern Lee Hagedorn - Justice for Women Program</strong></p><p><em>I understand that my sisters all around the world are being raped, beaten, oppressed, silenced and ignored every single day. &#160;I understand that this problem is not just somewhere else, it is in my own country, my own state, city, community, and church. &#160;And I have a seat at this great table, amongst great minds, warm hearts, and beautiful souls. What an honor, what a privilege, what a joy, and what a responsibility that holds. </em>– <strong>Jessica Obrecht – ELCA World Hunger &amp; Young Adults in Global Mission Alumni</strong> </p><p>&#160;</p></blockquote><p>Gina Tonn <em>is a Program Assistant for ELCA World Hunger Education &amp; Constituent Engagement through the <a href="https&#58;//www.lutheranvolunteercorps.org/">Lutheran Volunteer Corps.</a> She graduated from St. Olaf College in Northfield, MN with a BA in Economics and Religion in 2014. She lives in Chicago, IL with four other Lutheran Volunteer Corps members. </em></p><p>​</p></div>03/24/2015World Water Day - March 22, 2015Gina Tonnhttp://elca.org/News-and-Events/blogs/ELCAWorldHunger/647http://elca.org/News-and-Events/blogs/ELCAWorldHunger/647<div class="ExternalClass034A45C76F464612AA3F197305964542"><p>How many times a day do I turn on the faucet in the kitchen or bathroom to fill a glass, wash my hands, brush my teeth, or fill a pot with water to cook pasta? How many times a day do I flush a toilet? How many times a day do I stop and think about the privilege of my easy access to clean, potable water? The answer to the former questions is &quot;many,&quot; the answer to the latter is &quot;too few.&quot; </p><p>This Sunday, March 22<sup>nd</sup> is World Water Day. This year's World Water Day also marks the conclusion of the <a href="https&#58;//www.un.org/waterforlifedecade/index.shtml">UN-Water's Decade for Action &quot;Water for Life.&quot;</a> Last week, while in New York City with the <a href="https&#58;//elcayacohort.wordpress.com/">ELCA Young Adult Cohort</a> attending the <a href="http&#58;//www.unwomen.org/en/csw/csw59-2015">United Nations 59<sup>th</sup> Commission on the Status of Women</a> (UN CSW) I took some time to explore an exhibit in the entrance hall of United Nations Headquarters commemorating the progress of the Decade for Action and looking ahead to the unmet needs for water access and sanitation around the world that call for action in the future. </p><p>Knowing I would have the opportunity to share both my experience at the UN CSW and call attention to World Water Day through the ELCA World Hunger blog, I made sure to pick up the exhibit brochure and snap some photos of the exhibit on my phone. Now, a week removed from the throes of the UN CSW and my perusal of the <a href="http&#58;//www.waterforlifevoices.org/">&quot;Water for Life&#58; Voices&quot;</a> exhibit, I realize that my experience in New York, the opportunity to research and promote World Water Day, and my position with ELCA World Hunger aren't just happy, coincidental life experiences, but that working for gender justice, water rights, and solutions to hunger and poverty are inextricably linked. Women bear much of the burden for collecting water for their families in Sub-Saharan Africa and other areas of the world. The many hours women and girls spend collecting water are hours not spent in school or participating in economic activity, earning money or growing food to feed their families, or contributing to their community. </p><p>Over the summer, thousands of youth will converge on Detroit, Michigan for the 2015 ELCA Youth Gathering. ELCA World Hunger's <em>Walk for Water </em>at the gathering has a goal to raise $500,000 through fundraising efforts, to be matched dollar by dollar through the gift of very generous donors. If we meet our goal, $1 million of water-related projects will be funded around the world. You can read about ELCA World Hunger's <em>Walk for Water, </em>including the types of projects the initiative will fund, fundraising ideas, and statistics about the water crisis, at <a href="http&#58;//www.elca.org/walk4water">www.ELCA.org/walk4water</a>. </p><p>A point that was raised frequently at the UN Commission on the Status of Women is that, too often, when we throw phrases like &quot;internationally&quot; or &quot;around the world&quot; out into conversation, we forget that the United States is included. At UN CSW this was usually in regards to oppression and discrimination against women; no nation in the world, <em>the United States included, </em>has succeeded in establishing gender equality in legislation, in sentiment or in practice. </p><p>The same is true of the water crisis. Because of the effects of climate change, failing economies, or corporate negligence, there are people in the United States who would answer the questions I posed at the outset of this post rather differently. In fact, right in the ELCA Youth Gathering's backyard are people experiencing the effects of a water crisis – the Detroit water shut-offs. Ryan Cumming, Director for Hunger Education, drew attention to this problem back in August in his post<a href="http&#58;//elca.org/News-and-Events/blogs/ELCAWorldHunger/626"> &quot;Myths and Realities about Water Shutoffs in Detroit.&quot;</a> Water shutoffs continue to loom in Detroit, even as the city and suburbs just <a href="http&#58;//www.detroitnews.com/story/news/local/wayne-county/2015/03/11/detroit-water-sewer-rate-increases/70166240/">approved an increase in water utility rates</a>. </p><p>As Lutherans, we proclaim that all people, <em>all around the world</em>, are created in the image of God, are privy to equal rights and protection and inherent dignity. Gender justice affirms that no one should suffer discrimination, oppression, or exploitation on account of their sex or gender. Working to end hunger and poverty affirms that we live in a world of abundance that has been perverted by broken relationships and greed. The Water for Live&#58; Voices Exhibition brochure voices invites visitors to the exhibit to add their voice to those featured because &quot;humankind is notable for its rich diversity; yet we are all the same in our need for water and sanitation.&quot; </p><p>This World Water Day, I invite you to add your voice with mine in prayers for strength for my sisters around the world who walk for water each day and the mothers who struggle to feed their families, prayers of rejoicing for the progress made during the Decade for Action and potential impact through ELCA World Hunger's <em>Walk for Water, </em>and mindful prayers of thanksgiving for the life-giving gift of water…</p><p><em>We pray for people who don't have access to clean water to drink. We pray for people who must walk long distances to collect water. We pray for people, especially children, who face disease and death because of unclean water. Lord, in your mercy,&#160;</em><em><strong>Hear our prayer.</strong></em></p><p><em>We pray for areas of our world impacted by drought and chronic water insecurity. Lord, in your mercy,&#160;</em><em><strong>Hear our prayer.</strong></em></p><p><em>We pray for areas of our world that are impacted by frequent floods, severe storms and other natural disasters.&#160; Lord, in your mercy,&#160;</em><em><strong>Hear our prayer.</strong></em></p><p><em>We give you thanks that through water and the Holy Spirit you give us new birth, cleanse us from sin, and raise us to eternal life.&#160; Lord, in your mercy,&#160;</em><em><strong>Hear our prayer.</strong></em></p><p>Amen. </p><p>&#160;</p><p><em>Prayer &amp; Litany for World Water Day written by Pastor Annie Edison-Albright of Redeemer Lutheran Church in Stevens Point, Wisconsin. </em><em>&#160;</em></p><p>Gina Tonn</p><p>Program Assistant, ELCA World Hunger</p><p>Lutheran Volunteer Corps</p><p>&#160;</p></div>03/20/20152015 ELCA World Hunger Education & Networking Grants - apply now!Gina Tonnhttp://elca.org/News-and-Events/blogs/ELCAWorldHunger/646http://elca.org/News-and-Events/blogs/ELCAWorldHunger/646<div class="ExternalClass06336CA4962047BA83A55880B7156B16"><p><strong>ELCA World Hunger Education and Networking Grants</strong></p><p><em>2015 Request for Proposals </em></p><p>The ELCA World Hunger Education and Networking grants program is designed to support local programs in ELCA congregations, groups and/or synods. The grant opportunity encourages ELCA congregation, groups and/or synods to think creatively about educating, mobilizing, and expanding their networks to increase awareness of the root causes of and solutions to hunger. </p><p>Education grants can be used for events, educational programs or the development of shareable resources. For networking proposals, congregation-based and synod-based hunger leader events and trainings will be prioritized. </p><p>We are looking for proposals submitted by a non-profit charitable organization classified as a 501(c)(3) public charity by the Internal Revenue Service, or organization that operates under the fiscal sponsorship of a 501(c)(3). Proposals must&#58;</p><ol><li>Provide a short (2-3 paragraphs) description of your congregation, group or organization and a narrative of the context in which the project, event or initiative will take place. This should clearly show what your program, congregation or group is attempting to address and how the proposal relates to the current priorities of ELCA World Hunger Education and Networking. </li><li>Summarize how the project, event or initiative will&#58; </li><ol><li>Educate and engage ELCA congregations, groups, and/or synods;</li><li>Influence this church body toward better action and engagement against hunger and poverty; and</li><li>Encourage sustainable participation in the anti-hunger work of ELCA World Hunger past the conclusion of the project, event or initiative. </li></ol><li>Provide a clear &quot;goal statement&quot; that summarizes the direction and focus of the program and defines the scope. </li><li>For education proposals, please list the learning objectives and audience for the event, resource or initiative which the grant will support.</li><li>List two or three specific, measurable outcomes by which the success of your proposal will be evaluated.</li><ol><li>At least one <em>process outcome</em>&#58; What activities will be completed in what specific time period?</li><li>At least one <em>impact outcome</em>&#58; What are the expected results – what change, by how much, where and when?</li></ol><li>Summarize the implementation strategies and methods and/or sustainability of your plan (identifying additional sources of funding if needed). If the project, event or initiative is an annual or cyclical occurrence, or you have previously applied for an ELCA World Hunger Education and Networking Grant, please include a summary of how you plan to create a self-sustaining program or how the program has grown and changed since the last grant received. </li><li>Demonstrate an ELCA connection with one letter of support by an ELCA pastor, bishop, or Lutheran agency/institution that explains how a relationship between the organization and ELCA World Hunger impacts/enhances each other's work and furthers the objectives and guidelines of ELCA World Hunger. </li><li>Include your organization's name, address, contact person, email, phone number, and tax ID number with your proposal.</li><li>The amount of funding you are seeking in a budget for the event, project or initiative using the format below&#58;</li></ol><table width="100%" class="ms-rteTable-default" cellspacing="0"><tbody><tr><td class="ms-rteTable-default" style="width&#58;33.33%;"><strong>Item</strong></td><td class="ms-rteTable-default" style="width&#58;33.33%;"><strong>Amount</strong></td><td class="ms-rteTable-default" style="width&#58;33.33%;"><strong>Explanation</strong></td></tr><tr><td class="ms-rteTable-default">Put the line item label here.</td><td class="ms-rteTable-default">Put the line item cost here.</td><td class="ms-rteTable-default">Describe how you came to that amount (show your calculations, if relevant). You may also use this section to further explain why you need this cost covered, if you believe that is not clear from the proposal.</td></tr></tbody></table><p>&#160;</p><p>Proposals will be reviewed throughout the year. All proposals must be received by <strong>December 31, 2015</strong> to be considered for funding. </p><p>If you have any questions please email <a href="mailto&#58;hunger@elca.org"><span style="text-decoration&#58;underline;"><em>hunger@elca.org</em></span></a>. </p></div>03/18/2015Changing Schools, Changing Lives: God at Work in BoliviaRyan P. Cumminghttp://elca.org/News-and-Events/blogs/ELCAWorldHunger/645http://elca.org/News-and-Events/blogs/ELCAWorldHunger/645<div class="ExternalClassE69C9D07AB3744428EA92AE646192A6C"> <p class="MsoNormal">A lot of folks know how stressful it can be to switch schools.<span>&#160; </span>Imagine not just going to a different school in a new neighborhood but in a whole new region!<span>&#160; </span>For children displaced from rural areas to the cities in the Latin American country of Bolivia, this is a real challenge.<span>&#160; </span></p><p class="MsoNormal">We know the strain instability can have on children in school.<span>&#160; </span>Research indicates that when families move, children often have difficulty adjusting to their new communities and new schools.<span>&#160; </span>When they are already vulnerable to economic instability, the challenges can be especially tough.<span>&#160; </span>When education is so central to reducing vulnerability to poverty and hunger, this is a serious issue.</p><p class="MsoNormal">In Bolivia, displaced families have found the support they need to meet some of these challenges.&#160; The <span style="font-family&#58;&quot;times new roman bold&quot;,&quot;serif&quot;;"><strong>Evangelical Lutheran Church in Bolivia (<em>Iglesia Evangélica Luterana Boliviana</em> – IELB)</strong></span>, with support from ELCA World Hunger, has welcomed displaced families to take part in the <span style="font-family&#58;&quot;times new roman italic&quot;,&quot;serif&quot;;"><em>Escuela Biblica Apoyo Escolar</em></span> after-school program.&#160; This program provides a space of support to at-risk children and youth.&#160; At the program, children learn about tolerance and equality and get help they need to build their math, spelling, and reading skills. During breaks from school, the center still runs, offering in 2014 not only tutoring in regular classes, but also workshops on peace and nonviolence relating those to Christian values.</p><p class="MsoNormal">Together, IELB and ELCA World Hunger are actively accompanying children and families in Bolivia as the church lives out its calling to serve the whole person.<span>&#160; </span>This is work we are called to do as Church, and it is also work the IELB is empowered to do as Church.<span>&#160; </span>As one representative wrote, families involved in the program are starting to see <span style="font-family&#58;&quot;times new roman bold&quot;,&quot;serif&quot;;"><strong>“the congregation as a new social service place, both for the youth and…for the families.</strong><span>&#160; </span><strong>Much of this confidence originates in the trust [the congregation has] from having this church program.” </strong></span><span>&#160;</span></p><p class="MsoNormal">As Lutherans, we recognize the role of both Law and Grace.<span>&#160; </span>Under the Law, we are commanded to be servants of God and neighbor in the world.<span>&#160; By </span>Grace, we are invited and empowered to do this work.<span>&#160; </span>For the IELB’s after-school program, <span style="font-family&#58;&quot;times new roman bold&quot;,&quot;serif&quot;;"><strong>the grace which inspires the church to be a place of welcome and trust is the very grace that empowers them to be part of the community</strong></span>, to walk alongside children and families as they gain the skills they need to feed themselves and their neighbors for years to come.<span>&#160; </span></p><p class="MsoNormal">The ELCA has been invited to be part of IELB’s ministry by supporting this program for at least three years, during which many more families will be able to take part in this impactful ministry.<span>&#160; </span>Because of gifts to ELCA World Hunger, our church has been able to say “YES!”<span>&#160; </span><a name="GoBack"></a><span>&#160;</span></p> </div>03/11/2015Announcing a New Partnership and Grant Opportunity: ELCA World Hunger and the Campus Kitchens Project!Ryan P. Cumminghttp://elca.org/News-and-Events/blogs/ELCAWorldHunger/644http://elca.org/News-and-Events/blogs/ELCAWorldHunger/644<div class="ExternalClassC63A1CC4F8314E05AA58BD10AB1E71B2"><p><img alt="WH_4_color_Small_Website.gif" src="http://search.elca.org/blogs/SiteAssets/Lists/ELCA%20World%20Hunger/Browse/WH_4_color_Small_Website.gif" style="margin&#58;5px;width&#58;381px;" /><img alt="CKP_Logo-Black.png" src="http://search.elca.org/blogs/SiteAssets/Lists/ELCA%20World%20Hunger/Browse/CKP_Logo-Black.png" style="margin&#58;5px;width&#58;248px;" />&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160; </p><p>Anyone familiar with a college or university knows that there is a LOT happening on campuses these days!&#160; More and more students are becoming involved in service and activism, on campus and off.&#160; The leadership, creativity and passion for justice among college students are amazing, and we are happy to announce a new opportunity for students to fight hunger in their communities!</p><p>Through an ELCA World Hunger Education grant, ELCA World Hunger and the Campus Kitchens Project (CKP) have launched a new opportunity for ELCA colleges and universities and Lutheran Campus Ministries on public and private campuses.&#160; With this partnership between ELCA World Hunger and CKP, students that are eager to start or to deepen their anti-hunger work will have access to funding and support to launch a Campus Kitchen at their school!</p><p><strong>This year, ELCA World Hunger will provide up to </strong><strong>$5,000 each to two campuses to launch Campus Kitchens </strong><strong>at their schools!</strong>&#160; This start-up funding will help new kitchens build support and meet the needs for a successful launch.&#160; In addition, CKP and ELCA World Hunger will help provide assistance and support during the launch, including helping link campuses with community partners.&#160; </p><p><a href="http&#58;//www.campuskitchens.org/"><span style="text-decoration&#58;underline;">The Campus Kitchens Project</span></a> is a national non-profit that empowers student leaders to create innovative and sustainable solutions to hunger. Campus Kitchen students rescue food that would have gone to waste from a variety of sources, primarily their on-campus dining hall cafeterias, but also from local restaurants, supermarkets, food banks, and farms and use that food to prepare and serve balanced nutritious meals food insecure residents in their communities. Students involved in Campus Kitchens learn to see wasted resources as a sustainable solution to community issues and gain valuable service learning and leadership experiences, which build upon and enhance their work in the classroom. </p><p>The model CKP provides has had a tremendous impact in communities.&#160; <a href="http&#58;//www.campuskitchens.org/financials/"><span style="text-decoration&#58;underline;">In the 2013-2014 school year alone, more than 19,000 student volunteers dedicated nearly 75,000 hours to recover 939,034 pounds of food for 8,509 clients!</span></a>&#160; What is more, <strong>95% of students involved with CKP report that they have acquired skills that make them more likely to find a job,</strong> and 90% say they are more likely to address food insecurity in their own communities after graduation.</p><p>As readers of this blog know, ELCA World Hunger is dedicated to addressing the root causes of hunger, to be sure that families and individuals can feed themselves in the long-term.&#160; Both the ELCA and CKP share this focus.&#160; As folks from CKP will say, &quot;We can't feed ourselves out of hunger.&quot;&#160; Ending hunger requires a complex, multi-pronged approach based in relationships with neighbors.&#160; For students involved with CKP, the relationships built through programs at their Campus Kitchens are the most energizing part of their work.&#160; And it is these relationships built through sharing food that give students and partners a way to go deeper into hunger, providing nutritional education, SNAP outreach, and a variety of other programs to address the many-layered causes of hunger in their communities.</p><p>We had our first webinar yesterday to showcase this opportunity, and you can check it out below!&#160; You can also find a recording of it <a href="https&#58;//www.youtube.com/watch?v=n1rzmNbt_54&amp;feature=youtu.be"><span style="text-decoration&#58;underline;">here</span></a>.&#160; To learn more about the grant and how to apply, visit <a href="http&#58;//www.campuskitchens.org/elca"><span style="text-decoration&#58;underline;">www.campuskitchens.org/elca</span></a> or email ELCA World Hunger Education at <a href="mailto&#58;Ryan.Cumming@elca.org">Ryan.Cumming@elca.org</a>.&#160; To learn more about Campus Kitchens that are already up and running, check out <a href="http&#58;//www.augsburg.edu/campuskitchen/">Augsburg College's Campus Kitchen </a>or the <a href="http&#58;//www.mnsu.edu/activities/kitchen/about/">Campus Kitchen at Minnesota State University, Mankato</a>!</p><p>&#160;</p><div class="ms-rtestate-read ms-rte-embedcode ms-rte-embedil ms-rtestate-notify" unselectable="on"><iframe width="420" height="315" src="https&#58;//www.youtube.com/embed/n1rzmNbt_54" frameborder="0"></iframe>&#160;</div></div>02/11/2015The Church I SeeRyan P. Cumminghttp://elca.org/News-and-Events/blogs/ELCAWorldHunger/643http://elca.org/News-and-Events/blogs/ELCAWorldHunger/643<div class="ExternalClass8A7CCAE9F15C42868CFE26BE90AB2DC7"><p>When was the last time you were proud to be Christian?&#160; When was the last time you felt good about calling yourself a Lutheran?</p><p>Articles, blogs, surveys, statements, and so on keep telling us that the Church is in crisis, that mainstream denominations are bleeding members and funds, that churches are trading vitality for gimmicks to stem the flow out the doors.&#160; Too often, the public face of Christianity in the U.S. seems to be a culture of &quot;no&quot; – no to diverse sexualities, no to religious diversity, no to science, no, no, no.&#160; Flocks of young people, with worldviews distant from generations past, are hastening away from a religion whose presence in the news is often a portrait of stodginess, of anachronisms, or – at its worst – of simply hate in action.&#160; The pseudo-Christianity that holds sway in media portrayals of faith communities makes it difficult for many of us to identify as Christians – and as Evangelical Lutherans – with pride in our church.</p><p>But there are times when that vision of the church wafts away like the thin, untenable shell that it is.&#160; This happens a lot in the work that I am blessed to do.&#160; If I may, let me tell you about the church that I see.</p><p>Last year, I was at a summit hosted by the Alliance to End Hunger in Washington, DC.&#160; For the opening panel, I sat at a random table, a nobody among leaders and representatives of some of the most prominent anti-hunger organizations in the country.&#160; Across from me was a man representing a food bank out west.&#160; He shook my hand and thanked me.&#160; His food bank was supported by a Domestic Hunger Grant from ELCA World Hunger.&#160; Next to him was a woman representing a meal delivery program in the South.&#160; She likewise extended her gratitude; her program, too, was supported by ELCA World Hunger.&#160; To my immediate left?&#160; The father of a young woman who co-wrote a resource on food drives for us, herself &quot;raised and retained&quot; ELCA.&#160; Where was his daughter?&#160; On the stage, about to present to this diverse group and, unbeknownst to her, about to receive a scholarship for her anti-hunger work.&#160; </p><p>The ELCA is a member of the Alliance, but far beyond that, we are THERE in many profound ways.</p><p>I have had the chance to travel to many states and to Latin America in my work with ELCA World Hunger.&#160; And the overwhelming impression I have taken from the conversations I have had and the things I have heard has been how well-respected our Church is among ecumenical partners, local communities, and companion churches.&#160; Our commitment to accompanying our partners and companions opens up vital spaces in which we can learn and share with one another and engage in vibrant ministries in communities around the world.&#160; </p><p>While in Colombia with colleagues from the Global Mission unit of the ELCA and representatives of our companion church, the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Colombia (IELCO), we had the unique opportunity to meet with three men from <em>Caminando Juntos</em> (&quot;Walking Together&quot;), an advocacy, activism, and support group for people infected with HIV/AIDS that is part of IELCO's ministry in Colombia.&#160; We heard stories of the group's successes in accompanying newly diagnosed members, in helping to secure medication, and in raising awareness of HIV/AIDS throughout the church.&#160; This was the first time members of the group had met with people outside the group.&#160; </p><p>This is a ministry supported by grants from ELCA World Hunger to IELCO's Diakonia ministry.&#160; We have been invited to be part of this work with our support, and our Church has said &quot;YES.&quot;&#160; And we have been enriched as Church because of it.&#160; </p><p>On that same trip, w<img alt="2014-05-04 11.36.57.jpg" src="http://search.elca.org/blogs/SiteAssets/Lists/ELCA%20World%20Hunger/Browse/2014-05-04%2011.36.57.jpg" style="margin&#58;5px;width&#58;187px;vertical-align&#58;auto;float&#58;left;" />e climbed up a mountain in northern Colombia to visit with the Christian Kogui Community, an indigenous community facing significant challenges in defending their rights to education, health care, and religious freedom.&#160; When they converted to Christianity years ago, they lost their protected status as &quot;indigenous peoples,&quot; which led to eviction from their traditional lands, lack of access to subsidized health care, and reduced opportunities for education.&#160; Through IELCO, ELCA World Hunger helped some of the families in this community purchase land, including farms that provide food to Kogui families.&#160; </p><p>Our support for IELCO, in part, helps to provide the Kogui community with partners in their struggle to advocate for themselves.&#160; We have been invited to be part of this work with our support and to learn from it by our presence, and our Church has said &quot;YES.&quot;&#160; And we have been enriched as Church because of it.</p><p>&#160;</p><p>&#160;</p><p>Backpack programs in Iowa, shelters for homeless youth in New York and Texas, re-entry programs for men released from prison in California, community gardens and nutritional education in Wisconsin, hospitals in the Holy Land, refugee camps in Jordan and Kenya, improved sanitation programs in Myanmar – we have been invited to be part of this work with our support and our presence, and our Church has said &quot;YES.&quot;&#160; And we have been enriched as Church because of it.</p><p>Our colleagues in ELCA Advocacy in Washington, DC, New York, and a variety of state public policy offices are prominent voices for justice, leading the charge on issues ranging from minimum wage and protections for workers, to care for creation, to federal safety net programs for people who fall on hard times.&#160; Whether on the international, national, or state level, Lutherans have said &quot;YES&quot; to being part of – and leading – conversations about justice, peace, and fairness.&#160; </p><p>We are there.&#160; It may not get written about in the papers.&#160; It may not end up on the &quot;Today&quot; show.&#160; It may not go viral like a hate-filled protest at a military funeral, but it does not go unnoticed.&#160; With faith in God who ordains that government should be just, that every person's rights should be protected, the ELCA joins its voice to the symphony of cries for justice and peace. When the world says, &quot;No&quot; to human beings and to the environment – &quot;No, there isn't enough money to support people in need during an economic crisis,&quot; &quot;No, protecting the environment would risk too many jobs&quot; – the Church says, &quot;YES&quot; – &quot;<em>Yes</em>, we can support people in need,&quot; &quot;<em>Yes</em>, we can practice sustainability in ways that benefit both humans and non-human creation,&quot; &quot;<em>Yes</em>, we can and must protect the rights of children, workers, immigrants, refugees, and all those who are vulnerable.&quot;</p><p>This is what I see...</p><ul><li>In a small town on Long Island, a visually impaired man whose home was ravaged by Hurricane Sandy stood with us and watched as members of ecumenical group helped rebuild his home.&#160; Lutheran Disaster Response was there, and remains there.</li><li>In Port Ludlow, Washington, a young girl receives a backpack full of food to help ensure she will eat during the weekend, when she doesn't have access to breakfast or lunch at school.&#160; Peace Lutheran Fellowship and ELCA World Hunger are there, and remain there.</li><li>In Minneapolis, Minnesota, a man who is a refugee from Liberia participates in a program to help him learn skills to get a job and acclimate to American culture, ensuring he can use his gifts to support himself and his family.&#160; Daily Work and ELCA World Hunger are there, and remain there.</li><li>In Texas, a young boy fleeing violence in Central America crosses a border after a perilous journey through Mexico and finds a safe place where he is welcomed and cared for.&#160; Lutheran Social Services of the South and the ELCA are there, and remain there, even after the boy is placed in a home and given the support he needs to grow up in a place where his gifts and talents can be nurtured.</li><li>In Detroit, Michigan, young children learn the skills necessary to make healthy eating choices and gain skills to help improve their ability to read.&#160; Revelation Evangelical Lutheran Church and ELCA World Hunger are there, and remain there.</li><li>In Los Angeles, California, a mother and daughter serve food to their neighbors at a community meal, while during the week they receive food themselves, to help them make it through the month.&#160; They are there, My Friend's House is there, and ELCA World Hunger is there, and remain there.</li><li>In River Forest, Illinois, young children learn about hunger while collecting gifts to purchase a family farm to support agricultural projects halfway around the world that will help hundreds of families feed themselves for years to come.&#160; Grace Lutheran Church (River Forest) and ELCA World Hunger are there, and remain there, even as their hearts and gifts extend to our companions continents away.</li></ul><p>There are hundreds of these ministries supported by ELCA World Hunger and Lutheran Disaster Response, and thousands more that are supported directly by gifts from church members, community partners, and others.&#160; Any question about the power of faith to inspire people to respond to God's invitation to be part of God's work in the world is answered unequivocally, every day in the nearly 10,000 congregations of the ELCA and the hundreds of places around the world where people of faith work together to end hunger, walk together, and be fed – physically, spiritually, mentally, emotionally, socially.</p><p>As people of faith, we have to take seriously the criticisms levied against organized religion by its critics.&#160; We certainly have not gotten everything right, and there have been times in history when the Church has been an agent of injustice, rather than a presence of justice and hope. &#160;We move toward a future promised by God knowing that still, we will not get everything right.&#160; We are saints and sinners, after all.</p><p>But the critics of organized religion &#160;- and we ourselves – also must take seriously the multitude of ministries made possible by God's invitation to authentic relationships and mutual ministry.&#160; These stories may not get told on the mountain – they may be whispered about in the valley – but they are there, and they are part of who we are as Church together.&#160; We have the opportunity to change the picture, to cast a vision of the ELCA and of Christianity as the community of justice and love that it is called to be.&#160; And in so many ways, our Church and the churches of our partners and companions have said &quot;YES.&quot;</p><p>Everyday, the ELCA, its partners, its companions, and other people of goodwill are painting a picture of a faith that is vibrant, active, authentic, meaningful, life-giving, and justice-seeking.&#160; To God's invitation to be part of the work the Holy Spirit is doing in communities around the world, our Church has sounded a mighty &quot;YES!&quot;&#160; As individual people of faith, what will we say?&#160; Will we be part of the transformation of the public face of Christianity as a religion of &quot;no&quot; to a religion of &quot;yes&quot; – yes to our neighbors, yes to God's work in the world, yes to a world in which all are fed, yes to communities of justice and equity?&#160; </p><p>&#160;</p><p style="text-align&#58;center;"><em>&quot;Listen, Listen God is calling,</em></p><p style="text-align&#58;center;"><em>through the Word inviting…&quot;</em></p><p>&#160;</p><p><em>Ryan P. Cumming, Ph.D., is Program Director for Hunger Education for ELCA World Hunger.&#160; He can be reached at </em><a href="mailto&#58;Ryan.Cumming@ELCA.org"><em>Ryan.Cumming@ELCA.org</em></a><em>.</em></p><p>&#160;</p><p>&#160;</p></div>01/29/2015