Written by Gregg Brekke
Following efforts of previous years, members of more than 50 UCC congregations are again picking up their pens and putting their compassion onto paper, urging their Congressional representatives to help Bread for the World alleviate hunger in the United States.
Working through churches, campuses and other organizations, Bread for the World invites groups nationwide to take up an Offering of Letters to Congress on issues crucial to hungry people. During church services, worshipers write letters supporting hunger-fighting legislation. They place the letters in the offering plate, dedicate the letters to God, and pray for the hungry and the poor.
"This opportunity to lobby our federal government to put tax dollars to work for hunger relief helps us to recognize that we as citizens have an important role in feeding hungry people," says Rev. Stephen Glauz-Todrank, pastor of the UCC's Skyland Community Church in Los Gatos, Calif. "We usually have about 60 people in worship, and most participate in the writing of the letters."
The simple-yet-profound project also takes place in Sunday school classrooms, where adults and children might watch a brief video about a community struggling with hunger and poverty. Afterward, everyone writes their senators and representatives.
"I like to think that in writing these letters, we are part of God's answer to the prayers of hungry people around the world," says Glauz-Todrank. "I make an effort to help people see that the act of writing is an act of worship of God and solidarity with the hungry people of the world. This is a beloved tradition in our church."
To learn more about the 2010 Offering of Letters and to participate, log on to <bread.org/take-action/letters> or call 800-82-BREAD.