Written by Gregg Brekke
A resolution calling on UCC congregations to study the global food crisis and work to combat hunger was adopted by the 27th General Synod on Monday.
The "Resolution on the Roles of Church and Government in Addressing the Global Food Crisis" cites a "confluence of factors" contributing to an acute, worldwide food crisis.
While developing countries are hardest hit, even wealthier nations, including the United States, are struggling with the economic and environmental issues relating to food production and distribution, said the Rev. Bev. Lewis of Chapel Hill UCC in Louisville, Ky., speaking in favor of adoption. Lewis was a member of Committee 7, which rewrote portions of the resolution before bringing it to the Synod floor.
The resolution lifts up the term "food sovereignty" to describe the right to "healthy and culturally appropriate food produced through ecologically sound and sustainable methods" and the right of people to "define their own food and agricultural systems."
It calls on Wider Church Ministries and Justice and Witness Ministries to produce study resources on the global food crisis and to help congregations advocate for policies that "lead to food security and sovereignty."
The resolution also asks UCC congregations to consider the links between consumerism and global food issues, and to "change our consumerist behaviors" if necessary. Lastly, it affirms "all those in our communities whose vocational calling is rooted in the harvesting and production" of food, and calls for stronger regulation of agricultural commodities futures speculation, which also affects food prices.
The Rev. Becky Hebert of St. John's Chapel UCC in Springfield, Mo., asked the Synod to consider adding the organization Bread for the World as an implementation partner, in addition to Justice and Witness and Wider Church Ministries. Delegates voted down the proposed change, because many felt it would favor one potential partner over others.