As thousands of Christians gather to pursue fair food policies and practices, the Rev. M. Linda Jaramillo of the United Church of Christ will share a faith-based and grassroots view to inspire action and change. Jaramillo, the executive minister of the UCC's Justice and Witness Ministries, will deliver the sermon at Ecumenical Advocacy Days on Sunday morning, the final day of the three-day event where people of faith are working for justice about world hunger, the importance of nutrition and creating sustainable and fair food systems.
"I consider it a real honor and privilege, although a bit intimidating, to share a word at the Ecumenical Worship Service with this impressive gathering of faithful people who take God’s justice mandate quite seriously and act on it," Jaramillo said.
This is the eleventh year for Ecumenical Advocacy Days, held Friday, April 5 through Sunday, April 7 in Crystal City, Va., just south of Washington, D.C. The focus of this year's gathering centered on food justice.
"Food and water are essential life elements that are basic to our common existence, but yet we are confronted and separated by systems that provide abundance for some and scarcity for many," Jaramillo said. "The EAD theme, 'At God’s Table: Food Justice for Healthy World' prompts many harvest time memories for me, so in my sermon on Sunday, I am compelled to share both childhood and adult experiences that continue to influence my life."
Issues of food injustice are nothing new to Justice and Witness Ministries, which has awarded more than 100 grants — and $250,000 in 2012 — through the Neighbors in Need program to food pantries and ministries in recent years.
There will be more than 1,000 people from several Christian denominations at EAD, which seeks to explore injustices in global food systems that leave about 1 billion people on the planet hungry and create food price shocks. A movement of the ecumenical community, EAD's goal is to advocate on a variety of domestic and international policy issues.