Hunger: What’s Climate Got to do with it and will this Philadelphia bakery deliver?

My son-in-law Pete recently brought us a large loaf of bread from a bakery near his S. Philadelphia home. It was a welcome gift, both delicious and nutritious and it didn’t last long.

The thought of sharing some of this bread never occurred to me until later….

……even though I have been meditating on passages like:”Is not this the kind of fasting I have chosen: to loose the chains of injustice and untie the cords of the yoke, to set the oppressed free and break every yoke?

“Is it not to share your food with the hungry and to provide the poor wanderer with shelter– when you see the naked, to clothe them, and not to turn away from your own flesh and blood?” Isaiah 58:6,7 NIVD

Sometimes I enjoy a tasty slice of fresh bread slathered with marmalade. It’s ok to do so. Even in Lent. But sometimes I think about the immensity of human need in the world – all the concerns Isaiah identified and more. I consider the certainty that climate change will make situations around the world steadily worse…..and I think ” the resources of science and technology are more vital than ever. But without a huge boost in political will among the general public and an outpouring of compassion and concern from communities of faith and conscience we are really screwed.” I also think “God help us!”

For example: In 2014 a massive increase in Guatemalans intercepted at the  U.S. border began at about the same time a severe El Nino-related drought began in Central America’s Dry Corridor (parts of Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador). The U.N. World Food Program found the main factor forcing people to leave was drought and it’s consequences : no food, no money and no work.

While I’m fasting from food every Friday during Lent this year I’ll be prayerfully considering the plight of these ‘poor wanderers” from Guatemala and the growing numbers worldwide in similar circumstances.

I’ve come up with one small action I can take on those fast days. I will set aside $10 (the cost of the loaf of bread from Philadelphia) for hunger relief. Could you also set aside a weekly amount of your choosing during Lent to add to my $10?

If you join us  at noon Friday, March 8th for conversation and prayer at the Parrot Gallery of Community Mennonite Church, 328 W. Orange St., Lancaster,PA. you can help select the specific ministry to receive our offering. You don’t need to be fasting to join us and you don’t have to contribute $10. Any contribution will be welcome.

Let’s talk and let’s pray this Lent. Who knows? We might find more ways to move from talk to action before we’re through. We will certainly discover the support of other caring people on a mutual quest. Over the seven Fridays of Lent we will cover each of the duties Isaiah identifies – from loosening the chains of injustice to caring for our own flesh and blood……all within the context of how climate change is connected.

“Climate change, and how it will affect the most vulnerable, is one of the most important issues of our times.” Steve Weaver, Regional Director for Middle East and Europe, Church World Service

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