When Accompaniment Becomes a Calling
by Vernita Kennen
The Saint Paul Area Synod’s hunger event, “Stepping Up to End Hunger", on October 19th was only ONE step upward. Many more steps will be needed before we are able to end hunger in God’s world but movement forward always goes forward step-by-step. We move by walking on both feet, remembering that our work to end hunger involves both compassion (direct service) and justice (empowerment and advocacy).
Bishop Lull opened with sound biblical grounding and open enthusiasm for hunger work. Mikka McCracken, ELCA World Hunger, educated us about the hunger program and work both internationally and domestically. Tammy Walhof, Lutheran Advocacy-Minnesota, grounded our advocacy work in the Bible and urged us to speak out on both state and federal levels. Hearing from two recipients of domestic hunger grants within our synod, Daily Work and Open Hands Midway, opened possibilities for others to think about applying for grants in the next two-year cycle. Displays from many Lutheran agencies, Bread for the World, and the hunger work of Christ the King, White Bear Lake; Incarnation, Shoreview; and Peace, Lauderdale (another grant recipient) sent people home with new ideas for ways to work to end hunger. Conversation and idea sharing occurred at tables and around the coffee pot, too.
Are YOU interested personally in being involved in taking another step upward with others in the Saint Paul Area Synod working to end hunger? How about someone else in your congregation who has a passion for working with and for hungry people? We are working to revitalize and re-energize the synod’s ”Hunger Work Group” - interested people should contact Vernita Kennen at email@example.com to join in the upward energy.