Prayer Luke 16:19-31 (Lazarus and the poor man) and a blessing prayer from p. 239 of Maryknoll Book of Prayer.
Carol’s poster Carol presented a large poster that she is making available for churches to borrow. The poster shows graphically that private food aid in the US is only about 8% of the total food aid, driving home the importance of public food assistance. Mary J. suggested that a smaller version of the poster be created to post on bulletin boards and the like. The smaller version could be distributed at the Beckmann public event, for example, and would have made a great item to include in our packets for churches.
Local hunger data via Feeding-America sites Mary J. asked Carol to clarify her previous suggestion that we may be able to get valuable information about local hunger from Feeding America sites. Carol said that local food pantries may keep statistics about who is seeking food assistance. We may be able to use such information to respond to skeptics who assert that most people seeking help should (and could) have a job.
Team checking account Carol reported that she is making progress on her request to open a bank account under Bread for the World’s ID number. However, the process appears to be taking longer than expected. We will be a pilot project. Larry remarked that the need for local teams to handle funds should increase as they become increasingly active. Mary J. reported that the funds (total $100) available from the Office of Campus Ministries and the Hope Religion Department are being used for printing and postage, so that the funds are not lost at the end of Hope’s fiscal year, June 30.
Blog contributions Dominic sent word through Mary J. that contributions for the blog on our Holland Bread Team web site are welcome. So far, we just have letters to the editor posted.
Larry and Jon After serving West Michigan for 18 years, Larry Hollar is being assigned a new area (consisting of Pennsylvania, Delaware, New Jersey, and parts of New York) due to major restructuring at Bread. Meanwhile, Jon Gromek will continue to work out of Dayton, serving Ohio, Michigan, Indiana, and Kentucky. At the end of August, the office in Dayton will be closed, and Jon will work out of his home. Larry’s memories of us go way back, and his leaving us is difficult for all involved. He commended us for being a strong team, working very independently while still welcoming his input. Jon has a history of community organizing and a long exposure to Bread. We look forward to working with him.
Candidate survey Dave reminded us that we had talked about creating a questionnaire for the Congressional candidates in the November 2012 elections. Dave and Stephanie will work on this. Larry informed us that Bread will have election materials available on the web, though probably not an actual survey.
Church visits The packets for church visits were finally available about a week ago. Four teams have agreed to visit six churches each. Scheduling problems abound, but the visits will be completed as soon as we are able. Dave reminded us to inform our hosts that we have speakers available. We also commented that we should mention the 8% statistic (see Carol’s poster above), when churches say they prefer to avoid politics. Larry remarked that being silent is also a political statement. Upon reviewing the items in our packet, Larry informed us that Bread has templates available for postcards and such to expedite our efforts.
Church mailings—follow up with phone calls Seventeen packets were mailed to out-of-town churches. We hope to follow up with phone calls. If the visiting teams agree to take on this job, it will mean about four churches per team.
Community Partners We also want to contact various other organizations in the area. We will put together a packet and distribute it as we are able. Visits should not be necessary. Larry suggested that we may want to ask them to consider what is at stake in the lame-duck session and perhaps contact legislators with concerns.
Breakfast with David Beckmann
We discussed the possibility of having a pastors’ breakfast with David Beckmann on September 19. (Vern Hoffman says holding pastors’ breakfasts is an effective means of getting pastor involvement.) Jon will check on David’s schedule to see if David is even available for such an event. If he is, Dave will check with the Holland classis to see if there would be interest in a breakfast. Meanwhile, we need to think about whether holding a breakfast would be feasible in terms of our time, energy, and funds.
Food after Beckmann public event We also need to think about whether we will have food after the Beckmann public event. We had considered the idea of a “jam and bread” session. However, Hope normally insists that food be provided by its catering service. Their service is expensive and may not have jam and bread available. Stephanie will talk to Fonda about this, since with Shauna being gone, Fonda is our campus liaison.
BFW at Hope Stephanie reported that a student Bread team at Hope would have to function under the umbrella of Hope United for Justice. She plans to have Bread present at the volunteer fair, with specific information about what would be asked of volunteers. She wants to ensure that students can be active with Bread without necessarily being involved with other HUJ issues.