Main Article
Response Articles
Real Food and the Eucharist
Kim Bracken Long
When We Grow Our own
Walter Brueggemann
Author's Response
Feasting and Thanksgiving
L. Shannon Jung
Resources
Lesson Plans
Jill Tolbert
Editor's Notes
Editor's Note
Mark Douglas

Lesson Plans

A Set of Four Lesson Plans
By: Jill Tolbert

Lesson One
People of Need in a Culture of Want

Concept

The purpose of this lesson is to challenge participants to consider their own wants and desires, and to begin to think about how the meeting of those wants and desires give way to their complicity with systems of injustice surrounding the global food crisis.   Learners will be challenged to think about how the sins of both idolatry and self-pride relate to their own relationship with food.  Finally, learners will begin to understand the need to “retrain” their desires through examination of the Christian practices of fasting and the Lord’s Supper. 

Timeframe

The lesson is written for a 45-minute class period.  However, adjustments can be made to accommodate particular situations as needed.  

Goal

The goal of this session is a) to give participants a clearer picture of how each of us is prone to the sins of idolatry and self-pride regarding our own desires and consumption, specifically with respect to food, and b) to begin to move towards a retraining of our desires so that they are more reflective of our call to live in the light of God’s reign.     

Objectives

Participants will:
    1.    explain what is meant by “weak complicity.”
    2.    identify the seven Christian practices with regard to eating that have developed over time,
and name ways in which each of us participates in those practices on a regular or occasional basis. 
    3.     name ways that each of the above practices can help us as we retrain our desires. 
    4.    name examples of how a) the sin of idolatry relates to our consumption of food, and how
            b) the sin of self-pride relates to our consumption of food. 
    5.    recognize the impact of idolatry and self-pride on the global food crisis, and begin to think
            anew
about ways to live “in light of the reign of God" with respect to our eating practices. 

Preparation

    1.    Participants should have read Shannon Jung’s lead article, “God’s Diet and the Retraining
            of Desire.
” 
    2.    Arrange the room in a way that is conducive to both large group discussion and small group
            sharing, ideally with tables for 4 to 6 people that are all easily accessible and arranged to
            face a common space in one area of the room. 
    3.    Write the following statement on the board:  “As we gather, begin to share with one another
            the role that food / meals have played or will play in your upcoming holiday gatherings.” 

Materials

    1.    Bible
    2.    White / Chalk board and pens / chalk
    3.    Paper / pencils at each table

Sequence

    1.    Opening – (See question on board) As participants gather, have them share with one another
             the various roles that food and meals played or will play in the recent / upcoming holiday
             gatherings.  After a brief period of time for sharing, ask the groups to summarize their
             conversations.   Have a scribe write key phrases on the board for later reference

    2.    Explore
        a.    Assign the following passages for small group consideration.  Instruct each group to read
                the text together, then a) highlight the role that food plays in each of the texts, and
                b) summarize the main reason for the gathering /dining. 
            •    Genesis 2:15-17; 3:1-7
            •    Exodus 16:1-36
            •    Esther 5:1-8
            •    Mark 14:12-25
        b.    Share the similarities, if any, between their own family / special gathering and the events
                relayed in each text.

    3.    Encounter – Shannon Jung outlines the “seven practices associated with eating (that) have
           developed throughout the Christian tradition.”  They are saying grace, feasting, fasting,
           honoring the body, cooking, sharing, hospitality, and the Lord’s Supper.  What evidence is
           there of these practices in either your own holiday gathering/s or in the food-related stories
           from the above texts?  What evidence is there of these practices in your day-to-day lives?
           Are some notoriously absent?  If so, which ones? 

    4.    Respond
        a.    Jung affirms that the injustices committed on behalf of the consumers of affluent countries
                are not something about which we, as individual consumers, can do much.  This is what
                makes us “weakly complicit.”  We are aware of the injustices, we do not approve of the
                injustices, and do not even directly cooperate with the injustices.  However, as Jung
                writes, we “do appropriate the benefits of such injustices,” albeit unknowingly and without
                evil intent.   Consider together as a large group:  In what ways are you knowingly complicit
                with unjust food practices?  In what ways have you taken a stand against such injustice? 
        b.    Our own emphasis on (over)feasting is often, if not always, a sign of a larger problem—that
                of excessive consumption which stems, in part, from idolatry and self-pride. Jung suggests
                that we must “retrain our desires” if we are to truly eat “in light of the reign of God.”  Indeed,
                we must “retrain our desires” if we are to truly LIVE “in light of the reign of God.”  He writes,
                “Beginning with a visceral, appetite-infused desire such as eating is a helpful way to begin
                to integrate the fragmentation of desire” in general.  Explore as a group how the sins of
                idolatry and self-pride are evident in our own relationships with food.  What does this say
                about our relationship/s with those around us who might not  know from where their next
                meal will come? 

    5.    Closing – End with prayer for open eyes and hearts to be open to ways in which we are all
            complicit with the injustices in the world, particularly those related to food production and
            consumption. 
 

Lesson Two
Doing Without:  The Practice of Fasting


Concept

The purpose of this lesson is to introduce participants to 1) the spiritual practice of fasting, and 2) alternative ways of serving Christ and each other through practices that benefit those around the world who are affected by injustices in the food industry and world hunger. 

Timeframe

The lesson is written for a 45-minute class period.  However, adjustments can be made to accommodate particular situations as needed.  

Goals


The goal of this lesson is to give participants an insight into the significance of fasting as a spiritual practice, as well as give them other concrete ways to show sympathy and solidarity with those around the world who are adversely affected by unjust policies and practices with regard to food production and distribution. 

Objectives
Participants will:
    1.    identify biblical texts that point to a basis for fasting. 
    2.    explain the benefits of fasting, and to verbalize how fasting allows us to stand with our
            brothers and sisters across the globe. 
    3.    identify the insights gained through the observation of a fast—even a brief one. 
    4.    name the feelings, imagined or experienced, that often accompany fasting.
    5.    recognize ways others who might not feel inclined to participate in a fast might be able to
            stand in solidarity with those who do choose to fast, and those for whom they are fasting. 

Preparation

    1.    Participants should have read Shannon Jung’s lead article, “God’s Diet and the Retraining
             of Desire,
” as well as Charlie Raynal’s response. 
    2.    Arrange the room in a way that is conducive to both large group discussion and small group
            sharing, ideally with tables for 4 to 6 people that are all easily accessible and arranged to
            face a common space in one area of the room. 
    3.    Write the following statement on the board:  “Reflect with each other times when you have
            fasted, either voluntarily or involuntarily (per doctor’s orders, perhaps).  If you are comfortable
            doing so, share the reasoning behind your fasting.  Recall and share the feelings you had
            prior to and during your time without food.” 

Materials

    1.    Bible
    2.    White / Chalk board and pens / chalk
    3.    Paper / pencils at each table

Sequence

    1.    Opening – (See question on board) As participants gather, have them share with one
            another times when they have fasted, either voluntarily or because of a doctor’s orders
            (for surgery or hospital procedures).  Reflect on how those times were approached as well
            as the feelings and/or emotions that were brought to the surface as a result of the time of
            “fasting.” 

    2.    Explore
        a.    Assign some (or all, depending on numbers) the following passages for small group
                consideration.  Instruct each group to read the text together, then summarize the biblical
                basis for fasting that is inherent in these texts. 
            i.    Isaiah 58:1-9
            ii.    Jeremiah 29:11-14
            iii.    Psalm 35:13-14
            iv.    Joel 2:12-13
            v.    Matthew 4:1-11   
            vi.    Matthew 6:16-18
            vii.    Acts 13:1-3
        b.    Consider together as a large group the various rationales for / ways of fasting today,
                contrasting them with the reasons for fasting inherent in the above texts.  Are there
                differences?   If so, what? 

    3.    Encounter
        a.    Shannon Jung lists a variety of insights that can be gained from voluntary fasting.  Have
                those who have fasted before share their opinions regarding these insights.  Do they find
                them to be accurate?  If not, what was different for them? 
        b.    Charlie Raynal affirms that fasting “requires a profound personal, even physically
                commitment, which is different from and contrary to most of our ordinary life-style choices.”
                 Admittedly, Raynal has “never regularly fasted from food as a Christian discipline.” 
                Consider and share together as a large group:  Has this conversation or these readings
                altered your own personal opinion with respect to fasting?  If so, how? 

    4.    Respond – Raynal asks for support on behalf of Bread for the World, listing several ways in
            which that organization seeks “justice for hungry people.”   Share with each other ways in
            which participants and or their families have, on some level, sought such justice.  What are
            other ways to support this particular justice cause? 
        a.    United Nations World Food Program, found on the web at www.wfp.org
        b.    Bread for the World, found on the web at www.bread.org
        c.    The PCUSA’s November Fast focusing on the Global Food Crisis, found on the web at www.pcusa.org/foodcrisis/
        d.    Compassion International, found on the web at www.compassion.com
        e.    Others? 

    5.    Closing – End with prayer for those who are hungry—for those who fast, and for those who
            simply do not have enough food.  Pray for the courage to act—either by fasting or participating
            in one of the many organizations that work to end hunger.  Pray especially for those who do the
            work of those organizations, that they might find strength and courage in their endeavors. 
 

Lesson Three
We Come As Guests Invited:  The Lord’s Supper


Concept

The purpose of this lesson is to examine how the Lord’s Supper enables us to focus ourselves more clearly on living in light of the reign of God. 

Timeframe


The lesson is written for a 45-minute class period.  However, adjustments can be made to accommodate particular situations as needed.  

Goals

The goal of this session is to encourage participants to think about the global food crisis as it relates to the sacramental meal of the Lord’s Supper, shedding light on our own neediness amdist our abundance.  Participants will be challenged to reframe their understanding of the sacrament of the Lord’s Supper in a way that acknowledges both the deep hunger for God and the need for communion with one another.  It will also challenge participants to think of ways in which they can extend the table of Christ out into the world each day, taking stands against injustices related to food production and consumption, as well as the epidemic of global hunger.

Objectives
Participants will:
    1.     identify ways in which the Lord’s Supper allows us to focus our lives. 
    2.    critically examine the way in which a particular congregation practices the Sacrament of
            Communion, e.g. intinction, coming forward, passing trays with bread and cups, sterling
            silver or pottery serving pieces, type of bread, type of “wine,” etc. 
    3.    name at least three of Jung’s core meanings of the Lord’s Table, and as echoed by Long. 
    4.    summarize the importance of the Lord ’s Table both for our own sake, as well as for the sake
             of all God’s people, and to name ways in which we can honor that sacred meal and space
            in how we prepare for and understand it. 
    5.    recognize the connection between the hunger we feel as we approach the Lord’s Table and
            the satiation we feel after we “taste and see,” and the hunger that our brothers and sisters
            feel when they have not eaten for days, and the satiation they feel after they eat a bowl of
            rice and a glass of clean water. 

Preparation

    1.    Participants should have read Shannon Jung’s lead article, “God’s Diet and the Retraining
            of Desire,
” as well as Kim Long’s response. 
    2.    Arrange the room in a way that is conducive to both large group discussion and small group
            sharing, ideally with tables for 4 to 6 people that are all easily accessible and arranged to
            face a common space in one area of the room. 
    3.    Write the following statement on the board:  “Reflect within your group about a time when
            you participated in the Lord’s Supper and found it particularly meaningful or moving.  Describe
            that time with as much detail as possible.  Share with your group what it was that made it so
            memorable for you.”
    4.    Have 3 or 4 copies of each of the Nouwen quotes (in “Encounter” below) pre-printed on strips
            of paper for distribution and consideration in small groups. 

Materials

    1.    Bible
    2.    White / Chalk board and pens / chalk
    3.    Paper / pencils at each table
    4.    Copies of Nouwen quotes


Sequence

    1.    Opening – (See question on board) As participants gather, have them share with one another
            a time when they participated in the Lord’s Supper and found it particularly meaningful or
            moving.  Have them describe that time with as much detail as possible, then invite them to
            share within their small group what it was that made that time so memorable. 

    2.    Explore
        a.    Assign the following passages for small group consideration.  Instruct each group to read
                the assigned text together, then summarize the context in which the meal is taking place,
                highlighting anything surprising or unusual. 
                    •    Matthew 26:20-29
                    •    Mark 14:17-25
                    •    Luke 22:7-23
                    •    1 Corinthians 11:17-26
                Convene with the large group and consider together the similarities and differences
                between the original context/s and the context in which we celebrate the Holy Meal in
                our time.  Include the “setup” and the “procedural” components of the Lord’s Supper as
                practiced by your particular congregation.  What elements of the “original” context do you
                particularly appreciate?  Not appreciate?  What elements of your current context do you
                particularly appreciate?  Not appreciate? 
        b.    Does the way in which you participate in the Lord’s Supper in your particular context reflect
                the sins of idolatry, self-pride, and / or desire?  If  so, how so?  If not, how do you manage to
                avoid it? 

    3.    Encounter – Assign each small group one of the two quotes below.  Have them discuss the
            related questions within their small group, then reconvene the larger group and let each
            small group share its quote as well as their responses to it. 
        a.    The late Henri Nouwen wrote:
                 “When we invite friends for a meal, we do much more than offer them food
                    for their bodies. We offer friendship, fellowship, good conversation, intimacy,
                    and closeness.  When we say, ‘Help yourself…take some more…don’t be
                    shy…have another glass,’ we offer our guests not only our food and our drink
                    but also ourselves.  A spiritual bond grows, and we become food and drink for
                     one another.”1   
                Reflect on these thoughts with regard to our own hunger and the hunger of the world.  Is
                it a valid assertion, both for our dinner tables and our Communion Table?   If so, how are
                 we embodying that bond beyond the table?  If not, how might we begin to more fully
                embody becoming “food and drink for one another” beyond the Table and beyond Sunday?     
        b.    Again, from Henri Nouwen:
                “The table is one of the most intimate places in our lives.  It is there that we
                  give ourselves to one another.  When we say, ‘Take some more, let me serve
                  you another plate, let me pour you another glass, don’t be shy, enjoy it,’ we
                  say a lot more than our words express. We invite our friends to become part
                  of our lives. We want them to be nurtured by the same food and drink that
                 nurture us
. We desire communion…Strange as it may sound, the table is the
                 place where we want to become food for one another.  Every (meal) can
                 become a time of growing communion with one another.”2
            Reflect again on Nouwen’s words, focusing on the sentence in bold.  Compare that to Long’s
            quote from Bodies, Bread, and Resurrection. Consider each quote in light of the global food
            crisis, then consider how each of these quotes “heighten our desire to enact that banquet here
            and now.”   

    4.    Respond – It is hard for one to even be aware of spiritual hunger when his or her physical
            hunger is so very real and painful.  Jung reminds us that “the faith inherent in the Lord’s
            Supper points the way beyond complicity, even weak complicity…God gives to all without
            condition and calls us all to a community of mutual benefit.”  Kim Long reminds us that at
            Table, “we are not fed only for our own sakes; we are sent out to be Christ’s own body.” 
            How might we more fully embody this meal beyond the Table, becoming, as Long suggests,
            “ourselves bread for a hungry world?” 

    5.    Closing – Close with the following prayer: 

            “Give us thankful hearts…in this season of Thy Thanksgiving. 
            May we be thankful for health and strength, for sun and rain and peace. 
            Let us seize the day and the opportunity and strive for that greatness of spirit
            that measures life not by its disappointments but by its possibilities, and   
            let us ever remember that true gratitude and appreciation shows itself
            neither in independence nor satisfaction but passes the gift joyfully on in  
            larger and better form.”3
 

Lesson Four
Feast or Famine? Amnesia or Gratitude?  Action…or Not? 


Concept

The purpose of this lesson is to summarize the previous three lessons and the personal discoveries that have resulted from the study of them, using Brueggemann’s piece as a guide, in such a way that participants will be challenged to act in some way to take a stand against one or more of the injustices in the global food economy. 

Timeframe

The lesson is written for a 45-minute class period.  However, adjustments can be made to accommodate particular situations as needed.  

Goals

The goal of this session will be to guide participants towards a deeper understanding of God’s goodness for the bounty given to us, as well as toward a heightened awareness of the responsibility we all have to be aware of our communal nature each time we sit at table, wherever we are and with whomever we dine.  Participants will be challenged to become more conscious of the of ways in which we live as a “community of amnesia” rather than a “community of gratitude.”  Finally, participants will be encouraged to make a positive personal step NOW towards doing something proactive about the global food crisis with which we all live, and to which we are all called to respond.   

Objectives
Participants will:
    1.    identify stories in the Hebrew Scriptures (Old Testament) that suggest that losing dependence
           on God leads us deeper into the sins of idolatry
            and self-pride.
    2.    name some the dangers of living as self-sufficient people rather than God-dependent people,
            as evidenced in the Hebrew Scriptures. 
    3.    summarize an appropriate and reasonable response to the global food crisis, and to express
           
an understanding of the responsibility we have to             ourselves, our community, and to the
            whole of humanity. 
    4.    recognize the dangers inherent in becoming a community no longer dependent on God. 

Preparation

    1.    Participants should have read Shannon Jung’s lead article, “God’s Diet and the Retraining
            of Desire
,” as well as Walter Brueggemann’s response. 
    2.    Arrange the room in a way that is conducive to both large group discussion and small group
            sharing, ideally with tables for 4 to 6 people that are all easily accessible and arranged to
            face a common space in one area of the room. 
    3.    Write the following statement on the board:  “Reflect within your small group on the past three
           lessons, sharing with each other ways in which your awareness of your own ‘weak complicity’
            as grown as a result of our time together.  Make notes as needed and be prepared to share
            some of your discoveries with the larger group.” 
    4.    Have 3 or 4 copies each of the Jung and Brueggemann quotes typed out and ready for
            distribution.  (See “Encounter” below.)

Materials

    1.    Bible
    2.    White / Chalk board and pens / chalk
    3.    Paper / pencils at each table
    4.    Copies of Jung and Brueggemann quotes

Sequence

    1.    Opening – (See question on board) As participants gather, have them share with one another
            reflections from the previous three lessons, and how their own awareness of ‘weak complicity’
            has grown as a result of this study.

    2.    Explore -
        a.    Assign the following passages for small group consideration.  Instruct each group to read
                the assigned text together, then consider what these
                ancient texts might be saying to us today.  How do they speak to our sins of idolatry and self-pride? 
                    •    Amos 6:4-6b
                    •    Exodus 16: 17- 21
                    •    Deuteronomy 6:10-15
                    •    Deuteronomy 8:1-17
                Convene with the large group and share your findings.  

    3.    Encounter – Discuss together within small groups what each of you hears in the following
            admonitions from Jung and Brueggemann. 
        a.    Jung writes,
              “God has created food for our delight and for our sharing.  The two
                together call us to enrich ourselves when we share our possession
                with others.  Sharing with all others produces a peace wherein we
                discover our other’s satisfaction is our greatest satisfaction.” 
        Brueggemann writes:
              “The singers and teachers in Israel knew that choices must be made. 
                And they apparently knew that gold—that is, money, property, control,
                leverage—is a compelling lust.  The pursuit of gold readily translates
                into food, into control of the food supply, and into the capacity to take
                food needed by others for the enhancement of self.  Such a desire is
                community-destroying.  By contrast a desire for the commandments of
                YHWH is community-enhancing, because the commandments continue
                to insist that one’s future is linked to ones’ neighbor in a common destiny.” 

    4.    Respond
        a.    Have the participants respond to the above quotes by doing the following:  Make two
                columns on the board.  In one column, have the participants list ways in which their
                food practices, as individuals, families, a church, or a community, might be guilty of
                community destruction.  In the other column, have them list ways in which their food
                practices, as individuals, families, a church, or a community might be engaged in the
                work of community enhancement.  Discuss ways that the class, the church, and the
                community might work together to make the “community enhancement” list longer than
                the “community destruction” list.  
        b.    Have the participants commit / pledge to either i) adopt one habit that will be a positive
                step towards responding to God’s call with respect to the global food crisis, or ii) cease
                to engage in one habit
which makes them “weakly complicit” with the injustices that are
                present in the global food system that lead to a dichotomy of “feast or famine.”  Have them
                write their pledges on a piece of paper and share them with other participants for whom
                they can each be  accountability partners. 

    5.    Closing – Read the following quote from Mark Hanlon, senior vice president, USA, at
            Compassion International, and then close with a “popcorn” prayer, allowing participants
            are given the chance to lift up their own prayer as the Spirit moves them.  Have someone
            volunteer to close the prayer when all have offered their own prayers.  

            "Prayer is the greatest action you can take in combating this unfortunate event.
             Most people don't know what to do in the face of such a significant global crisis.
            We are encouraging people to start with prayer.” 4
 

Notes


1 Nouwen, Henri J. M., Bread for the Journey:  A Daybook of Wisdom and Faith (San Francisco:
         Harper Collins Publishers, 1985), October 1st devotional.

2 Ibid, February 16th devotional.

3 DuBois, W.E.B. as found in A Grateful Heart: Daily Blessings for the Evening Meal from Buddha
        to the Beatles, M.J. Ryan, editor. (San Francisco:  Conari Press, 1994), p. 51. 

4 From Business Network via www.bnet.com, found at
        http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_pwwi/is_200806/ai_n27511734

 


Annotated Bibliography
By: Kevin M. Weber (MDiv ’09)



Beckmann, David and Arthur Simon. Grace at the Table:
        Ending Hunger in God’s World
.  (New York: Paulist
        Press, 1999).   


    Written by the current and former president of Bread for the World (and coalition of Christians advocating on behalf the issues of hunger), this book offers practical and theological reflections of the need for action.  Based upon years of reflection and work around fighting world hunger, Beckmann and Simon explain the issue of world hunger from biblical, political, economic and social perspectives.  The two also over practical solutions that would help address hunger from both a governmental and individual perspective.  The last chapter highlights the work of Bread for the World, an organization that both are obviously deeply committed to.  The benefit of this book is that it points readers to specific ways in which they can get involved and engage issues of hunger on a personal level.


Grassi, Joseph A. Broken Bread & Broken Bodies:
        The Lord’s Supper & World Hunger
.
        (Maryknoll, NY: Orbis Books, 2004).  
   

    Grassi explores the symbolic and sacramental meaning of the Eucharist as it pertains to global hunger crisis.  “Do this in remembrance of me” (1 Cor. 11:24) has long shaped our understanding of the Eucharist celebration.  Grassi notes that this remembrance is more than simply a recollection of a particular person or particular events.  Rather, in our remembrance we are called to a “public pledge of imitation and discipleship” (ix).  In short, by accepting the body of Christ we are pledging to lead the life of Christ.  This concept is explored in great detail in Part I, entitled “The Eucharist and Radical Discipleship” and will lead us to action and service to the poor and hungry.
For Grassi, central to this life of Christ is the call to provide food to the hungry.  He believes that an understanding of and participation in the Eucharist celebration can help empower communities to social action that would move us closer to ending the global hunger crisis.  Part II of Grassi’s work, entitled “The Eucharist/Last Supper: Sacrament and Action – Sign of the Kingdom”, explores the connection between the Eucharist as sacrament and human liberation.  In this way we are empowered to continue Christ’s work of liberation of the poor, the oppressed and the hungry.  


Hollar, Larry. Hunger for the Word: Lectionary Reflections on Food and Justice.
    (Collegeville, MN: Liturgical Press, 2004).  
     

    Hollar, an ordained Presbyterian elder and the senior regional organizer with Bread for the World, has compiled a series of hunger-based reflections based upon lectionary readings for year A.  The fourteen writers included in this book, draw upon personal stories of faith and mission to express the continuing need for awareness and aid to a world in a constant state of hunger.  Along with reflections on lectionary texts, this book also provides possible children’s lesson topics as well as musical suggestions.  This book would be an extremely valuable resource for churches who are looking to expand awareness of social justice and world hunger.


Jung, L. Shannon. Food For Life: The Spirituality and Ethics of Eating. (Minneapolis, MN:
    Augsburg Fortress, 2004).


    Jung brilliantly discusses the relationships between individuals, food and God.  Touching on the customs of eating, feasting, fasting, and the Eucharist celebration Jung beautifully describes the Christian relationship to food.  In this way he seamlessly transitions from practical individual practices to the empowerment of global responsibility and involvement.
    This book does not discuss food issues in a tone of guilt or judgment but rather emphasizes the communal nature and joy of life food customs can represent.   Our practices and customs around food are opportunities to experience the grace of God.  This book is broken up into three sections “God’s Purposes for Eating”, “Eating and Food System Disorders”, and “Eating for Life”, which serve as road markers on the journey to understanding and empowerment concerning food.
    The strength of this book is rooted in our practical everyday experiences with food.  Issues of food are not discussed as simply a missional or moral obligation but rather as fundamental and personal relationship that impacts the ways in which our faith is articulated and experienced everyday. 


Jung, L. Shannon. Sharing Food: Christian Practices for Enjoyment. (Minneapolis, MN:
    Augsburg Fortress, 2006).


    In this work Jung calls of a more intentional and faithful devotion to the “mundane” act of eating.  Recognizing that God is in every activity and experience, Jung describes how our customs and actions can be deeply spiritual practices and “avenues to the presence of God” (pg 2).  The book is broken up into sections focusing on the practical spiritual opportunities surrounding food such as: Saying Grace, Sharing Hospitality, Feasting in Community, Preparing Food, Fasting for Life, Honoring the Body, and The Lord’s Supper.
    Jung describes how our customs around food when taken spiritually can lead us to the honoring and cultivation of both our personal bodies and the communal Body of Christ.  With writing that accentuates the joy and communal nature of food, this is an excellent book for study and conversation in the church.  With Jung as a guide, congregations an begin to shift their understanding of food from simply missional objectives to deeply personal and spiritual expressions of faith that will in turn nourish and strength our natural and spiritual bodies.


McGovern, George. Third Freedom: Ending Hunger in Our Time. (New York: Simon &
    Schuster, 2001).


    Long time politician and 1972 Democratic presidential candidate George McGovern has spent his entire life addressing issues of world hunger.  His boyhood experiences in the 1930s of hunger during the depression helped shape and focus his desire on ending issues of hunger around the world.  This text trace traces the path U.S. involvement in the global fight against hunger.  Not surprisingly, many of McGovern’s own political initiatives are highlighted. 
    Yet this book reads not as historical account but rather a passionate plea of action and responsibility.  McGovern unveils his five-point plan aimed at ending world hunger:
    •    The United States should take the lead in the UN working with universal school lunch programs
    •    The American supplemental nutrition program for low-income families should go worldwide
    •    The UN must establish food reserves around the world
    •    Developing countries must be assisted in improving their own farm production, food processing and food distribution
    •    High-yielding scientific agriculture, including genetically modified crops, must be further encouraged and developed.
McGovern recognizes the controversial nature of some of these proposals yet feels strongly that issues of world hunger are not moral obligations rather than ethical dilemmas.  This work aims to brings issues of world hunger back into national discussions, and would serve as a terrific conversation starter.


McGovern, George and Bob Dole, Donald Messer. Ending Hunger Now: A Challenge to
    Persons to Faith
.  (Minneapolis, MN: Fortress Press, 2005)   
   

    Politicians George McGovern and Bob Dole unite with theologian Donald Messer to write this moving piece addressing the need for people of faith to join hands in the effort to stop word hunger.  This piece is peppered with unbelievable facts and personal stories directed at addressing the global hunger crisis.  Such as that among the 850 million (300 million of which are children) people in the “two-thirds world” that are hungry, 30,000 will die from starvation before this time tomorrow.  
    “We act like ending hunger is an ethical option rather than a moral obligation”(p.16).  The discussion in this book does not approach issues of faith from the right or the left side of the pew, but rather is directed at the entire body of people of faith. This book is designed to spark conversations and discussions and empower congregations to action.   This would be an excellent text upon which to base weekly forums, conversations, or studies.


Pence, Gregory, ed. The Ethics of Food: a reader of the twenty-first century. (Lanham, MD:
    Rowman & Littlefield, 2002).   
   

    Pence notes that food shapes our lives. While a necessity for sustaining life, our ever-growing, ever-changing modern culture food has simply become a commodity.  Today we are faced with a myriad of choices and options when it comes to food.  From overly greasy fast-food burgers to organically grown soy products, food comes to us in a variety of shapes and forms.  The ethical and moral more layers of the meaning and use of food continue to grow. Yet Pence finds it odd that the ethical depth of food has yet to be explored.
    This book consists of twenty articles organized around nine general topics and explores the ethical relationship between human beings and food.  From the unique connections between religion and food, to the ethicality of genetically modified (GM) food, the implications and relationships of food are studied.  Where is the overall value in food?  Where should it be?  How do we weigh the necessities of feeding the most people with the commitment of environmental safety?  These articles tackle tough questions, and hope to further the level of debate and understanding of food.  Pence adds, “how we think about food is really important, and such thinking helps define who we are and who we want to become, both as individuals and as a common humanity.


Sider, Ronald J.  Rich Christians in the Age of Hunger: Moving From Moving from Affluence to
    Generosity.
(Nashville, Tenn.: Thomas Nelson, 2005).  


Sider’s enlightening work, originally published in 1978 is now in its 5th edition and has been updated to stay relevant in the 21st century discussion of food and world hunger.  Sider lays the groundwork for his discussion by surveying the landscape of hunger issues and reporting the tragic stories he has found (Part One).  His discussion then moves into the realm of theology and biblical witness, describing God’s call for compassion to the poor and needy (Part Two).  Next he examines the root causes of poverty in the world acknowledging that there is truth in both the liberal and conservative voice (Part Three).  Finally, he turns to a message of hope describing way in which this issue can be engaged and addressed (Part Four).    Throughout this book is the call for Christians to spend less on the self and to invest more in each other.  The question lingers over the head to the reader – will we remain in affluence, or allow ourselves to be transformed in generosity?


Toton, Suzanne C. World Hunger: The Responsibility of Christian Education. (Maryknoll, NY,
    Orbis Books, 1982).    
   

    Written in the early 1980s World Hunger, began asking the questions: what responsibility do Christian Educators have in regards to issues of world hunger?    Influenced heavily by liberation theology, Toton begins to explore the relationship between Christian education and the work of systematic changes and liberation.  She notes, “In short, this book is an attempt to work out the theory and practice of educating for justice with respect to the problem of world hunger” (xi).  While pedagogies have progressed mightily over the last twenty years, we still have not yet realized the potential of the pedagogies of liberation.  Oppression, poverty, and hunger still exist outside the realms of many Church services and classrooms.  In this way, Toton’s work is still as relevant and new today as it was when first published. 


Online Resources

Bread For the World
    Bread for the World started in 1972 by a small group of Catholics and Protestants who gathered to ponder ways in which their unified voice might influence US policy centered on issues of hunger.  The movement has grown into a nationwide Christian initiative.
    Bread for the World’s mission statement states “Bread for the World is a collective Christian voice urging our nation’s decision makers to end hunger at home and abroad.  This website is a great source for updates on current hunger related issues, and provides opportunities for individuals to get involved.
       
                VIDEO: Bread For the World
                Here is a very moving video that describes Bread for the World and the central role that advocacy plays in faith.

                2009 Hunger Report
                Global Development: Charting a New Course, Bread for the World Institute’s
                2009 annual report, presents possible reforms to the U.S. foreign assistance
                that would increase the effectiveness of national poverty reduction initiatives. 
                The report also encourages our national leaders to set concrete goals that
                would aid growing poverty and hunger issues.  The report takes into account
                the current financial situations had presents food assistance programs as a

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