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ELCA World Hunger

A New VBS for 2018!


It’s hard to believe, but summer is just around the corner, and ELCA World Hunger is happy to announce that “God’s Good Creation,” our new Vacation Bible School program for 2018, is now available!

“God’s Good Creation” is a free resource available in both print and as a download. The curriculum invites children of all ages to explore the many gifts God has given our world – and the ways these gifts can help end hunger. Each day focuses on a different animal that is part of the more than 200 projects supported by ELCA World Hunger around the world, including chicks, goats and bees. Rooted in Lutheran theology, children will learn how God has called them to use their gifts to help their neighbors. In addition to daily plans for up to three hours, the program also includes sample schedules, tips for including children of all abilities and song suggestions.

Themes for Each Day:

  • Day One – God created the world, and it is good (Genesis 1:31).
  • Day Two – God can use you whatever size you are (Matthew 13:31-32).
  • Day Three – God Made everyone different and important (1 Corinthians 12:4-6).
  • Day Four – Jesus uses us to bring miracles to life (Matthew 14:20).
  • Day Five – Working together, we can change the world (Ephesians 4:11-12).

Each day begins with a large group opening, including a skit to introduce the daily theme and the animal of the day. This is followed by “family time” – small group sessions to dig deeper into the theme and bible verse for each day. Then, participants travel through five rotations: crafts, games, snacks, storytelling and a “simulation station” – a fun activity to learn more about hunger and how our faith calls us to respond. (Special shout-out to Lisa Cornwell of Christ the Servant Lutheran Church in Bellingham, Wash., for this idea!) At the storytelling station, children will hear about some of the ways animals are helping our neighbors fight hunger in their communities through projects supported by gifts to ELCA World Hunger. Each day ends with a large group session to recap the theme and lessons.

The program is designed to be flexible and can be used in full or in part for three- or four-day VBS programs. The stories and activities are also perfect for Sunday School, family faith formation and children’s sermons throughout the year!

Free posters and downloadable certificates for participants will be available soon!

If you have any questions about “God’s Good Creation” or ELCA World Hunger’s educational resources, please contact Ryan Cumming, program director of hunger education, at


Examining World Hunger at Pine Lake Camp

This is the fifth in a series of posts highlighting hunger-related activities that happened over the summer at ELCA Outdoor Ministry locations with the help of Education/Advocacy grants from ELCA World Hunger. The following is from Pine Lake Camp in Waupaca, Wisconsin.


Crossways Camping Ministries, located at three sites in northeastern Wisconsin, brings people together in Christ so that lives are changed and communities enhanced.  Campers between third grade and high-school grow in their relationship with God and learn to incorporate Christian principles into their daily lives.  This summer we have two hunger education focuses.  The first focus is to learn about hunger by discussing our own eating habits.  The second focus is to learn about hunger as we raise money to combat hunger in other countries. 

At Pine Lake Camp we use our World Awareness time to share the importance of making responsible food choices.  Counselors lead campers through one of three games which we created and/or adapted from other resources.  One opportunity is Food Mile Rummy.  Campers play a traditional rummy card game collecting one card of each food group, as well as a card indicating the number of miles the food has travelled, and a card indicating the number of fossil fuels used in transportation.  The winning camper is the one with a card in each category, the lowest miles travelled, and the lowest fossil fuels used.  Discussion after the game focuses on ways we can reduce the amount of miles our food travels, including, growing our own, and buying food in season.  Campers connect this conversation with our “local food chalk board” hung in the dining hall.  Here campers learn that some of the vegetables on the salad bar are from our camp garden and much of the dairy they are eating is from a nearby dairy.

Another game the campers can play helps them understand the balance between their needs and wants.  Campers choose pictures of things they own or value, like ipods and CD’s.  Then they choose what animal they’d like to buy for a family in need in another country.  The objective is to balance the cost of animal the with the proper amount of items they would need to give up in order to buy the animal.  Campers discuss how much we have in comparison to people in other countries, as well as their own definition of need and want and how they can change their lifestyle so that others may gain from their wealth.

Our second focus this summer is to encourage campers to raise money for ELCA Good Gifts – God’s Global Barnyard.  During Mission Project Time campers first learn from our international counselors.  Then they learn about God’s Global Barnyard and how buying animals for people in other countries helps to combat hunger.  To facilitate learning the campers gather in small groups with information about animals that can be purchased through ELCA Good Gifts.   They design a skit to share with the rest of the campers how a cow, for example, can help nourish a family and community in another country.  Then on Thursday the campers can donate money from their canteen cards towards the mission project.  At closing worship on Friday parents and campers alike find out how much money was raised that week and what animals will be purchased with the money.  As a way to tie into our summer Bible study we’ve put up a huge ark in the chapel to which we adhere the animals purchased throughout the summer.  The weeks we’ve been able to purchase a cow for $500 have been particularly exciting, but we’ve celebrated every animal with lots of applause.  We expect that our focus on hunger education this summer will be change lives and enhance communities once campers leave camp.

Erika Page
Camp Director
Crossways – Pine Lake Camp

In Honor of Mom

Women around the world are models of strength and perserverance. In spite of the fact that they along with their children suffer disproportionately the effects of poverty and hunger, women nonetheless

+ produce an estimated half of the world’s food;
+ are responsible for about 60-80% of food crops in the developing world;
+ and are more likely to spend their income on the wellbeing of their children–buying more nutritious food, purchasing school supplies, and paying for healthcare.

For this reason, women are key players in the fight against hunger and poverty. Consider the following facts.

+ Women’s education has the greatest effect on reducing child malnutrition, accounting for 43% of the reduction in malnutrition in the developing world from 1970-1995.
+ In India’s economic transformation, the states with the highest percentage of women in the labor force grew the fastest and had the largest reductions in poverty.
+ The total value of women’s unpaid house and farm work adds one-third to the world’s gross national product.

ELCA World Hunger recognizes the importance of supporting women in our efforts to combat hunger and poverty here and abroad. Your gifts to the World Hunger Appeal can (among other things) finance a micro-credit loan to woman to start a business or buy a machine to spin wool to increase her productivity. As you celebrate your mom this weekend, consider empowering other women around the globe with a Good Gift.

David Creech

All statistics in this post were taken from the Bread for the World Institute’s 2009 Hunger Report, pp. 60-67.

Cyber Monday: Click and do good

Evidently “cyber Monday,” the Monday after Thanksgiving (December 1), is the biggest online shopping day of the year. If you’re an online shopper, consider these ways to “click and do good.”

1. Visit and scroll down to the “Gifts of Hope” feature at the bottom of the page. Explore the links in the feature to give ELCA Good Gifts, including gifts for God’s Global Barnyard. Follow the “Shop and Give” link to sign up with iGive. Through iGive hundreds of online retailers will donate a percentage of your order to your cause. My online shopping raises about $35 a year for the ELCA World Hunger Appeal.

2. Through December 1, the SERRV International Fair Trade online catalog is offering free ground shipping for personal orders with a minimum purchase of only $25.00. The free ground shipping promotion is only available online and for U.S. addresses.

Thankful blessings, Sue