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ELCA World Hunger

The raising of our neighbor, Lazarus

The Gospel text for Sunday, March 8, “The Raising of Lazarus,” is found in John 11:1–45. This has been one of my favorite texts for years, ever since I edited an LWT article. The author* wrote something along the lines of “Jesus saved Lazarus from premature death. Unlike Jesus, Lazarus will die again. As followers of Jesus, that’s our challenge, too…to save our neighbors from premature death.

Until that day, this text spoke to me about what Jesus could do (raise people from the dead) and what Jesus was about to do (head to Jerusalem and the cross). Now, when I hear this passage of Scripture I also hear a reminder of what I can do. I am response-able for helping to save my neighbor from premature death.

Premature death: One child dies every five seconds from hunger-related causes. The average life expectancy of a female in Zimbabwe is 37 years; the average life expectancy of a female in the United States is 80 years.**

Life-saving difference: Literacy programs teach parents how to read, and scholarship programs help their children attend graduate from primary school and beyond; wells and reservoirs bring life-giving water to whole communities; animal and agriculture projects help families put food on the table and money in the bank. ELCA domestic hunger grants help congregations, organizations, and ministries help neighbors close to home meet today’s needs and build a better future.

Response-able: We can give generously to the ELCA World Hunger Appeal. We can send advocacy e-mails. We can donate our time and volunteer. Throughout the year we can link our congregations to ELCA World Hunger and Disaster Response.

With God’s grace and spirit: Our eyes open to the needs around us. Our arms open to embrace neighbors we’ll never meet. Our hearts open to care about the people behind the statistics. Our imaginations open to see the possibilities of God. Our hands open in service and generosity.

*I believe the author to be the Rev. Phyllis Kersten, but my sources are unavailable for confirmation.
**The appendices at the back of Bread for the World Institute’s annual reports are a great source for statistical information.

St. Luke’s (Muskegon, MI) gets a star on the calendar

How fun! Visit the link the link below to see how St. Luke’s Lutheran in Muskegon, Michigan has “webbified” the ELCA World Hunger 40-day plus calendar for congregational use during Lent. Thanks to Phil O. for passing this information on; feedback on resources is very helpful! Share what’s working (or not working) in your congregation by posting a comment here or sending an e-mail to Blessings! Sue-s

This Lent we are using the 40 day plus calendar with the offering banks. We are using the recommended table prayers at our church meals each week and have incorporated it into our website ( It has been well received and a great tool.
St. Luke’s Lutheran Church
Muskegon, Michigan

Hunger resources to feed the soul during Lent

Hi, folks! My first post on “Hunger Rumblings” is very practical in nature, as it’s time to order resources for Lent, as Ash Wednesday is February 6. Help your congregation, Sunday School class, circle, committee or other group “take on” for Lent…a journey to feed the soul to gain courage and commitment to feed the hungry. Blessings on your heads! Sue-s

1. ELCA World Hunger and Disaster Appeal’s “God’s Math” 40-day plus calendar and coin box.
40-day calendar: Free. ISBN 978-6-0002-2015-0; 1 pkg=25 calendars.
Coin box: Free. ISBN 978-6-0002-2004-2; 1 pkg=25 boxes.
Request these and other ELCA World Hunger materials by calling 800-638-3522 or by visiting the ELCA Resource catalog online.

2. The ELCA World Hunger Lenten Fellowship Leader’s Guide, pp. 7–11 of the Advent 2007–Easter 2008 edition of ELCA World Hunger Congregation Connections. Request a free copy of Congregation Connections (800-638-3522) or by visiting the ELCA Resource Catalog online store.

3. Order Eco-palms by February 20 for Palm/Passion Sunday.
Visit to order.

4. Sign up and receive daily environmental Lenten devotions online.
Subscribe to the ELCA’s daily 2008 environmental Lentenreflections, “Living Earth: A 40-Day Reflection on OurRelationship With God’s Creation” at
This is a limited subscription; the first e-mail will arrive onAsh Wednesday and the last e-mail will arrive Easter Sunday.