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Delaware-Maryland Synod Invites You to Their Hunger Task Force Virtual Gathering

Published on 12/02/2021
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Jenn Ruebush
Community Outreach Coordinator

We invite you to attend the synod’s “Feeding Our Neighbors: A Call to Generosity” virtual gathering on Sunday, November 14, 2021. It will be from 4 to 5 p.m. via Zoom. The event is being organized by the The Synod Hunger Task Force (HTF). All are invited to participate in this time of fellowship, storytelling, and learning about the numerous feeding ministries across the synod and beyond. (The Greek word “synod” means “walking together,” and the Delaware-Maryland Synod is a regional organization of Lutheran churches.) As their flyer says, “This life changing work is vital for so many of our neighbors and needs your tending and generous support.” Funds raised from this event will go directly toward our communities and those who face food insecurity on a regular basis.

One of LCS’ most dedicated supporters on food insecurity through his efforts each year on the LCS Walk/Run, retired Pastor Fred Melton, also is Chair of the HTF. Pastor Fred had a rich background in urban ministry before he came to St. Mark’s Lutheran Church, where he served as pastor for 23 years. Having spent time in Richmond, VA; New York City; and Detroit, MI; as well as Kenya and Tanzania in Africa, Pastor Fred learned a lot about hunger and food insecurity. “You learn when you go somewhere, and you get impacted further when you’re in the guts of a community,” he shared. His drive to minister has continued even after he retired in 2015.

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The Hunger Task Force wrote the 2015 Hunger Advocacy Resolution of the Synod. That resolution called for every congregation to take one more concrete step to support the World Hunger Program of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA). Joining the HTF, Pastor Fred personally called 170 pastors and churches and kept following up with them. In doing so, he realized that many were involved in local feeding ministries and food pantries even if they were not yet actively supporting the ELCA global efforts.

The HTF is looking to deepen supportive relationships with their churches. One way they hope to encourage that is by offering matching grants. The HTF wants to partner with churches to expand resources for local food pantries and feeding ministries during this time when more people are facing food insecurity. The grant offers $500 or $1000 to match a congregation’s donation of the same amount. Realizing that individual congregations know best who serves their particular communities, the HTF is open to a variety of ideas rather than setting a lot of grant restrictions.

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Please consider attending the November 14th HTF virtual gathering. Pass along this invitation to others. The program will include a couple of testimonials, data about food insecurity, and a video of Baltimore Outreach Services, which serves homeless women with children. One goal of the evening is to raise awareness about the HTF and the role of churches in going beyond direct food ministries to include more transformative projects that address the root causes of hunger. A second goal is to raise $40,000 to support these efforts, including the matching grant program. As Pastor Fred explained, “Most people understand hunger and want to do something to help people.” We hope you join us online.

If you are not able to attend but would like to support local feeding ministries and pantries (including LCS), you can donate online (select “Local Hunger Ministries”). You also can send a check with “Local Hunger” in the memo line to Delaware-Maryland Synod, P.O. Box 826643, Philadelphia, PA 19182-6643.

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