We don't usually get as many congregations in New Mexico to organize letter-writing Sundays in the fall as we do during the spring and early summer.
But two churches in Albuquerque responded to the call from Bread for the World to write letters on Oct. 19. Thanks to the efforts of Else Tasseron, St. Paul Lutheran Church produced 47 letters, while St. Andrew Presbyterian Church got members of the congregation to write 63 letters (kudos to Ester Schneider and Dana Bell).
St. Andrew combined its letter-writing Sunday with an appeal for folks to participate in the CROP Walk (with their legs or with their money) that day.
As part of its strategy to boost interest, organizers put together a very creative script for a dramatic presentation to be presented to the congregation during the service. Here it is:
SCRIPT FOR OFFERING OF LETTERS
(written by Bill Miller and Ester Schneider)
Sunday, October 19, 2008
St. Andrew Presbyterian Church
A: Dana Bell
B. Joe Woodworth
C. Ester Schneider
A: I hear there are a lot of hungry people in the world, even right here in the U.S.
B: Yes, I know. I feel terrible about it, because we have been so fortunate. Most of us here have plenty of food.
C: Too much food! Millions of people are starving, and Americans are dying of obesity.
A: I wish there were something I could do to help. I mean, I give money and all, and bring some groceries on the first Sunday of the month, but it seems like such a drop in the bucket.
B: I know what you mean. I feel so helpless and guilty when I think about millions of people hungry and starving.I just don’t like to think about it.
C: I did hear about this organization called “Bread for the World.” They are trying to make changes in Congress, where it can make a real difference to a lot of people.
A: You mean for Americans. How does it work?
C: No, not just for Americans. Bread for the World supports legislation to relieve hunger around the world. The way it works is that a lot of people who care contact their representatives in Congress, and ask them to do something.
A: But isn’t that kind of vague? Do something!
C: Bread for the World identifies specific bills to support, legislation that can make a real difference to hungry people around the world. Why this morning, right here at Saint Andrew, we have an opportunity to write letters to support Senate Bill 2433.
A: What’s that?
C: This bill would fund U.S. aid programs to help improve agriculture, nutrition, and education, and help small scale farmers improve their yields so they can feed their families and communities. It has already passed the House unanimously, but it’s stuck in the Senate,
B: I never know what to say in a letter like that.
C: That’s why they have suggested wording that you can use, or modify as you wish.
A: And my handwriting’s not very good.
C: But that’s OK - handwritten letters make a real impact. You can just print or write as clearly as you can.
B: Isn’t that when the coffee time is? And if they have cookies or anything else to eat, it’s gone if you don’t get there right away.
C: I guess we could get a cup of coffee and then sit down at the letter-writing table. Plus, I heard there will be some special snacks for the letter writers, so you don’t miss out.
A: But I need to get going. I have a lot to do today. Maybe I’ll just take the information with me and read it at home.
C: You certainly can, but you know human nature. If we don’t do it now, it probably won’t happen.
B: I like to talk to my friends after church, and this is also the only time I have to get some church business done. . . Of course I guess this IS church business.
A: And I don’t have any stamps with me, or envelopes.
C: They will take care of both of those. All you have to do is write the letters.
B:Letters? You mean more than one? Aw, that takes too long! I get hand cramps.
C: Well, even one letter helps. However, for those who are not able to write a letter, the Mission Committee will have letters already typed up. All you have to do is put your Name and address on the letter and the envelope, write a comment of your own, and sign it. They even provide suggested comments.
A: And I’m not really sure if all these letters make a difference anyhow. I mean, is one letter from me really going to matter?
C: Kind of like voting, huh!
B: Yeah! [thinks about it] Well, kind of . . .
A: Don’t they know it’s just Bread for the World getting us to write? Do bills
really get passed because people write these letters?
C: Yes, they do. When they get thousands of letters from all across the country, it does make a difference, and often the bills that Bread for the World supports are passed! But it sounds like you’re just too busy to take time for this today.
A: Well, I suppose I could just write one letter, or maybe two.
B: As long as I can get my coffee first.
I hope to see you both at the round tables in the activity room, writing letters. And for those of us who are also walking in the CROP WALK today, we have plenty of time to write letters.
A.B.C. Come join us. Together we CAN make a difference!