Sunday, January 29, 2006

An Offering of Letters Workshop

Saturday, March 11
9:15-11:15 a.m.

St. Andrew Presbyterian Church
5301 Ponderosa NE
(near San Mateo & Comanche) Albuquerque

You heard about the Live 8 Concert last summer. Then you learned about the plea from rock singer Bono to join him in Making Poverty History. Then you noticed a few friends wearing the white bands around their wrist symbolizing their commitment to The ONE Campaign. Perhaps you have one of those white bands yourself. Then you remember you signed that ONE declaration last fall. And then you wonder what else you can do to Make Poverty History...

Look no further. Through Bread for the World’s Offering of Letters campaign for 2006, One Spirit, One Will, Zero Poverty, people of faith and conscience will join together to urge our leaders to fulfill their promises to the world's hungry and poor people. This offering will seek significant increases in poverty-focused development assistance to meet the Millennium Development Goals. We expect the ONE Campaign to be pushing in the same direction.

The eight UN Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) – which range from halving extreme poverty to halting the spread of HIV/AIDS and providing universal primary education, all by the target date of 2015 – form a blueprint agreed to by all the world’s countries and all the world’s leading development institutions. They have galvanized unprecedented efforts to meet the needs of the world’s poorest.

Please join us on March 11 to learn more about the One Spirit, One Will, Zero Poverty campaign. We will look at resources for the offering of letters (including a videotape), discuss letter-writing strategies and hear from a couple of speakers. Hope to see you there!

Saturday, January 07, 2006

ONE Spirit. ONE Will. ZERO Poverty

Three zeros serve as the main symbol of Bread for the World's 2006 Offering of Letters. Actually, it's two O's and one Zero. ONE Spirit. ONE Will. ZERO Poverty.

The BFW staff and board members chose this title to emphasize that our letter-writing campaign in 2006 will be tied directly to The ONE Campaign, the global movement to Make Poverty History.

There is other symbolism attached to the O's and the Zero.

ONE Spirit symbolizes our connection to all those other organizations and individuals involved in the global Make Poverty History campaign.
"People in Africa, Latin America and Asia are all working in their communities and through their governments to better their lives, to foster a more promising future for their children," says a BFW brochure. And through efforts like the ONE Campaign, millions of people in the United States have added their voices, multiplying the volume and impact of the movement. The Spirit moves. People act. And meaningful change starts to happen.

ONE Will
symbolizes the symbolic commitments already made by our country toward acheiving the U.N.'s
Millenium Development Goals, which aim to cut extreme hunger and poverty by half and to substantially improve health, education and livelihoods in developing countries by 2015. "Achieving these goals will require political courage and leadership – political will – reflecting the public's desire for our government do more to help vulnerable people in the poorest parts of the world," says Bread for the World.

ZERO Poverty represents the ultimate goal of The ONE Campaign to eradicate poverty and disease.
Extreme poverty and hunger — the kind that kills, the kind that keeps more than 2 billion people in this world living on less than $2 a day — has no place in our world today. Through the work of the Spirit and the will of the people, we can end poverty, " says the BFW promotional brochure.

New Mexico Strategy
In 2005, a wide cross section of New Mexicans wrote more than 1,100 letters to our elected representatives in Congress asking them to support the Make Poverty History campaign and the Millenium Development Goals resolution. Twelve congregations in Albuquerque, Santa Fe, Las Cruces and Gallup were responsible for the bulk of the letters. But students at St. Michael's High School in Santa Fe and the University of New Mexico also made their voices heard in Congress. In what may be a historic development, we convinced four out of our five representatives to support HR2717 and S 1120, the legislation tied to the Make Poverty History campaign.

In 2006, we would like to encourage the same congregations who wrote letters last year to again lend their voices to the Bread for the World campaign so we can achieve a similar result on behalf of poor and hungry people around the world. If you participated in the 2005 campaign, and sent in your evaulation sheet, you will be receiving a free Offering of Letters packet, which includes a booklet, poster, videotape and other resources.

We're also looking for new participants. If your New Mexico church did not participate last year, and you would like to participate this year, please drop a note to Carlos Navarro,, stating your desire to participate. We will work with you to try to get you the necessary resources.

Finally, we will continue our coalitional efforts on The ONE campaign. It's only January, and we already have a handful of opportunities to work with our coalition partners and other organizations to promote The Make Poverty History campaign. The Center for Action and Contemplation is planning to have the Millenium Development Goals a centerpiece of its annual Good Friday Way of the Cross...The theme of New Mexico Public Health Association's annual meeting is "Poverty and the Health of the Public," which will include a session on The ONE campaign. I'm sure other similar opportunities will arise during the year.

We hope you will participate in one way or another in 2006 to the campaign to achieve One Spirit, One Will, Zero Poverty.