Monday, June 26, 2006

Partnering with the New Mexico Conference of Churches






Inspired by God's call to reconciliation in diversity, we are churches joined together seeking healing, justice, unity and peace through active ministries...

New Mexico Conference of Churches

On a recent Sunday, I had the great honor to be invited to participate in a dialogue sermon with Pastor Sue Gallagher of the Church of the Good Shepherd, a United Church of Christ congregation here in Albuquerque. This was the day when the church had scheduled its Offering of Letters.

One of the "dialogue" topics addressed the role of my Christian faith in my anti-hunger work. My immediate response was to quote one of my spiritual mentors, Father Richard Rohr, founder of the
Center for Action and Contemplation. Father Rohr was asked the question: "Which his more importantant, action or contemplation?" His response was the word "and."

The
New Mexico Conference of Churches works in very much the same way. Spiritual growth and a close relationship with our God are essential to support our work on diversity, peace and justice.

And it is no coincidence that the word justice is very much a part of the mission statements of the NMCC and Bread for the World.

Bread for the World-New Mexico is very honored to have been invited to join the board of directors of the NMCC. Representing us will be Andrea Lucero Watje. She is pictured
above (bottom left hand corner) during a visit with U.S. Rep. Tom Udall during June 2005.

Who better to represent us than Andrea? She recently graduated from the University of New Mexico and will bring a lot of energy and good ideas to the board. Andrea has long been interested in anti-hunger advocacy. Her course work included an honors class called The Eyes of Hunger, looking at the root causes of the problem. She also helped start the first-ever Bread for the World chapter at UNM. We look forward to working closely with the NMCC.

Saturday, June 17, 2006

Best of Luck Zelinda!

For five years, Zelinda Welch has been the face behind the breadwest@bread.org e-mail address.

In this picture, Zelinda is at the front (right side) having dinner with Ann Sims, Lisa Nickerson, Terry Sims, Art Simon and Ruth Hoffman.

Zelinda has been a great organizer. She gave us advice on BFW-related matters, offered encouragement and helped us find the right connections. With her assistance, we were able to strengthen Bread for the World's presence in Santa Fe and Las Cruces (mostly through Peace Lutheran Church).

But Zelinda was not all business. She accompanied a few of us on hikes on the Tree Spring Trail in the Sandias and on that beautiful scenic trail at Tent Rocks. And she was an avid fútbol fan, primarily women's soccer but also the men's version. (I bet she's as excited as I am about the World Cup).

We wish her the best of luck in the next stage of her life, which will be as a student at the University of Southern California's Marshall School of Business. "It's a change, but I think there are some good skills to be learned in that program," said Zelinda. "Additionally there is a need for the business community to be more exposed to new ideas. So that's what I'm trying to do for the next two years."

If anyone wants to keep in touch with Zelinda, her personal e-mail address is: zelindawelch@yahoo.com

Saturday, June 10, 2006

A Place at the Table

In her latest piece, dated June 9, Albuquerque Tribune columnist Carrie Siedman writes a very thoughtful article about hunger.

Siedman asks:

"When was the last time you were hungry?

No, not skipped-breakfast hungry or started-a-new-diet hungry or even flushing-the-system-juice-only-fast hungry.

I mean hungry like you're not sure where your next meal is coming from - or when it comes, what it might be."

One of the paragraphs that stands out the most in the piece talks about our eating habits in America:

"Like many people who grew up in this country during a time of great prosperity and growth, I've never had to worry about not getting enough to eat. More often, it's worrying about how not to eat too much,"
said Siedman.

I wholeheartedly recommend this thought-provoking column, which is entitled "What gnaws isn't hunger but raw guilt." Click here to read full article

[Note: The loaf of bread shown in the picture was used by Peace Lutheran Church (Las Cruces) in its Offering of Letters this year]