Friday, March 04, 2011

A Review and a Study Guide for Exodus from Hunger

Robin Stephenson, Bread for the World's western region field organizer, wrote a great review about Bread for the World President David Beckmann's new book Exodus from Hunger  in the Bread blog.

If this is your first exposure to the book, there is a special section for Exodus from Hunger in the Bread Web site.

Robin read the book during a recent organizing trip to Montana.  Here's what she wrote in the blog post entitled Dig Deeper with Exodus Study Guide:
Beckmann, Bread’s president, situates the work of ending hunger and poverty as an opening to allow God to work in our lives. “God did not send Moses to Pharaoh’s court to take up a collection of canned goods and blankets,” he writes. “God sent Moses to Pharaoh with a political challenge: To let the Hebrew slaves go free.”
I was so inspired by the book that when I finally landed in Kalispell, Montana, and gave my presentation at Northridge Lutheran Church, I was filled with excitement about what is possible when we let God work in those spaces
You can enjoy the book on your own and use as an inspiration for your personal anti-hunger efforts.  Or you can get together with a group of friends or a church social justice committee to exchange impressions and ideas.   Robin highly recommends the study guide that was put together with the book.  The guide was developed by Kathy Wolf Reed, author of Glee: A Study for Adults.

Here is one sample question in the study guide.
1. On pages 96–98 Beckmann tells the story of Pat Pelham, a young mother from Birmingham, Alabama. On page 103 he shares the story of Connie Wick, an elderly retiree from Indianapolis. Take a moment to study these women’s stories. Then, on the whiteboard or newsprint, list the ways these women were similar in their circumstances and their approaches to grassroots organization. Then list the ways in which these women differed. How are their lives like or unlike the lives of people in your group? How might their efforts offer hope to those looking to become involved with U.S. politics?
The book not only invites us to use our thoughts to look at our personal and collective efforts on hunger. We are also summoned to prayer and reflection.  Here's a great spiritual exercise from the study guide.
The first step Beckmann offers in deepening one’s personal involvement in the fi ght against hunger is to pray intentionally. As a group, say together the Lord’s Prayer, but after each line allow several moments to refl ect silently and carefully on the words in that line (“Our Father, who art in heaven . . .Hallowed be thy name . . .”). Allow the Spirit to guide the length of your pauses. When you have fi nished, share what felt different about praying this familiar prayer in this way. Did you fi nd new meaning in any of the words?
Click here to download the study guide (in .pdf format)

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