Sunday, June 24, 2018

Baha'i Community of Albuquerque Hosts Hunger 101 Workshop

Give us our daily bread and grant Thine increase in the necessities of life, that we may be dependent on none other than Thee, may commune wholly with Thee, may walk in Thy ways and declare Thy mysteries. Thou art the almighty and the Loving and the Provider of all mankind. - 'Abdu'l-Bahá

The Baha'i Center of Albuquerque was the fifth congregation to host the Interfaith Hunger Coalition's Hunger 101 workshop. Nearly a dozen people gathered to learn about the history of the coalition and gather information about hunger here in Albuquerque as well as the state of New Mexico and globally.

Barbara Malloy
Barbara Malloy, a member of the Baha'i Community, started us off with Baha'i prayers and reflections, including these words from Abdu'l-Bahá.

"You must turn attention more earnestly to the betterment of the conditions of the poor. Do not be satisfied until each one with whom you are concerned is to you as a member of your family.  Regard each one either as a father, or as a brother, or as a sister, or as a mother, or as a child. If you attain to this, your difficulties will vanish, you will know what to do. This is the teaching of Bahá'u'lláh"

Ari Herring
Ari Herring, executive director of the Rio Grande Food Project, offered background and history of her organization and presented opportunities for the Baha'i Center to become involved in the RGFP's work in the community.

The RGFP and the Bahai community are neighbors, creating a natural opportunity to connect. This includes involving the Baha'i youth (as well as adults) in the RGFP's proposed community garden."We could walk there from here," said Ari, whose organization is one of 18 endorsing partner organizations of the IHC.

Participants heard about hunger in New Mexico via the powerpoint presented at the beginning of the workshop was well as information provided by Joy Dinaro, who is the chair the IHC's Education Committee and is also a member of Immaculate Conception Catholic Church.

Ellen Buelow, chair of the IHC's, advocacy committee spoke of connecting with legislators and candidates for office about hunger in New Mexico. Ellen, who is a member of Our Lady of the Most Holy Rosary Catholic Community, also led an exercise similar to the hunger banquet. This exercise highlighted the disparities that exist globally in terms of income, education, gender and well-being. The exercise also highlighted the wide diversity of people who form part of our world.

Joy Dinaro
The Albuquerque Baha'i Community is one of 17 endorsing congregations of the Interfaith Hunger Coalition (as of June 2017). Three other endorsing congregations have hosted a Hunger 101 Workshop, including First Presbyterian Church (Albuquerque), Our Lady of the Most Holy Rosary Catholic Community and Congregation Albert.

The Jewish Community Center of Albuquerque has also hosted a Hunger 101 workshop. We have also prepared programs similar to Hunger 101 for Church Women United and the Women of the Presbytery of Santa Fe.

Members of the Baha'i Congregation
Message in the hallway at the Baha'i Center

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