Attending the 2018 ELCA World Hunger Leadership Gathering in Washington, D.C. as a representative from the South Dakota Synod was both educational and inspirational. I became much more aware of our church’s hunger ministry throughout the world, it’s passion for working toward a just world where all are fed, and the extent to which our church is equipped with faithful folks who care deeply about achieving that vision. This gathering also included advocacy training, and we were fortunate to meet with both of our South Dakota senators as well as Representative Noem’s staffer to convey the ELCA’s position and priorities on the upcoming Farm Bill. I feel blessed to have been a part of the gathering and I am grateful for the financial support I received from Partners Against Hunger to attend the event.
Pastor Randy Gehring, Our Savior’s – Sioux Falls
It was a blessing and honor to attend the ELCA World Hunger Leadership Gathering in Washington, DC as a representative of the South Dakota Synod, Bishop Zellmer and Partners Against Hunger. The theme of the gathering was “Until All Are Fed” and our theme verse…“For such a time as this,” (Esther 4:14) was poignant during our time together in DC, especially in the midst of a government shutdown.
We were privileged to meet with Senator John Thune, Senator Mike Rounds and Representative Kristi Noem’s legislative staffer to advocate for a Farm Bill that promotes a robust and resilient food supply chain and provides good nutrition through domestic and international programs. As Lutherans we are called to love our neighbor and make sure that all are fed. Furthermore, my work in the South Dakota Synod office calls me to work with congregations and leaders, both rostered and lay, many of which are located in rural, farming communities. The reauthorization of the Farm Bill will surely impact them along with their families, businesses and communities. My time in Washington, DC was educational, informative and inspirational. I feel that I gained a wealth of knowledge about ELCA World Hunger and Advocacy as well as our shared work together. I am now equipped to advocate to our congressional leaders not just on the Farm Bill but other public policy issues toward a just world where all are fed.
Crystal McCormick – Synod Staff