Rise Against Hunger
This Lent, we're challenging you to our church-wide fast!
From March 1 to April 12, we're raising $35,000 to provide 100,000 meals for communities around the world through Rise Against Hunger. Each week, we have a different challenge for your family to take on fasting together.
Why do we fast?
For centuries, Christians have practiced fasting during Lent as a reminder of our spiritual hunger for God. Most Christians associate fasting with prayer, with some who view fasting as a way to intensify prayer. John Wesley fasted Thursday from sundown until Friday afternoon each week as a regular spiritual practice. This year, we want our fasts to also be intentional reminders of our neighbors experiencing extreme hunger around the world.
Why Rise Against Hunger?
Rise Against Hunger is an international hunger relief organization that distributes food and life-changing aid to the world’s most vulnerable, mobilizing the necessary resources to end hunger by 2030. Aligned with the United Nations Sustainable Goal #2 of Zero Hunger, Rise Against Hunger is striving to make an impact on global hunger by nourishing lives, responding to emergencies, and empowering communities. To date, they've packaged over 532,000,000 meals that have served 78 countries.
Will you accept each week's challenge?
Fast from single-use plastic (bags, bottles, straws)
God spoke: “Let us make human beings in our image, make them
reflecting our nature
So they can be responsible for the fish in the sea,
the birds in the air, the cattle,
And, yes, Earth itself,
and every animal that moves on the face of Earth.”
God created human beings;
he created them godlike,
Reflecting God’s nature.
He created them male and female.
God blessed them:
“Prosper! Reproduce! Fill Earth! Take charge!
Be responsible for fish in the sea and birds in the air,
for every living thing that moves on the face of Earth.” (Genesis 1:26-28)
This week, fast from single-use plastic (bags, bottles, straws, etc.) for the sake of the environment, instead opting for more sustainable replacements. We know it might seem difficult to have those extra dishes to wash or to remember those reusable bags at the grocery store, but we remember that we have been placed on this earth to be good stewards of God's creation.
The Book of Discipline calls United Methodists to be caretakers of God's Creation: All creation is the Lord's, and we are responsible for the ways in which we use and abuse it. Water, air, soil, minerals, energy resources, plants, animal life, and space are to be valued and conserved because they are God's creation and not solely because they are useful to human beings. God has granted us stewardship of creation. We should meet these stewardship duties through acts of loving care and respect.
Fast from junk food
"Do you not know that you are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in you?" (1 Corinthians 3:16)
Our bodies are temples for the Holy Spirit to dwell, and we should nourish it accordingly! This week, fast from junk food or over-processed foods and instead opt for more homemade items with fresh ingredients.
Caring for the body was an important part of John Wesley's ministry that is still reflected in the Church today. In his book "Primitive Physick," he offers tips on maintaining wellness through exercise, a healthy diet, and adequate sleep. He believed – as we do today – that our body, mind, and spirit are interconnected and must all be in balance for abundant life.
Plan a meatless meal
"The Lord God formed man from the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and the man became a living being. And the Lord God planted a garden in Eden, in the east; and there he put the man whom he had formed... The Lord God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to till it and keep it." (Genesis 2:7-8, 15)
The typical meat eater’s diet requires up to 14 times more water and 20 times more energy than that of a vegetarian. Indeed, the current use of land, water, and energy is not sustainable, and resource depletion threatens to cause great hardships for humankind this century. A recent report concluded that worldwide livestock production contributes 51% of humanity’s greenhouse gasses. The most important thing people can do to reduce their contribution to global warming is to reduce their use of animal products. You might be surprised to find out you actually do like that veggie burger!
Interested in learning more about the impacts of vegetarian diet choices? Read the position from the American Dietetic Association via the US National Library of Medicine.
Donate to a food pantry
"Then the king will say to those at his right hand, ‘Come, you that are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world; for I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you gave me clothing, I was sick and you took care of me, I was in prison and you visited me.’ Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when was it that we saw you hungry and gave you food, or thirsty and gave you something to drink? And when was it that we saw you a stranger and welcomed you, or naked and gave you clothing? And when was it that we saw you sick or in prison and visited you?’ And the king will answer them, ‘Truly I tell you, just as you did it to one of the least of these who are members of my family, you did it to me.’" (Matthew 25:34-40)
This week, find a food pantry to drop off food to. There are many ways we can extend love to God's children, and helping to provide meals during this time when children are not being fed at school is just one of those ways.
March 29 – April 4
Make a meal spending only $0.32 per meal
"When the hour came, Jesus took his place at the table and the apostles with him. He said to them, 'I have eagerly desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer; for I tell you, I will not eat it until it is fulfilled in the kingdom of God.' Then he took a cup, and after giving thanks he said, 'Take this and divide it among yourselves; for I tell you that from now on I will not drink of the fruit of the vine until the kingdom of God comes.' Then he took a loaf of bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it and gave it to them, saying, 'This is my body, which is given for you. Do this in remembrance of me.' And he did the same with the cup after supper, saying, 'This cup that is poured out for you is the new covenant in my blood.'" (Luke 22:14-20)
There is profound holiness that comes from sitting down for a meal with loved ones. This week, invite some friends over for a meal. It doesn't have to be for a special occasion but just for the purpose of spending time together. For the meal, make something that costs less than $0.32 per meal (the cost of one meal kit from Rise Against Hunger). Talk about that with your friends. How difficult was it to figure out what to prepare? How easy was it to keep it below a certain cost? Share your experience with your friends, and tell them about Rise Against Hunger.
Where do meals go once they're packaged?
Rise Against Hunger has developed a global network from packaging to delivery. To date, they've packaged more than 532,000,000 meals that have gone to 78 countries on 6 continents. Each of these 500 million meals represents a person who has been impacted by Rise Against Hunger, like Maynor. Watch the video to hear his inspirational story of resilience and hope.
Ways to Give
Talk as a family about what you want the outcome of your fasting to be – spiritually and financially. Set a household goal for how many meals you want to provide because of your fasting ($0.32 = one meal through Rise Against Hunger). What are the ways you can all make sure you achieve that goal?
Give from your mobile device at the concert or another time. Once you receive a reply, follow the link to our simple and secure giving platform.
Text 'BrentwoodUMC' to 77977
Make giving to Rise Against Hunger a part of your worship experience by placing cash or a check in the offering plate.
Designate checks for Rise Against Hunger