Seventy-fourth day since Pentecost … they ate together

Our congregation at Madbury United Church of Christ just finished a seven week study based on the curriculum “Just Eating– Practicing our Faith at the Table” created by program partners — Advocate Health Care, Church World Service and Presbyterian Hunger Program. Connecting the issues of nurturing the body, hunger, food and environmental impacts, and creating community through food sharing, drew in a diverse group of people each of whom began with an interest in one of those things (losing ten pounds, advocating for Fair Trade, promoting the CROP Walk, or having more church suppers to allay new loneliness) and all learned about the other deeply related concerns.

Yeah, and we ate.

To celebrate the conclusion of that program, the local resolutions that emerged from it, and the collegiality between organizations of advocacy for justice and compassion, I am sharing here today two pieces from Gifts in Open Hands. One was offered to us for re-print by Church World Service, from their amazing book On Frequent Journeys — Worship Resources on Uprooted Peoples, edited by Canadian Rebekah Chevalier and other other is a pair of graces from Casa San José de los Huérfanos. These are sent by the Director and a Mission visitor. In the book upon which this blog is based there are also many prayers in Spanish and English from young children who live in this wonderful Casa in Colima, Mexico. However, I am conservative about the words of children younger than teenage in an online resource. Please find them in the book.

And whoever you are and wherever you are this week — watch a child, one who is hungry or one who lives with abundance, eat!

Mothering God,
open me to the pleading of this lamentation
from Sao Paulo.
Open me – imagination, heart and prayer –
to the children of our world.
Help me in today’s quiet to enter Daniel’s pain
and to join him in his hope:

Daniel’s Song
If this street, if this street were mine
I would order Mrs. Hunger to go for a walk
And put in each post an inscription:
It is forbidden for a child not to have bread.

If this street, if this street were mine
I would order the exploiter to another place, and
On each corner only one voice would be heard:
Violence no longer lives among us!

If this street, if this street were mine
I would tear down the Forest of Loneliness
And shout in the new meadow:
Children are safe here!

God of Daniel, let us meet him in the meadow,
life-filled and welcoming.
I unite my learnings and activities this day with Daniel’s struggle.
We ask your Presence.
We trust its hovering.
We know its promise in Jesus Christ. Amen.

Daniel, author of “Daniel’s song” is part of the Community Alternatives Project, founded and directed by Rev. Zeni de Lima Soares, first woman Methodist pastor in Brazil. Church World Service

Graces from Casa San José de los Huérfanos (Orphans) Colima, México

Bendice señor estos alimentos que de tus manos vamos a tomar, bendice también a las manos que los prepararon y a todos quienes han hecho posible que llegaran a nosotros.

Bless, O Lord, this food that from your hands we are going to eat. Bless as well the hands that have prepared it and bless all those who have made it possible that it could come to us.

Maria Guadalupe Muñiz Cortez (Lupita Muñiz) Director

Señor Poderoso,
Cuando no tenemos pan, danos pan.
Cuando tenemos pan, danos hambre de ti.

All Powerful Lord,
When we have no bread, give us bread.
When we have bread, give us hunger for you. Amen.

We used to pray this prayer at the Casa San Jose orphanage in Colima, México. It touched me deeply coming from the mouths of kids who, in the lean months, would get only powdered milk and animal crackers for dinner. Molly Phinney Baskette, USA

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