Presented by the Young Pietists, adopted by the delegates to the 119th Covenant Annual Meeting.
WHEREAS when we serve the hungry, thirsty, naked, and imprisoned, we are indeed serving Christ. (Matthew 25:31-45), and we are commanded to love our neighbors as ourselves (Matthew 22:39),
WHEREAS these two organizations both advocate for a holistic biblical vision, and assist Christians who are interested in joining an effective advocacy organization.
WHEREAS, Bread for the World is a nationwide Christian citizens’ movement seeking justice for the world’s hungry people by lobbying our nation’s decision makers.
WHEREAS, Call to Renewal is a national network of churches, faith-based organizations, and individuals working to overcome poverty in America. Through local, regional and national partnerships with groups from across the theological and political spectrum, they convene the broadest table of Christians focused on anti-poverty efforts.
WHEREAS, more than 840 million people in the world are malnourished—799 million of them are from the developing world, and 153 million of them are under the age of 5, and in 1998, in the United States, 34.5 million people (12.7% of the population), live below the poverty line with almost one in five American children suffering in poverty; that’s 12.1 million children,1
WHEREAS the Evangelical Covenant Church has a rich history of mission that actively supports the hungry and the poor, and has continued and strengthened this mission through North Park’s Center for Justice, North Park University’s Urban Outreach Program, Covenant World Relief, Covenant Ministries of Benevolence, the Christian Action Commission, the Ethnic Commission, conference commissions, countless local church ministries and outreach efforts, and the Executive Board’s affirmation to establish a Department of Justice in the future.
WHEREAS, the Evangelical Covenant Church’s Annual Meeting has adopted several Christian Action Commission resolutions that call for support, advocacy, and action on behalf of the hungry and poor, such as the 2003 resolution on Our Relationships with the Poor stating “we are to get involved…by expanding our vision and efforts through supporting and encouraging various community and economic development projects,” and the 2002 Resolution on Volunteering stating, “the act of volunteering is both a significant expression of citizenship in God’s kingdom and identification with those he has come to save,” and the 1999 Resolution on Bringing Economic Hope to the Poor in Jesus’ Name stating, “God has never intended for his people to be oppressed, downtrodden, and without hope,” the 1999 Resolution on a Call for Ministries of Mercy in Jesus’ Name stating, “as followers of Christ it is our responsibility to support ministries of mercy by hands-on involvement, financial gifts, and intercessory prayer,” and the 1995 Resolution on Public and Political Discourse stating, “the people of God are called to seek the peace and welfare of the city in which they reside as pilgrims (Jeremiah 29:5-7); they are not to withdraw, escape, ignore or despise the common life, the needs and the challenges of their neighbors, or the communities in which they reside; but rather they are to speak and act as ambassadors of the kingdom of Christ,”
WHEREAS the Evangelical Covenant Church is already involved in strategic relationships with Bread for the World and Call to Renewal through financial and human resources,
We RESOLVE that Covenant Churches are encouraged to focus their call to advocate on behalf of the poor and the hungry by committing to be local partners of “Bread for the World” and “Call to Renewal” through financial allocations, advocacy, education and prayer.
1. Share Our Strength. Based on the 2000 official poverty definition of a family of three making less than $14,150 a year.