Follow by Email

Friday, May 27, 2016

Church World Service -Imagine doing this for 6 hours a day...

Photo: CWS images
Imagine doing this for 6 hours a day...
Dear friend,
Yunis woke up at 5 a.m. every day to start her search for water. She would return home around 11 a.m. carrying her heavy burden.
That's six hours. Every single day. And then she had to start the rest of her work for the day.
In Kenya where Yunis lives, and in developing nations around the world, finding enough water for survival is nearly a full-time job. Lack of access to water is one of the greatest single factors trapping families, communities and nations in poverty.
But as Yunis' story shows, caring people like you can change all that. See how you're making a difference in her life and thousands more!
Yours in service,
Rev. John L. McCullough
President and CEO
Church World Service

This email was sent to by Church World Service, Inc.
28606 Phillips St, Elkhart, IN 46514-1239, US

update profile  |   unsubscribe  |  view this email as a web page

Creation Justice Ministries Newsletter Spring 2016

Read the Spring 2016 Edition of Capsules

This edition includes ideas for advocating for the Green Climate Fund, protecting the Arctic Refuge, teaching the connection between religion and science, and more.
Hi Patty,
Spring is in full swing, and the creation justice community is bustling with activity. Here's some of what you will find in the Spring 2016 Edition of Capsules:
* Sacred Duty to Curb Methane Waste
* Prayers, paper lanterns at United Methodist General Conference climate vigil
* 121 Faith Organizations Urge Congress to Invest 750 million in Green Climate Fund
* Take Action to support the Green Climate Fund
* Creation Justice Ministries is seeking people of faith willing to offer peaceful presence upcoming hearings on the federal coal program
* Support Alaska Native communities' struggle to defend their homeland: The Arctic Refuge
* Get involved in the Bears Ears National Monument proposal 
* Protecting God's Creatures: Teleconference, June 5th at 4:00pm ET
* Creating a Climate for Change Conference at the Florence Civic Center in South Carolina on June 9, 2016
* The Powerful Faith-Based Organizing for Climate Justice Conference at Pendle Hill, Pennsylvania on June 16th-19th
* Faith Network Gathering for an Inclusive Economy, July 8th in Buffalo, NY
* Endangered Species round table in: Denver, CO (July 17th) and St. Louis, MO (July 31st)
* Food & Climate crisis info graphic from the Presbyterian Hunger Program
* Catechism Video Series featuring scientist in the Episcopal Church
* Solar Webinar by Presbyterian churches
* ​Presbyterian Hunger Program newsletter; perspectives on trade, ecowomanism and more!
As always, we hope these resources will be of service to your ministry. Read Capsules now.
  In hope,
  Shantha Ready Alonso
  Executive Director, Creation Justice Ministries
Connect with Us

Creation Justice Ministries
110 Maryland Ave NE #203
Washington, DC 20002
(202) 827-3975

Sleepy Hollow Presbyterian Church Featured in Presbyterian News

California church embraces organic gardening and protecting the environment

Congregation mobilized to reduce its carbon footprint
May 20, 2016
Youth from the Sleepy Hollow Presbyterian Church prepare gardens for planting.
Youth from the Sleepy Hollow Presbyterian Church prepare gardens for planting. —Ethan Russell
The rolling hills and beautiful valleys of Marin County, California provide the perfect backdrop for Sleepy Hollow Presbyterian Church. One look at this majestic landscape and it doesn’t take much to inspire people to protect and nurture it.
With growing concern about the environment, drought and children living in poverty, the Sleepy Hollow congregation was motivated to form an environmental “Green Team” in 2014 and they didn’t have to go very far to determine where to start.
“We have this huge backyard that God has given us and we’ve got gardeners and a commitment to feeding the hungry, so where do we go with all of this?” asked the Rev. Beverly Brewster, pastor. “We have a lot of garden people in our congregation and they looked at this sunny backyard and had a vision.”
Working and collaborating with a Presbyterian Hunger Program grant partner, the Interfaith Sustainable Food Collaborative, church members developed a work plan to develop an organic “justice” garden. [Garden was also partially funded by Cents-Ability grants from the Redwoods Presbytery, Hunger Task Force.]
“This is a well-to-do suburban neighborhood. People have big yards and a lot of them have their own gardens,” said Brewster. “We decided that a community garden wasn’t the need here. The need was to grow food for people who do not get good organic, fresh vegetables.”
After two successful growing seasons, Brewster says God has blessed their garden with huge tomatoes.
“It’s been interesting because many of the neighbors have grown tomatoes but are amazed at how large ours have been,” she said. “We have been so blessed and have actually grown 1,000 pounds of organic tomatoes the past two seasons.”
The vegetables grown in the garden are given to low income senior citizens and children connected with the food bank or are sold at a church farm stand. The money raised then goes back into the garden.
Sleepy Hollow has developed a relationship with a nearby school that serves under-privileged children who are more than happy to receive the garden’s bounty.
“Approximately 93 percent of these children live well below the poverty line,” said Brewster. “When we take our vegetables to the school, the children pick up the tomatoes and eat them like candy. It is such a treat for them and it is amazing to see how their faces brighten up.”
But Sleepy Hollow is about more than growing organic vegetables. The church is involved with water conservation, securing a grant to put in a rainwater catchment tank to support the gardening efforts. The congregation is also in the process of raising funds for solar panels.
“We want to reduce our carbon footprint and be a green church,” said Brewster. “We also hope to eventually put in an electric car charging station.”
“Right relationships with God, others and the earth—we all want it, we crave it, but sometimes we don’t know where to start,” said Ruth Farrell, coordinator of the Presbyterian Hunger Program. “Sleepy Hollow Presbyterian’s story of their mission in their context is encouragement to congregations everywhere. I love that this congregation channels God’s gifts of rain, sun and dirt into something that benefits others, and in so doing, knows the blessing of caring for God’s creation and fellow creatures. Connecting to kids who lack access to healthy food builds friendships with kids and schools which leads to fighting hunger and poverty with all of our tools—meeting needs, advocacy for healthy school lunches as well as programs to help parents provide for their kids, and reducing our own carbon footprint that helps us live in ‘right’ relationships which will end hunger and poverty and lead to all kinds of abundance.”
Brewster says the combined projects and planning have energized the church.
“This has been fantastic. The people love seeing something come out of nothing and it has been an inspiration to be a part of it,” she said. “People are so joyful. It has been revitalizing for the church.”
For more information about how your church can get involved in food justice or environmental issues, visit the Presbyterian Hunger Program web page.

Presbyterian Mission Agency staff adds support for Wendy’s boycott

Presbyterian Mission Agency staff adds support for Wendy’s boycott

Coalition of faith groups, labor organizations protest at shareholder’s meeting

by Gregg Brekke | Presbyterian News Service
Tony De La Rosa, interim executive director of the Presbyterian Mission Agency, joins the May 26, 2016 protest advocating a boycott of Wendy’s Corporation.
Tony De La Rosa, interim executive director of the Presbyterian Mission Agency, joins the May 26, 2016 protest advocating a boycott of Wendy’s Corporation. Photo by Gregg Brekke

Tony De La Rosa, interim executive director of the Presbyterian Mission Agency, joined more than 60 demonstrators gathered at the headquarters of Wendy’s Corporation in Dublin, Ohio to protest and urge the company to adopt Fair Food Program practices for its purchasing of tomatoes and other produce. The protest, organized by the Coalition of Immokalee Workers (CIW), was held May 26, 2016 to coincide with a shareholder’s meeting.
“Wendy’s shareholders are meeting to discuss their massive revenue and approve strategies to increase it,” said Lupe Gonzalo from CIW in a prepared statement. “But what will not be a topic of conversation is the fact that, as the final major fast food holdout to the Fair Food Program they are literally extracting profit from the grinding poverty and abuse of farmworkers all the while manicuring their image with a Code of Conduct for Suppliers that contains absolutely no mechanism for worker participation or enforcement.”
Coalition of Immokalee Workers representative Lupe Gonzalo speaks to demonstrators in front of Wendy’s flagship store in Dublin, Ohio, their the company’s headquarters.
Coalition of Immokalee Workers representative Lupe Gonzalo speaks to demonstrators in front of Wendy’s flagship store in Dublin, Ohio, their the company’s headquarters. Photo by Gregg Brekke
The Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) has supported the CIW from the beginning as it worked to secure Fair Food agreements from Yum Brands, McDonald’s, Burger King and Subway. At its recent meeting in Louisville, the Presbyterian Mission Agency Board officially endorsed the call for a national boycott. The Rev. Gradye Parsons, stated clerk of the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), has also endorsed the boycott, saying, “The PC(USA) joins the Coalition of Immokalee Workers in calling on Wendy’s to sign a Fair Food agreement.”
“Wendy’s has, for many years, avoided the criteria of the Fair Food Program, even as other companies have joined on,” said De La Rosa. “We believe, as people of faith, that it is time for Wendy’s to adopt the criteria of this program. Thievery in the field, sexual harassment and other abuses have no place in the supply chain of our food. It is right and moral that workers receive a fair wage and just working conditions are established.”
Ecumenical and interfaith religious leaders joined student groups and other labor organizations at the protest urging Wendy’s to adopt fair labor practices and increase payments to produce pickers to which other major fast food corporations have agreed. Ruth Farrell and Andrew Kang-Bartlett of the Presbyterian Hunger Program also joined in the protest.
“[Presbyterians] have been with the Coalition of Immokalee Workers for years,” said Farrell. “We’ve marched with them, prayed with them and stood with them as 13 restaurants have signed the Fair Food Program to make sure working condition are fair in the tomato fields and Wendy’s doesn’t want to do it. So after many years, we’re joining with their boycott.”
Three representatives from the protest group were present in the shareholder’s meeting and reported back to the group that Wendy’s claims its internal “code of ethics” binds its employees to a standard for purchasing. But coalition members say this code does not meet the criteria of the Fair Food Program and avoids holding foreign vendors, primarily Mexican produce companies, to any standard at all.
The CIW has called for a boycott against Wendy’s because:
  • Wendy’s has stopped buying tomatoes from Florida altogether. Rather than support the U.S. growers, the company now buys tomatoes from Mexico where reports of widespread human rights violations continue in the produce industry.
  • Wendy’s has rejected the Fair Food Program, but released a new supplier code of conduct that the CIW claims provides no means of worker participation or enforcement.
  • Wendy’s profits from farmworker poverty by refusing to join the FFP and instead, pay for produce from less reputable growers.
In a press release, the CIW stated, “Wendy’s stands alone as the last of the five major U.S. fast food corporations refusing to join the Fair Food Program. By refusing to participate, Wendy’s is deriving a very real cost advantage over its competitors, while continuing to provide a market for less reputable growers.”

Sunday, May 15, 2016

Simple Living eNews May 2016

Simple Living Works! eNews

May, 2016 - #56

In This Issue:

* * *

What's NOW with SLW!

  • Our Daily Nudge reminders us that simple living is more than my or your personal happiness or success. Instead it’s about our mutuality.
    • All SLW! resources can be used for yourself, your family, your congregation or group - for inspiration and education. For example, if you're tired of generic clip art for your worship bulletin, newsletter or web site, hopefully TheNUDGE will guide you to some more challenging, thoughtful reproducible items.
    • It is structured around our "Alternate Any Year Calendar," plus some quotes and art from our collection "Spirit of Simplicity" and alternate celebrations from our "Treasury of Celebrations." Most of the graphics are line art, “retro” drawings on purpose that highlight the text, the words.
    • While my weekly blog focuses on what other simple living/minimalist bloggers and podcasters are doing, and promotes the SLW! podcast, each Daily Nudge will focus on one resource from SLW! timeless archives.
    • While my weekly digest/blog is extensive – some would call it “text heavy” – containing some 50 links, each Daily Nudge is designed to have just one quote, one idea, one link.
    • Follow me, Gerald Iversen, on LinkedIn, Google+ or Twitter for a daily nudge, or subscribe by email. Send NUDGE in the subject line to Follow Simple Living Works! on Facebook, Pinterest and now Instagram for occasional nudges. All the nudges are archived so you can catch up if need be. Go to, window #2. Your feedback is, of course, welcome.
    • The theme for May is a new look at Environment - The 4 R's, especially appropriate for our podcast guest, activist Ed Fallon.

What's Coming on SLW!

SLW! Podcast #69 - Renowned scholar and author Walter Brueggemann 

What Others Are Doing - So Much Help!

I'm glad to pass along links from simple living bloggers, podcasters, coaches and others. Some faith-based, some not. You needn't read them all. Choose FIVE links -- including SLW! -- to investigate.


What's Happened

Podcast Reminder

You can access all SLW! podcast audio and the show notes either at or at (then click window #3). Complete Episode Index. Listen through your computer, iPod, iPad, iPhone (or equivalent).

SUBSCRIBE through or your favorite podcast service. To SUBSCRIBE to email notices, click Comments at the bottom of Show Notes, then check 'Notify me of new posts by email.' Please rate us in iTunes and leave a review.

Send us your email address to receive the free monthly SLW! eNews. Remember to like us on Facebook. Urge your friends to do the same. Do your friends a favor. Share our blog and podcast.

Like SLW! on Facebook. | Follow us on Twitter. | Follow us on Pinterest. Share your thoughts on our podcast and blogs. Email, leave a message on our Facebook page or on the SLW! blog.

Peace, Gerald “Jerry” Iversen, Chief SLW! Activist

For hard copies of Alternatives’ resources at nominal cost, contact ELCA Archives, 321 Bonnie Lane, Elk Grove Village, IL 60007 // (847) 690-9410 //

We do not solicit or accept donations, nor do we sell anything. All our resources and services are free of charge. We’re an all-volunteer organization. Instead, we urge Alternative GivingGive away at least 25% of what you spent last year on all celebrations – Christmas, birthdays, etc. -- to local, national and international causes.

Copyright: Creative Commons non-commercial attribution share-alike license.

*Treasury of Celebrations: published by Northstone, a division of Wood Lake Publications, BC, Canada, best known for its Seasons of the Spirit curriculum.

Through social media, we extend the mission and resources of the non-profit organization Alternatives, 1973-2011. Simple Living Works! web site home page | Theme/Seasons Index. To learn more about SLW! – our MISSION, for example -- please listen to our getting-acquainted episodes, especially #1 and 2. We produce a half-hour podcast twice a month, hopefully educational and inspiring for you, your family and your congregation or group. We blog each week.

You’re welcome to forward this eNews to your friends and contacts. If you received this from a friend and want to continue receiving it directly from SLW! send a SUBSCRIBE notice to Thanks.

If you choose to unsubscribe, simply reply with “unsubscribe” in the subject box. Please include a brief note telling us why you chose to unsubscribe. Thanks.