Change the World by Stopping Hunger Now!

Changing the world sounds like an impossible challenge. Lots of folks are so overwhelmed by the sheer magnitude of it, they don’t even try. As a 21st century Christian I am glad that people in prior generations did what they could to make things better for me. Here’s a hearty “Thanks!” to one and all. Now it’s our turn! Do we give up and give in to the status quo? Do we say it’s undoable and stop trying? Are we so jaded by an attitude of too little too late that we just stick to our agendas and lounge chairs, and couch potato ourselves into not caring about our world, much less our neighbors?

I love reading news accounts of teens and young people donating their savings, their time, and their lives in service to others. What if we all got on board the change train? What if we each allowed Jesus to use us to transform the world?

The United Methodist Church is going to have a “Change the World” weekend on May 18-19, 2013, or another date of their choosing. Thousands of United Methodists are going to rock the planet with efforts to make a difference in people’s lives!  Some churches will have yard sales where everything is free; community gardens will be built; money will be raised to fight malaria; single moms will get free child care; nursing homes will be visited; homeless people will be embraced and included; homes will be painted and repaired. These are just a few of the events, and your church – or YOU – can be included!


Click here for resources

This is where to sign up and get promo materials. There are sermons, bulletin inserts, t-shirts, and, best of all, plenty of great ideas!   You can also listen to the stories of others who are making a difference and add your personal narrative of what God has been doing with and through you!

South Carolina United Methodists are going to do their part! We will help Change the World through an effort via STOP HUNGER NOW. During our Annual Conference there will be a day devoted to providing 285,000 packs of meals for the hungry in Haiti and every dollar we raise over $72,000 will fight hunger in South Carolina. There are 6 meals per pack and cost 25 cents a meal or $1.50 a pack, enough to feed a whole family! Bishop Holston’s vision is for news helicopters to hover over Florence, SC and gasp at how United Methodists are making life-changing differences for people.

On June 11, 2013 thousands of United Methodists are going to converge on Florence and pack meals. There will be three shifts throughout the day, the last shift highlighting the work of our children and youth. You don’t want to miss the video of  Davis Crews, an eighth grader from Greenville and member of Advent UMC, who has a personal goal of packaging a million meals. So far, he’s up to 928,000! Every local church is encouraged to participate in a hunger related ministry either at annual conference or in their local community on June 11. Please send photos to by 2 p.m. June 11 so that we can see and celebrate those at the evening session of annual conference. We also need you to go to the link below and volunteer and/or sign up you and your church!


Click here for resources

Our most pressing need is people willing to help and contribute their time and resources. 285,000 meal packs will cost us $72,000, AND we need to raise $36,000 by May 1. Local churches and individuals can donate online at the above link, or checks can be sent to the South Carolina Annual Conference Treasurer marked “STOP HUNGER NOW” at PO Box 3787 Columbia, SC 29230. Let’s change the world and stop hunger now! God wants us to tell the message of Jesus’ love, and love isn’t love unless it’s given away.

Bugs, Windshields, and World Communion

The Bug Pit with John

Mary Chapin Carpenter is one of my favorite songwriters and performers. She has great lyrics and is a superb musician. One of her songs, and, of course, one I can’t remember right now, says that we all have days when we feel either like the bug or the windshield. Yesterday was one of those days for me. Every now and then I feel like checking my teeth to see if there’s a bug stuck in there. I have brushed them over and over again so I’m pretty sure I’m safe, but I’ve thought about what happened yesterday a lot.

Word of caution: This isn’t for the faint of heart or weak of stomach. We had a meeting yesterday and several of us afterwards went to a local restaurant for fellowship and a nice meal. Well, all was fine until I had finished half my salad and there it was: a living crawling fly underneath a bit of salad dressing. That has never ever happened to me in a restaurant. They brought me another salad and with more than a little trepidation I ate it. Then our entrees were brought out. Guess what? One of our group got a steak and there were two hairs mixed in the au jus. Two different people at the same table with two horrible incidents was enough to finish off our appetites and get all 4 of us a free meal. The manager said in his 30 years this had never happened. Lucky us!

We didn’t make a big deal out of it, but I thought to myself and said it out loud, too, “It will be a long time, if ever, before I come back to this place!” Then as I have pondered this over the course of this day I have become grateful. We did have food to eat and there are those right now who have nothing. In Nicaragua a few weeks ago I didn’t get freaked out as we ministered in the trash dump or when the bugs attacked us like fresh meat while we were digging the medical incinerator at the clinic. How fortunate I’ve been to live in a country that is so blessed, and to have a job that gives me the resources to even eat in a restaurant. When you’re hungry and thirsty your cleanliness standards don’t much matter. It’s called survival.

For many in the world the US is the windshield upon which everybody else has gone splat! Most Americans consume so much more than anyone else on the planet. We are gluttons of natural resources. I know we have our own poverty-stricken people right here at home, and we must do something in the name of Christ to help! I’m going to keep doing my part and I’m going to pray for forgiveness for getting freaked out by a fly and a couple of hairs. I should be more freaked out by the millions who are hungry and would have gladly eaten every morsel last night. I guess I’m saying I would rather be the bug than the windshield when it comes to being victim or victimizer. I’m not trying to bash America, and I’m going to be more vigilant about checking out restaurant’s ratings when I walk in the door. Better yet I’m going to think and pray about and give to those people here and abroad who don’t have government regs about sanitation or don’t even have a choice about where or what they eat. World Communion Sunday isn’t the same everywhere, and I’m convicted to do something about it.