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October 9, 2015

Liturgy for the Food Week of Action!

food for life

The 2015 Liturgy for the Churches' Food Week of Action is READY!

PDF version with music

Welcome and Introduction

2015 is being commemorated as the International Year of Soils and the World Food Day 2015 focuses on Social Protection and Agriculture.

In spite of steady gains against hunger and poverty, today, more than ten percent of the population of the world; about 795 million people, are undernourished and go to bed hungry.

Let us commit ourselves in prayer, to overcome hunger and social vulnerability in our communities and across the nations!

Opening Responses

Leader:  Glory to you, our God, glory to you.

Psalm 24

Leader:  The earth is the Lord’s and all that is in it,
the world, and those who live in it;

All: 2 for God has founded it on the seas,
and established it on the rivers.

Leader:  3 Who shall ascend the hill of the Lord?
And who shall stand in God’s holy place?

All: 4 Those who have clean hands and pure hearts,
who do not lift up their souls to what is false,
and do not swear deceitfully.

Leader:  5 They will receive blessing from the Lord,
and vindication from the God of their salvation.

All: 6 Such is the company of those who seek the Lord,
who seek the face of the God of Jacob.

Leader:  7 Lift up your heads, O gates!

All: and be lifted up, O ancient doors!
that the Glorious Lord may come in.

Leader:   Heavenly LORD, Comforter;      
We come to you, hungry and thirsty for righteousness

All: Come and dwell in us.

Satisfy us so that we might offer

Hospitality, food and rest

To the hungry and weary.

Response: Note: permission will be needed to reprint these songs.

Bendice, Señor, nuestro pan  (Anonymous, Argentina)

The kingdom of God is justice and peace (Taizé)

What does the Lord require of you? (Jim Strathdee)

Readings from the Hebrew bible- Micah 6: 1- 8

Hear what the Lord says:
Rise, plead your case before the mountains,
and let the hills hear your voice.
2 Hear, you mountains, the controversy of the Lord,
and you enduring foundations of the earth;
for the Lord has a controversy with his people,
and he will contend with Israel.

3 “O my people, what have I done to you?
In what have I wearied you? Answer me!
4 For I brought you up from the land of Egypt,
and redeemed you from the house of slavery;
and I sent before you Moses,
Aaron, and Miriam.

6 “With what shall I come before the Lord,
and bow myself before God on high?
Shall I come before God with burnt offerings,
with calves a year old?
7 Will the Lord be pleased with thousands of rams,
with ten thousands of rivers of oil?
Shall I give my firstborn for my transgression,
the fruit of my body for the sin of my soul?”
8 God has told you, O mortal, what is good;
and what does the Lord require of you
but to do justice, and to love kindness,
and to walk humbly with your God?

Confession and renewal

Leader:  We recognise that the food that sustains life is denied to many in this unjust world;

All:       We recognise that a tenth of the world’s population go hungry each day.

Leader: We acknowledge that almost a third of the world’s population lacks sanitation facilities;

All:      We acknowledge that thousands of children die each day for lack of access to clean water.

Leader:We remember the labourers, women and men, who are denied a living wage;

All:      We remember the farmers and fisher folk impoverished by market forces, which force them to sell their produce for less than the cost of production.

Leader: We recognise that many communities are being dispossessed of their access to their lands, water bodies and their livelihoods;

All:       We recognise that local resources, small farmers and their traditional knowledge and innovations are neglected.

Leader:  We acknowledge thatincreasingly, the earth and the soil are being stripped of richness, depleted of diversity, and being poisoned;

All:       We acknowledge that we have not sufficiently cared for the precious soil, the work of your hands. We have not listened to the people who live closest to it.

Leader:  We confess that by our insensitivity and irresponsibility, we destroy life;

All:       We confess that by our selfishness and profiteering, we endanger creation and our common future.



Leader: Lord, we seek your forgiveness;

All:       Lord, grant us grace to be renewed by the Holy Spirit.

Leader: May the food we eat sustain our lives to serve God and God’s creation;

All: May our choices bind us to the environment and our communities.

Leader: Happy are those whose help is the God of Jacob, whose hope is in the LORD their God,
who made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that is in them; who keeps faith forever;
who executes justice for the oppressed; who gives food to the hungry.  (Psalm 146)

All:      AMEN

Sung response:  Huapango del pan (sung in Spanish, if desired.)

This song may be reprinted for use in worship, with copyright notice.

Gospel Reading:       Matthew 25: 31-40   

31 “When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, then he will sit on the throne of his glory. 32 All the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats, 33 and he will put the sheep at his right hand and the goats at the left. 34 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; 35 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, 36 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.’ 37 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? 38 And when was it that we saw you a stranger and welcomed you, or naked and gave you clothing? 39 And when was it that we saw you sick or in prison and visited you?’ 40 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,[a] you did it to me.’

Sung response: Huapango del pan (Sung in  English)

Reflection (if desired)

Responsive prayer

Leader:   Lord help us to recognise you in the vulnerable people amongst us;

All: Lord, help us to worship you by serving the needy, the farmers, farm workers, and fishermen; all who work to provide us food, yet go hungry.

Leader:  Lord help us to recognise you in the vulnerable people amongst us;

All: Lord, help us to be of service, even before being asked for assistance.

Leader:  Lord help us to recognise you in the vulnerable people amongst us;

All: Lord, teach us to listen to them;

teach us to learn from them;

teach us to be transformed by them,

so that there is no longer “them” and “us,”

but only your beloved children;

no longer strangers,

but neighbours, in whose faces

we see the face of the Christ.

Leader:  Lord, help us to recognise you in the vulnerable people amongst us;

All: help us to work towards a world,

where all can lead dignified, loving and fulfilling lives.


The Lord ’s Prayer   (in one’s own language)

Sharing the sign of Peace

One of the songs below may be used to bring the congregation back together.

Song:  Until all are fed  (Tommy Brown and Brian McFarland, USA)

Permission needed to print this song. See copyright notice.



Leader:           May we always be hungry for righteousness;

All:                  To overcome injustices that brings about hunger!

Leader:           May we always be hungry for peace;

All:                  To overcome insecurity, suffering and displacement!

Leader:           May we always be hungry to share our resources and blessings;

All:                  To ensure that the needy in our communities are able to live full lives!


This liturgy has been prepared by the World Council of Churches (WCC) for the Churches’ Week of Action on Food, 11-18 October 2015. This week of action is part of the Food for Life Campaign of the WCC-Ecumenical Advocacy Alliance and incorporates World Food Day, 16 October.

The theme for World Food Day 2015 is Social Protection and Agriculture. In recent years, social protection programmes have assisted around 150 million people to overcome extreme poverty. Social protection exists when governments develop policies and programmes to address economic, environmental and social vulnerabilities to food insecurity and poverty. Social protection improves people’s access to health care and other social services, enabling them to sustainably provide for themselves and their family members.

Prepared by Manoj Kurian and Andrew Donaldson, World Council of Churches, September 2015.

Categories: Agriculture, Human Rights, Hunger, Worship Resources

Tags: action, food week, hunger, liturgy, presbyterian, soil, world food day, worship

October 8, 2015

Boston Food Justice Young Adult Volunteer – Ashley Earley

My name is Ashley Earley and I am serving as a Presbyterian Young Adult Volunteer (YAV) in Boston this year and our focus is food justice. I will be posting periodically onto this blog about various food related topics for the next year.  First, I would like to introduce myself. I am from Rock Hill, SC (just south of Charlotte, NC) and graduated from Washington University in St. Louis in May with a bachelors in biology and a minor in math. I am currently taking a gap year before going to graduate school for a master’s in plant biology and afterwards plan to go into research. I have never been to the New England area before, but I am so far really enjoying my time in Boston.


For this year, I am serving at First Presbyterian Church in Brookline and at a non-profit called Woman and Girls Thriving in Brookline with a focus in the Healthy Food and Lifestyle working group. My role will be to learn and educate about food justice.


Also as part of the program we will be participating in two different food challenges. From September to the end of January is the local eating challenge and February to the end of July is the SNAP (food stamp) challenge.


Read more →

October 5, 2015

Thanks for having me!

Hello there! I’m so excited to have the opportunity to write for the Presbyterian Hunger Program and I hope that you will enjoy reading what I have to say. Let me tell you a little about myself so you understand where I am coming from in my future blog posts.
I am Taylor McLean and I am currently serving as a Young Adult Volunteer (YAV) in Boston through the Presbyterian Mission Agency. My year is focused on food justice, so most of what you will see from me will be about food. I love food, I love to eat ...

Read more →

October 3, 2015

Corporate Ag Says They Will Feed the World. Really?

Since agriculture emerged 10,000 years ago, it has been smaller-scale producers who have fed the world. Industrial, high-tech and chemical-intensive farming has only been around for about 80 years, and still today it is small-scale farmers, ranchers, pastoralists and fishers who provide approximately 70% of all the food eaten on Earth[1].

Marketing professionals and lobbyists from Monsanto, ADM and companies promoting industrial agriculture and GMOs [we’ll call that Big Ag for shorthand] have spread a myth, which people of all stripes have swallowed. This myth claims that only large-scale industrial agriculture can feed a hungry world. The myth consists of two parts: (1) More food is the answer to feeding people; (2) Corporate, industrial agriculture is the approach that can fill this need.

First, the myth that more food will feed a hungry world.

Read more →

July 7, 2015

Top Food Stories

A big thank you to Adam Liebowitz at North Star Fund, a fellow member of the Sustainable Agriculture and Food Systems Funders, for this great collection of news on all things food and farming.


Don't Let Food Industry Stir the Pot.  Pam Kock, Huffington Post, Mar 23, 2015

The PR War Continues: Monsanto and the myth of peaceful coexistence. Laetitia Benador, Food First, Apr 2, 2015

Trade Rules Create Obstacle Course for a Better Food System. Karen Hansen-Kuhn, IATP, May 15, 2015

John Oliver Explains the Abuses of the Chicken Industry (Not the Ones You Think).  L.V. Anderson, Slate, May 18, 2015

Walmart’s Sustainability Promises: Myth vs. Reality. Steve Holt, Civil Eats, Jun 5, 2015

Egg rationing in America has officially begun.  Roberto Ferdman, Washington Post, Jun 5, 2015

Whole Foods Markets: Throwing Organic Farmers Under the Bus? Cornucopia Institute, Jun 12, 2015


Climate Change Poses Serious Threats to Food Distribution.  Elizabeth Grossman, Earth Island Journal, Mar 4, 2015

Let's put an end to factory farming.  Tom Colicchio, CNN, Apr 6, 2015
Food, Farming and Climate Change: It’s Bigger than Everything Else. Ryan Zinn, Common Dreams, Apr 13, 2015
Feeding the future through agroecology. Dr. M. Jahi Chappell and Tara Ritter. IATP, Apr 21, 2015


Racism and Capitalism: Dual Challenges for the Food Movement.  Eric Holt-Gimenez, Journal of Agriculture, Food Systems, and Community Development.  Mar 25, 2014

The Color of Food: America's Invisible Farmers.  Natasha Bowens, Civil Eats, Apr 14, 2015

The Color of Food: Building Autonomy as African American Farmers.  Natasha Bowens, Civil Eats, Apr 14, 2015

Promised a Supermarket Five Years Ago, a Housing Project Is Still Waiting. Keith Williams, New York Times, Apr 17, 2015

The World Bank’s Long War on Peasants.  Eric Holt-Giménez and Tanya M. Kerssen, Food First, Apr 20, 2015

What happened to America’s black farmers?  Madeleine Thomas,Grist, Apr 24, 2015

Justice for farmworkers as labor rights bill makes overdue progress in the New York State Senate.  Editorial, NY Daily News, May 3, 2015

Can We Finally Treat Food Workers Fairly?  Mark Bittman, New York Times, May 27, 2015

The New Food Movement Has a Problem with Race.  Lauren Rothman, Mucnhies, May 29, 2015

The Food Revolution and the War for Our Minds.  Jonathan Latham, Rural America, Jun 12, 2015


Fewer NYC teens are drinking sodas: study.  Carl Campanile, NY Post, Apr 6, 2015
As Global Food Chain Grows, So Does Risk of Illness.  Maryn McKenna, National Geographic, Apr 7, 2015
Food System Recommendations Should Account for More Than Public Health.  Gabrielle Blavatsky, EcoCentric, Apr 21, 2015

Lessons from Supermarket Failure in a Food Desert. Kate McCleary, Liveable Future, May 5, 2015

School Lunch May Be Next to Nudge Antibiotics Off the Plate.  Maryn McKenna, National Geographic, May 8, 2015 

What Happened After One Family Went Organic For Just Two Weeks.  Huffington Post, May 14, 2015
France to force big supermarkets to give unsold food to charities.  Angelique Chrisafis, The Guardian, May 22, 2015

Former Trader Joe’s Exec Opens Super Cheap Nonprofit Supermarket. Brad Tuttle, Time, Jun 4, 2015
Restaurants Pan New York City’s Plan for High-Salt Labels. Melanie Grayce West, Wall Street Journal, Jun 10, 2015
The Daily Table: Is This What We Really Need?  Mark Winne, Beacon Broadside, Jun 30, 2015 


CT jumps into top 10 in locally produced food index. Hartford Business, Apr 7, 2015

In Newark, a Vertical Indoor Farm Helps Anchor an Area’s Revival. C.J. Hughes, New York Times, Apr 7, 2015

Why “Clean Label” School Lunch May Be a Pipe Dream. Bettina Elias Siegel, Civil Eats, Apr 9, 2015

Council Members Ask De Blasio to Invest in Farmland. Samar Khurshid, Gotham Gazette, Apr 21, 2015

Craft Distilleries and Breweries Take Hold in South Bronx.  Winnue Hu, New York Trimes, Apr 22, 2015

USDA Report Shows Increase in Activity of Local and Regional Food Systems.  AJ Hughes, Seedstock, May 10, 2015

Vermont: America’s Food Relocalization Laboratory.  Steve Holt, Civil Eats, May 13, 2015

Let’s Help Create More Farmers.  Mark Bittman, New York Times, Jun 10, 2015

30 Women Under 30 Changing Food. Danielle Nierenberg, Huffington Post, Jun 23, 2015

Read more →

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