Hunger, homelessness, poverty: faith forum calls for more help,

Tom Boland (wgcp@earthlink.net)
Mon, 23 Nov 1998 23:48:05 -0400


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http://www.desnews.com/cit/050o6vwp.htm
FWD  Deseret News / Utah news - 11/23/1998


FAITHS LAMENT HUNGER, POVERTY
LEADERS CALL FOR MORE HELP AND AWARENESS

By Joe Costanzo - Deseret News staff writer


America's failure to feed its hungry is the real political and social
scandal of the day, according to a leading anti-hunger advocate.

"Hunger in America is an oxymoron," said Irving Cramer, senior executive
director of Mazon, an organization that operates a Jewish response to
hunger. "In this land of great abundance, we have the capacity to feed
everyone, and yet we fail to do so."

Cramer was the featured speaker at the 9th annual Interfaith Thanksgiving
Service, hosted this year by Congregation Kol Ami in Salt Lake City.
Sponsored by the National Conference for Community and Justice (formerly
Christians and Jews), the service draws religious leaders and a
congregation of many faiths to a different host church each year.

"While the service features elements of all our faiths, it is much more
than just a smorgasbord of religion," Rabbi Frederick L. Wenger of
Congregation Kol Ami told the congregation in his welcoming remarks. "There
is learning, prayer, heightened awareness."

Lt. Gov. Olene Walker called it a "dialogue between faiths" and said it
represented a collective thanksgiving for the great diversity of Utah.

The theme of this year's service was "Hunger, Poverty and Us," with each of
the participating religious leaders offering a prayer or thought on the
subject from their own religious traditions.

Rev. France Davis of Calvary Baptist Church quoted from Emma Lazarus' "The
New Colossus," which for more than a century has welcomed the tired, the
poor and the homeless to America.

President James E. Faust, second counselor in the First Presidency of The
Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, recited a passage from the
Book of Mormon: "If ye turn away the needy, and visit not the sick and
afflicted, and impart of your substance . . . your prayer is vain, and
availeth you nothing."

Cantor Laurence D. Loeb of Congregation Kol Ami sang the traditional Jewish
Thanksgiving prayer. Bishop George H. Neiderhauer of the Catholic Diocese
of Salt Lake City recited the "Prayer of St. Francis," which teaches "for
it is in the giving that we receive."

Raza Ali Patel of the Islamic Society read from the Qura'an and called upon
the congregation to give of their best when giving. The Very Rev. Jack
Potter of the Episcopal Diocese chose lines from the Hebrew Scripture,
including, "If you open your heart to the hungry and help the afflicted,
your radiance will pierce the darkness."

Rev. Robert Sewell of the First United Methodist Church reminded the
congregation of the "heritage of the native Americans, who were here from
time immemorial."

Cramer echoed that sentiment in his remarks, saying, "All of our faiths are
good with words. The real substance is in the doing." And that's where
America has failed, he said. To make his point, he recounted the true
story. of a 9-year-old Chicago boy who explained to his teacher that he had
gone to school hungry that day because "it wasn't my turn to eat." He also
described a couple in Brooklyn, both 87, who after a long life of labor
were reduced to scavenging for food in Dumpsters.

In his introduction of Cramer, Steve Johnson, executive director of Utahns
Against Hunger, said the ranks of the hungry and homeless are growing in
Utah as well as nationally. Just in the past year, the number of people
served by his organization has increased by 12 percent in urban areas and
15 percent in rural areas.

According to Cramer, public policy is partly responsible. For example,
Congress recently cut the funding for Food Stamps by more than $26 billion
over the next five years and reduced the annual inflation increase in
Social Security.

"The question is not, 'Does God hear our prayers?' but rather, 'Do we
listen to our prayers?' " Cramer said.

END FORWARD
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receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. **

HOMELESS PEOPLE'S NETWORK  <http://aspin.asu.edu/hpn/>  Home Page
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FWD  Deseret News / Utah news - 11/23/1998



<paraindent><param>right,left</param>FAITHS LAMENT HUNGER, POVERTY

LEADERS CALL FOR MORE HELP AND AWARENESS


By Joe Costanzo - Deseret News staff writer

</paraindent>


America's failure to feed its hungry is the real political and social
scandal of the day, according to a leading anti-hunger advocate.


"Hunger in America is an oxymoron," said Irving Cramer, senior
executive director of Mazon, an organization that operates a Jewish
response to hunger. "In this land of great abundance, we have the
capacity to feed everyone, and yet we fail to do so."


Cramer was the featured speaker at the 9th annual Interfaith
Thanksgiving Service, hosted this year by Congregation Kol Ami in Salt
Lake City. Sponsored by the National Conference for Community and
Justice (formerly Christians and Jews), the service draws religious
leaders and a congregation of many faiths to a different host church
each year.


"While the service features elements of all our faiths, it is much more
than just a smorgasbord of religion," Rabbi Frederick L. Wenger of
Congregation Kol Ami told the congregation in his welcoming remarks.
"There is learning, prayer, heightened awareness."


Lt. Gov. Olene Walker called it a "dialogue between faiths" and said it
represented a collective thanksgiving for the great diversity of Utah.



The theme of this year's service was "Hunger, Poverty and Us," with
each of the participating religious leaders offering a prayer or
thought on the subject from their own religious traditions.


Rev. France Davis of Calvary Baptist Church quoted from Emma Lazarus'
"The New Colossus," which for more than a century has welcomed the
tired, the poor and the homeless to America.


President James E. Faust, second counselor in the First Presidency of
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, recited a passage from
the Book of Mormon: "If ye turn away the needy, and visit not the sick
and afflicted, and impart of your substance . . . your prayer is vain,
and availeth you nothing."


Cantor Laurence D. Loeb of Congregation Kol Ami sang the traditional
Jewish Thanksgiving prayer. Bishop George H. Neiderhauer of the
Catholic Diocese of Salt Lake City recited the "Prayer of St. Francis,"
which teaches "for it is in the giving that we receive."


Raza Ali Patel of the Islamic Society read from the Qura'an and called
upon the congregation to give of their best when giving. The Very Rev.
Jack Potter of the Episcopal Diocese chose lines from the Hebrew
Scripture, including, "If you open your heart to the hungry and help
the afflicted, your radiance will pierce the darkness."


Rev. Robert Sewell of the First United Methodist Church reminded the
congregation of the "heritage of the native Americans, who were here
from time immemorial."


Cramer echoed that sentiment in his remarks, saying, "All of our faiths
are good with words. The real substance is in the doing." And that's
where America has failed, he said. To make his point, he recounted the
true story. of a 9-year-old Chicago boy who explained to his teacher
that he had gone to school hungry that day because "it wasn't my turn
to eat." He also described a couple in Brooklyn, both 87, who after a
long life of labor were reduced to scavenging for food in Dumpsters.


In his introduction of Cramer, Steve Johnson, executive director of
Utahns Against Hunger, said the ranks of the hungry and homeless are
growing in Utah as well as nationally. Just in the past year, the
number of people served by his organization has increased by 12 percent
in urban areas and 15 percent in rural areas.


According to Cramer, public policy is partly responsible. For example,
Congress recently cut the funding for Food Stamps by more than $26
billion over the next five years and reduced the annual inflation
increase in Social Security.


"The question is not, 'Does God hear our prayers?' but rather, 'Do we
listen to our prayers?' " Cramer said.


END FORWARD

-

** NOTICE: In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, this material is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. **


HOMELESS PEOPLE'S NETWORK  <<http://aspin.asu.edu/hpn/>  Home Page

ARCHIVES  <<http://aspin.asu.edu/hpn/archives.html>  read posts to HPN

TO JOIN  <<http://aspin.asu.edu/hpn/join.html> or email Tom <<wgcp@earthlink.net>

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