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What do they have in common?

Find out in November

Give Us This Day Our Daily Bread:
Fighting Hunger in Our Own Backyard

You are invited to the 127th annual gathering
of the Episcopal Church Women of the Diocese of North Carolina
Hosted by the ECW of the Raleigh Convocation

Who: All – women and men, laity and clergy – are welcome (You may register at the door, but advance registration is preferred)

What: Combination Harris-Evans Conference for Social Outreach and Annual Meeting. It’s not about what’s been before. It’s about seeing and doing in new ways.

When: November 6-7, 2009

Where: The Church of the Good Shepherd, 125 Hillsborough St., downtown Raleigh

Give bread to those who are hungry. Give hunger for justice to those who have bread. Amen. (South American table grace)

Every three years the Episcopal Church Women of the Diocese of North Carolina host the Harris-Evans Conference, which is dedicated to furthering an educated, faith-based approach to social outreach issues. This year, Harris-Evans will merge with the Annual Meeting for an event focusing on a pandemic: hunger. We believe that physical and spiritual hungers are met through God’s grace and abundance. With this gathering we will provide information and inspiration for those seeking to nourish body and soul.

Hunger is certainly not a new problem in our country, our state or our communities. It’s well known that hunger is a condition of poverty, and statistics show that states such as North Carolina, with wide gaps between rich and poor, tend to have higher hunger rates.

However, as the economy has deteriorated the number of people who do not at all times have access to enough food for an active, healthy life – the “food insecure” – is growing in size and scope. The problem is intergenerational, it cuts across all racial and ethnic boundaries, and it’s reaching into the ranks of those once considered middle-class. Consider the following:

From the September 4th issue of the Financial Times: “The number of working Americans turning to free government food stamps has surged as their hours and wages erode, in a stark sign that the recession is inflicting pain on the employed as well as the newly jobless.”

From Action for Children North Carolina: “1-in-7 children in North Carolina lives in a household that is forced to reduce food intake, alter normal eating patterns, or go hungry because they lack the money or resources to obtain adequate food.”

From the July 31st issue of The Business Journal of the Greater Triad Area: “On July 24, the [Second Harvest Food Bank of Northwest North Carolina] sent an e-mail message to its more than 400 partner agencies saying that, for the first time in its 28-year history, its cupboard was nearly bare… Growth in demand for food has far outstripped supply… ’We are faced with people who used to be of an income that they could make donations to Second Harvest and other human-service organizations. Now they find themselves needing assistance,’ [Executive Director Clyde] Fitzgerald says.”

This conference will offer information about the evolving issue of hunger and give attendees very practical tools to address the problem in ways that respect the dignity of everyone. If an individual or members of a parish aren’t actively doing something about hunger in their community, we can help you get started. If you are currently doing something, great. Now’s the time to do something new.

An empty stomach has no ears to hear with. (Swahili idiom as quoted by the Rt. Rev. Trevor Mwamba, Bishop of Botswana)

Get all the details and register online using the links in the Annual Meeting 2009 menu to the left.