By Angelique Walker-Smith
“In Times Like These,” a hymn written in 1943 by Ruth Caye Jones and popularized by Mahalia Jackson in 1963 during the height of the civil rights movement, is a favorite hymn in many of our churches. Times of conflict, war, national division, hunger, poverty, or relative peace or prosperity do not diminish the love and power available to us from God.
For 2018, Bread for the World will have available a year-long devotional guide entitled, In Times Like These…A Pan-African Christian Devotional for Public Policy Engagement. The guide honors the legacy of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., the Poor People’s Campaign, and Tent City/Resurrection City. These occasions remind us that our advocacy to end hunger and poverty during this midterm election matters.
Although Pan-African people are disproportionately affected by hunger and poverty, Pan-African people remain resilient and empowered by their faith. This devotional guide invites a deepened relationship with and among Pan-African people and elected leaders in the mission to end hunger and poverty. Twenty-three national and global church partners represented through 46 Pan-African church leaders and scholars from across the United States, Canada, Europe, Latin America, the Caribbean, and Africa have contributed to this devotional guide and invite you to use it to advance this mission.
Use of the Devotional Guide:
- Use this devotional guide weekly or monthly to explore its themes and sub-themes individually in and outside of your church. The themes reflect the calendars of the Christian year, the Pan-African church community, and policies that seek to end hunger and poverty.
- Use this devotional guide as a source for Bible study and worship when engaging the biblical texts, messages, and prayers to empower your advocacy to end hunger and poverty.
- Use the Pan-African historical highlights to deepen your understanding of the contributions of Pan-African people.
- Use the suggested songs from the Pan-African church community as an accompaniment to the devotional guide. These songs and related musicians can be found on the internet.
- Use the questions as a source for advocacy and as an invitation to go to www.bread.org to learn about our Offering of Letters, Lobby Day, Bread for the World Sunday, prayer and fasting resources, the Hunger Report, legislative updates, and other resources.
Thank you for praying with us as we advocate to end hunger and poverty in times like these.