We are called to GO into all the world, open to the power of the Holy Spirit flowing through everything we do so that we may be people sharing the good news of abundant life in Christ by loving our neighbors (Matthew 28.19-20). Click on the links to learn more about the different ways Benson Memorial UMC is active in our community and world.
On Sunday, December 2, you have an opportunity to learn more about the findings and recommendations of the Commission on a Way Forward. This information session will be facilitated by the Reverend H. Gray Southern, superintendent of the Capital District of the North Carolina Conference of the United Methodist Church and one of our General Conference delegates. The Commission's work regarding the UMC's way forward regarding human sexuality will be the focus of a special General Conference to be held in February 2019.
The fate of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), commonly referred to as "food stamps" is again up for discussion in the U.S. House of Representatives.
In mid-May, the House of Representatives considered legislation that would have reduced or eliminated nutrition assistance to an estimated 2 million men, women, and children in the United States. Thanks to the advocacy of United Methodists and people of good will across the country, this legislation was defeated. But Congress is likely to try to pass these cuts again in June so our faithful calls and letters and visits are still needed.
The United Methodist Church has set “no lesser goals than repentance for the existence of human hunger and increased commitment to end world hunger and poverty.” (Book of Resolutions #4051: The United Methodist Church, Food, Justice, and World Hunger) Today, even as the US economy is working for some, too many of our neighbors continue to struggle to find resources to feed themselves and their families. An estimated 40 million US residents experienced food insecurity at some point during the last year.
While our churches continue to answer the Lord’s call to feed the hungry in our communities, we also understand the critical role government programs have in providing basic nutrition assistance. The most efficient and effective of these programs is the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) still commonly referred to as ‘food stamps.’ The House version of the farm bill (HR 2, the Agriculture and Nutrition Act of 2018) contains over $20 billion in cuts to SNAP, placing additional requirements and penalties for many recipients that would reduce or eliminate benefits for an estimated 2 million men, women and children.
When this legislation was considered on the House floor in May, a group of Congressmen withheld support until separate immigration legislation was brought up for a vote. To understand the connection between these two critical issues, you can listen to our Facebook Live explainer video here. But while this immigration connection contributed to the bill’s defeat, the reality is the bill failed because it is a bad bill that breaks with decades of bipartisan cooperation to strengthen nutrition assistance programs like SNAP.
So today and in the coming weeks, we must raise our voices once again. Please contact your Member of Congress at (202) 224-3121 and urge them to protect SNAP and to oppose efforts that would reduce or eliminate critical food assistance for struggling families.
Thank you for your faithful advocacy!