Easter Food E-Journey: Locally Sourced Potluck Dinner Materials

March 6, 2013

By sitting together in fellowship over a meal made with locally sourced ingredients, we can live out the Gospel by supporting small farmers near and far and preserve farmers’ rights to grow food.

Burmese Christian Refugees

Burmese Christian refugee family

Gather together a group of friends or family to talk about ethical eating. Host a potluck. Invite people to bring a dish using at least one locally sourced ingredient. A few ideas available locally (even at the end of winter) are: mushrooms, parsnips, brussel sprouts, onions, leeks, parsnips, kale, and potatoes.  To save you some time, we have included a sample recipe of a traditional Burmese dish.

If you need more suggestions or further assistance with your Potluck contact the Columban Center for Advocacy and Outreach at: ccaoprograms@columban.org or 301-565-4547.

Start your conversation and meal with this prayer for stewardship:

All powerful and ever-loving God,
we do well always and everywhere to give you thanks.
All things are of your making.
All times and seasons obey you.
You chose to create us in your own image,
and set us over the whole world in all its wonder.
You made us the stewards of creation,
to praise you every day for your wisdom and power.
May we imitate your Son, Jesus, in his life of service.
May we be faithful stewards of all your gifts
among the people of God. Amen

Invite someone else in the group to read this passage from Pope Benedict XVI’s address on Food Security at the 2009 United Nations Conference:

Mapuche Indians that Columbans work with in Chile. Some Mapuches had their land usurped for biofuels production

Mapuche Indians that Columbans work with in Chile. Some Mapuches had their land usurped for biofuels production

“Hunger is the most cruel and concrete sign of poverty,” he said. “Opulence and waste are no longer acceptable when the tragedy of hunger is assuming ever greater proportions.” The pope called for greater action in creating “a network of economic institutions capable of guaranteeing regular access to sufficient food and water.” He also argued that countries must “oppose those forms of aid that do grave damage to the agricultural sector, those approaches to food production that are geared solely towards consumption and lack a wider perspective, and especially greed, which causes speculation to rear its head even in the marketing of cereals, as if food were to be treated just like any other commodity.”

Reflect on the prayer and Pope Benedict XVI’s words and discuss the following questions as a group

  1. As one body of Christ, what is our commitment to our fellow human beings to ensure dignified work and food security? What is our commitment to God’s Creation more broadly?
  1. Traditional farmlands are being usurped by large corporations or governments (also known as land grabs) for the use of biofuels. This practice is causing food insecurity in communities globally. After the Resurrection, Jesus’s desciples went out into the world to do good deeds- giving up their possessions and helping the poor and vulnerable. How can we live out the Gospel to be protect Creation and vulnerable communities? What acts can we do  to decrease our carbon footprint and combat climate change? How can we assure that land is used for the purpose of food provision?

*Here are some suggestions for the facilitator:

  1. Plant an organic garden on your church property and donate the produce to people in your parish or community who are in need or provide lunch for the congregation once a month.
  2. Host an organic community supported agriculture pickup at the church for parishioners or community members
  3. Give to projects supporting small farmers in the majority world such as the Peruvian Potato Agronomy Project (see picture above) located 183 outside of Lima. The goal of this project is to support the livelihoods of 630 small-farming families.
  4. Send a letter, make a call, or organize a meeting with your member of Congress to ask them to support action on climate change with investment in sustainable energy alternatives such as wind and solar that do not come at the expense of farmland for food.

Tomatoes from the Columban Mission Center in El Paso's community garden.

Close the potluck by inviting everyone to write letters to their U.S. Senators and Representatives to support for action on climate change that preserves God’s creation, including gifts of water and food, and dignifies all God’s people.

*These materials were provided by the Columban Center for Advocacy and Outreach. If you have any questions related to these materials or your potluck event, contact ccaoprograms@columban.org for more information.