+Pr. Troy Pflibsen, SW MN DEM, on behalf of your Synod Hunger Team
It all started with one member making an unexpected choice. Instead of only giving his year-end gift to his congregation, Borgund Lutheran Church, rural Madison, he gave a portion of what God had given to him to ELCA World Hunger. This giving caught on with others at Borgund Lutheran Church and years later this captured the whole congregation and has become a part of the very identity of the community. Now at every opportunity, and there are many, they feed the hungry locally, nationally, and internationally.
The Synod Hunger Team became aware of the congregation’s generosity because Borgund perennially receives the synod’s Breadbasket Award. This annual award recognizes the congregation in our synod that gives the most, per capita, to ELCA World Hunger. Borgund is small, which means that their total may not be as large as some other congregations. But for Borgund, it represents a large portion of their ministry!
The leaders at Borgund agreed to share this story in the hope that it might inspire other congregations to prioritize the needs of the hungry. To this end, they have issued a challenge! They would like to share the Breadbasket Award with another congregation (for maybe just one year ). This means that another congregation of our synod has to increase their giving to ELCA World Hunger, and it would mean that the following year Borgund would be challenged to step up their game as well!
I would also like to note, as one who works with many congregations, this is a small faith community that is having a big impact. They are not trying to do all things and all ministries. They have focused their mission on issues of hunger, which is ministry beyond themselves and in service to others. And with this clarity of a mission beyond themselves, it gives them a sense of purpose and it means that their work has a greater impact for those in need. They are a small congregation that doesn’t wonder what they are about. They know. Their generosity doesn’t make them wonder if they will have enough resources to pay the bills. They have enough, and enough to give generously to those who are hungry.
And it all started with one member. He made an unexpected choice. Years ago, he gave a portion of what God had given to him to ELCA World Hunger. His gift has changed his congregation, and, in that change, they have fed many people!