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Why Does Food Peace and Justice Matter?

All across the world, people are transforming the food system. As we gain more insight into the industrial food complex, people are turning away from industrial agriculture toward sustainable and local alternatives. Why is this an issue that matters to progressive Christians? There are many reasons.

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Wisdom and (or is it ‘vs’?) Religion

The church of the future must once again fall in love with wisdom.

We must be the protectors and proponents of what is true. I don’t want to sound paranoid to you but I have to tell you, while people have good reason to look askance at the reliability of religion as a source of true information, you should not rationally assume that either your government, or corporations or the media are going to be devoted to the truth if we don’t maintain a church that is devoted to reality.

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Jesus, Wendell, and a Few Fish

What does a new kingdom look like when your family becomes disconnected from the patterns of the sea and must function within a more “efficient” system? Would the new kingdom Jesus talked about lead you back to a balance between humankind and the fishing patterns you once knew? Is something lost when we begin to place layer upon layer of human ingenuity between us and the sustaining power of earth and sea?

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Hungry for Peace: How You Can Help End Poverty and War with Food Not Bombs

The de facto how-to manual of the international Food Not Bombs movement, which provides free food to the homeless and hungry and has branches in countries on every continent except Antarctica, this book describes at length how to set up and operate a Food Not Bombs chapter. The guide considers every aspect of the operation, from food collection and distribution to fund-raising, consensus decision making, and what to do when the police arrive. It contains detailed information on setting up a kitchen and cooking for large groups as well as a variety of delicious recipes. Accompanying numerous photographs is a lengthy section on the history of Food Not Bombs, with stories of the jailing and murder of activists, as well as premade handbills and flyers ready for photocopying.

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Beef Jerky

I do believe one can make a case from a biblical perspective that we should all eat what grows in the ground, food that can be picked or plucked. More importantly, we know that eating more fresh vegetables, fruit and grains is a healthier way to eat. If we became more aware of what we eat, where it came from and what sacrifices were made to provide it, our eating habits would change. We also might learn to treat Mother Earth as something sacred, rather than something to be used and abused.

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Tinkering with Genetics

GMOs can be toxic, and they can cause food allergies. There has been relatively little testing done on humans and yet these products are reaching our store shelves and in the USA, foods containing GMO ingredients are not labeled as they are in Europe and even in China. In our country, where democracy is demonstrably for sale, giant food corporations have so much influence on our government that we continue to subsidize the foods that make us fat, diabetic and give us heart disease but we do not subsidize the production of the foods that would make us more healthy. We have given research grants to create these “frankenfoods” and then protected manufacturers from legal liability for the problems they create.

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The Challenge of Jesus- DVD

In The Challenge of Jesus, renowned historical Jesus scholar John Dominic Crossan, presents his life’s work exploring the matrix of Jesus’ unique time and place. Drawing on scholarly text, excavation and history, Dr. Crossan introduces us to the flesh and blood people who shaped the world into which Jesus was born. In these DVD presentations, we meet a Jesus we’ve not known before.

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Kindred Spirits: A Collection by Carrie Newcomer- Music CD

Relating Kindred Spirits: A Collection, spirituality and songwriting, Newcomer writes “I am one of a growing number of people who don’t want to put the sacred in such a small container. I am disturbed that one very narrowly focused and extremely political brand of Christianity being called the ‘religious voice.’ There are wide communities of spiritual people who believe that walking this world in love and compassion is about feeding the hungry, providing for the poor or sick, caring for our elders, making sure that the table of love includes and welcomes everyone, educating our children and young people, honoring our beautiful and interconnected planet. These communities believe that women are equal spiritual beings, and that the highest and most honorable work is creating a less violent, more just and kind world. Isn’t a life of compassion bigger than a catch phrase or sound byte? Isn’t love wider and deeper than fear?” Speaking more to this point, she shares, “If a spiritual leader is teaching hate, it is not spiritual message, it is political message.”

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I Believe by Carrie Newcomer- Music Video

Carrie Newcomer with special guests, Indian peformers Amjad Ali Khan, Aaman Ali Khan and Ayaan Ali Khan, in concert Saturday, October 15, 2011 at 2nd Presbyterian Church in Indianapolis. This special performance promotes the release of Newcomer’s latest album, “Everything is Everywhere”. Proceeds from the album benefits the Interfaith Hunger Initiative, a multi-faith effort dedicated to elevating hunger and the roots of poverty in the USA and abroad.

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Songs for 1,000 Days- Music CD

Fourteen artists have joined Bread for the World Institute and Women of Faith for the 1,000 Days Movement to educate communities and advocate for policy change in the United States to end hunger at home and abroad and give every child the chance to thrive.

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Mamma Wing by Karla Adolphe – Music Video

Fourteen artists have joined Bread for the World Institute and Women of Faith for the1,000 Days Movement to educate communities and advocate for policy change in the United States to end hunger at home and abroad and give every child the chance to thrive.

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Countdown: Our Last, Best Hope for a Future on Earth?

Weisman visits an extraordinary range of the world’s cultures, religions, nationalities, tribes, and political systems to learn what in their beliefs, histories, liturgies, or current circumstances might suggest that sometimes it’s in their own best interest to limit their growth. The result is a landmark work of reporting: devastating, urgent, and, ultimately, deeply hopeful.

By vividly detailing the burgeoning effects of our cumulative presence, Countdown reveals what may be the fastest, most acceptable, practical, and affordable way of returning our planet and our presence on it to balance. Weisman again shows that he is one of the most provocative journalists at work today, with a book whose message is so compelling that it will change how we see our lives and our destiny.

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Food, Inc.- DVD

This hard-hitting documentary charts the sad and sometimes scary state of affairs in America’s food industry. Director Robert Kenner presents interviews with farmers, ranchers, and chicken farmers who are increasingly being squeezed out by large and powerful corporations (like Monsanto who over the past decade has increased its share of the soybean market from 2% to 90 %). In addition to exerting control over the nation’s food supply, Big Agriculture has the clout to influence the regulatory agencies which are supposed to protect the consumer. On the one hand the public has more choices in the marketplace (bigger-breasted chickens and insect-resistant soybean seeds); on the other, they are getting sick from the food they eat as new strains of e coli cause illness in an estimated 73,000 Americans annually. In 1972, The FDA conducted 50,000 food inspections and in 2006, the number was down to a dismal 9,200.

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Ai Weiwei: Never Sorry

Film Review By Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat

In pursuit of his art and his love of freedom, artist and activist AI Weiwei has been a pain in the neck for Chinese authorities. When they have shut one door, he opens another like the clever and indomitable cat in the opening of this astonishing documentary directed by Alison Klayman. Winner of a Special Jury Prize at the 2012 Sundance Film Festival, it also was featured as the opening night selection for the Human Rights Watch Film Festival in 2012.

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Love Free or Die

Film Review

Gene Robinson was elected bishop in the rural Episcopal Diocese of New Hampshire. As Christendom’s first openly gay bishop he received a lot of publicity as “the most controversial Christian in the world.” Robinson’s faith and courage have been tested every step of the way; he’s had to endure death threats and the hatred of Bible-waving fundamentalists who see him as the spawn of hell.In this edifying and enlightening documentary, winner of a Special Jury Prize at the 2012 Sundance Film Festival, director Macky Alston provides an up-close and personal look at Robinson and an overview of the struggles and challenges he has faced in his pioneering ministry of hospitality, reconciliation, and understanding.Robinson has not had an easy time of it.

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Troy Perry: Pastor and Prophet

Compiled by Chris Glaser, this hard-bound coffee table book explores the life and ministry of Rev. Troy D. Perry, founder of Metropolitan Community Churches (MCC) and gay rights activist. Complete with full-color photographs, the book includes Perry’s historic contributions to the international human rights for LGBT persons.

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As My Own Soul: The Blessing of Same-Gender Marriage

Ever wonder why marriage for same-gender couples generates such passion? Why is it so important to gay people? And why is it felt as an attack on “traditional” marriage by others? Writing accessibly for the general reader, author Chris Glaser narrows it down—first to taboos around sexuality, then to taboos around the sacred.

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