The eyes of the nation will be on Iowa on February 1 as folks gather for “the caucuses.” I long for the night when I can watch a little TV without viewing a political advertisement, and I am not naïve enough to think that will happen on February 2. But while we as Iowans have the national limelight, we would do well to take advantage of every opportunity to be involved in the political process especially as we move toward electing our next President. Involved not just so we know what candidate we will support, but involved in a way that lets the political parties know what is important to us as citizens.
There are many important issues grabbing the attention of the candidates. But I have yet to hear of any of them naming ending hunger at home and abroad as even one of their top five priorities. Would it be possible that the second biggest story coming out of the caucuses on February 2, next to who won, was that there was an overwhelming support from attendees in both parties for resolutions to end hunger at home and abroad by 2030? If it could not happen on the national news, it could at least happen among those who work on putting together the platforms for the upcoming elections.
I plan to take with me to the caucus I will be attending a sample resolution provided by Bread for the World’s Vote to End Hunger campaign. It is brief and simple. It leans neither to the right nor to the left. It reads simply: “Be it resolved that food is a fundamental human right. We support ending hunger at home and abroad by 2030.”
I know there are others in this synod who plan to do the same. We are an anti-hunger synod. We can help put the issue of hunger and poverty more prominently on the radar of the candidates and the voters in the upcoming elections. Plan to attend your party’s caucus on February 1 and caucus to end hunger.
Pastor Paul Ostrem has served as an assistant to Bishop Michael Burk of the Southeastern Iowa Synod since January 1, 2009, where he coordinates the mobility of rostered leaders and the congregational call process, works with people in candidacy, and works with the Commission for Church in Society dealing in particular with the issues of hunger and poverty toward the goal of manifesting what it means to be an “anti-hunger synod.” Prior to coming to the bishop’s staff, he served parishes in Hanlontown and Preston, and as Senior Pastor at Zion Lutheran Church in Muscatine for twenty-one years. He has served on numerous not-for-profit boards including Lutheran Homes in Muscatine, Lutheran Services in Iowa and the Lutheran Services in Iowa Foundation.