Domestic Poverty Initiative

Domestic Poverty Initiative


A Current Focus of Christian Churches Together in the USA
Domestic Poverty is a focus of Christian Churches Together in the USA. We invite all churches and organizations to engage this issue in any way that is appropriate in your setting. We would like to hear of such engagements so we can report about them to other participants and in order to share ideas for study and action that have worked in actual practice. Please send your reports (and additional suggested resources) to

January 2009 Report: Implementing the Call to Cut Poverty in Half
The following link goes to a report generated from the January 2009 Annual Meeting in which participants sought to identify some particular strategies for addressing poverty. January 2009 Report: Implementing the Call to Cut Poverty in Half.

Some Reported Actions by CCT Participants and others
  • June, 2009, The Reformed Church in America
    In it’s General Synod meeting, the Church adopted a resolution (R53) “To direct the General Synod Council to make the Christian Churches Together poverty objectives a priority; and further, to widely share the Christian Churches Together Statement on Poverty and subsequent principles and ideas with congregations and encourage congregations to take active steps in confronting poverty in the community. Reported by Earl James, coordinator of multiracial ministries and social justice.
  • January, 2009, The Mennonite Church USA
    The Mennonite Church USA became an “outreach partner” for the Mobilization to End Poverty sponsored by Sojourners, World Vision and others in Washington, DC, April 26-29, 09. Through this initiative, Mennonite Central Committee US and Mennonite Central Committee East Coast also became outreach partners. Using newsletters, e-mail networks and bulletin announcements they drew the attention of their members to this event and the scandal of domestic poverty. They enlisted church members in six east coast and mid-west cities to recruit participants. They also offered several thousand dollars in scholarships to help young adult/student and racial/ethnic members of our churches attend. Reported by Andre Gingerich Stoner, Director of Interchurch Relations, Mennonite Church USA.
  • December, 2008, The Church of the Brethren
    The Church’s Global Food Crisis Fund and Emergency Disaster Fund began a new program last winter to encourage congregations to make a special effort to respond to local food bank or soup kitchen financial needs. The “Domestic Hunger Matching Grant” program is a partnership with the Church of the Brethren’s stewardship department.
    Congregations were matched dollar for dollar — up to $500 — for a gift to one local food bank or soup kitchen. The program was in place through March 15. It was developed “in response to the worsening supply crisis in our nation’s food banks,” said Ken Neher, director of stewardship and donor development.To qualify for the grant a congregation had to raise new funds for the food crisis, fill out and return an application form, and enclose a copy of the check it wrote to the food bank or soup kitchen. Matching checks were then issued in the charity’s name and mailed to the requesting congregation for forwarding to the local organization. Matching grants were available until the $50,000 set aside for the program by the two funds was exhausted.
  • November 10, 2008,
    The Ecumenical Commission of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in Indiana and the Indiana-Kentucky Conference of the United Church of Christ met and affirmed the CCT Statement On Poverty. This is the first middle judicatory-level body in the country to do so.

Resources for Study and Action
The following resources have been offered by participants in CCT. Our thanks to Gary Cook of Bread for the World and Adam Taylor of Sojourners for gathering these. We will add to the list as we receive further suggestions.

Resources available through websites
Other resources
  • “Hungry for Justice: A six week guide for praying daily, building community, and changing the world”: from the editors of Sojourners magazine. Available at
  • “Who Is My Neighbor? Economics As If Values Matter”. Available
  • “Hunger no More” A six session guide developed cooperatively by 23 churches and organizations through the Bread for The World Institute and available at or
  • “A Place at the Table” and related resources developed by the Committees on Domestic and International Policy of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops are available and from the Bishops’ Catholic Campaign for Human Development
  • Catholic Charities USA, 2006 Policy Paper, “Poverty in America: A Threat to The Common Good”, available from Catholic Charities USA,
  • “Just Neighbors Tool Kit” is an excellent resource for helping church groups understand the nature and impact of poverty. It offers nine sessions, but each can also be used as “stand-alone”. It is used by Catholic and Protestant churches across the nation. More information available at A Catholic Social Teaching Supplement is also available.
Other links