(RNS)– The Rev. Arthur “Art” Simon, the creator and very first president of the Christian advocacy group Bread for the World, passed away Tuesday (Nov. 14), the company revealed.
Simon, 93, began Bread for the World in the mid-1970s. The anti-hunger group intended to lower hardship, reduce cravings and enhance nutrition for individuals around the world.
He passed away at his Maryland home of natural causes, stated Bread for the World representative Chris Ford.
The Rev. Eugene Cho, Bread’s existing president and CEO, summarized Simon’s tradition in a declaration: “When I think about the numerous countless individuals around the globe whose lives have actually been altered for the much better since of the policies and programs produced and enhanced by anti-hunger advocacy; when I see the 200,000-strong person’s motion that Bread is today; when I speak with people about how Art’s message and work resulted in a brand-new orientation in their life towards justice; I feel a huge weight of appreciation.”
Simon, a Eugene, Oregon, native, over the last few years had actually continued his advocacy through his 2019 book, “Silence Can Kill: Speaking Up to End Hunger and Make Our Economy Work for Everyone.” In it, he motivated spiritual and nonreligious readers to move beyond entirely charitable efforts to composing to members of Congress to deal with appetite.
The Rev. Art Simon speaks throughout a Bread for the World occasion in 2013. (Photo courtesy Bread for the World)
“Charity is vital and I’m still actively part of charitable efforts in appetite,” he informed Faith News Service in an interview at the time of the book’s release. “But charity can just do so much. It’s rather restricted in what it can do in the long run.”
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Author and public tv travel host Rick Steves stated Simon’s work taught him how to put his faith to operate in the wider world, not simply his own individual life. When Steves was a trainee, somebody offered him a copy of Simon’s 1973 book, “Bread for the World.” The book altered his life, Steves stated, revealing him that appetite was as much about politics and economics as it had to do with food.
“We can be unexpected accomplices in keeping individuals bad,” stated Steves, whose program holds a yearly Christmas fundraising event that raises about a million dollars to support the company’s work.
Steves stated of Simon, who would offer him a yearly call to thank him for supporting Bread for the World: “He was a dear soul.”
Simon’s daddy assisted run “The Christian Parent” publication when he was maturing, and his sibling was the late Sen. Paul Simon, D-Ill., with whom he co-authored the book “The Politics of World Hunger.”
“The Institute grieves the death– and particularly commemorates the life– of Reverend Arthur Simon,” checks out a declaration on the X, or Twitter, account of the Paul Simon Public Policy Institute. “Art was a deeply exceptional guy who was an extremely favorable figure and force in American life.”
The Rev. Art Simon, center, at Trinity Lutheran Church in New York, circa 1960s. (Photo courtesy Bread for the World)
Art Simon started his participation in anti-hunger advocacy when he reacted to immediate requirements triggered by hardship and appetite in the Lower East Side community of New York City’s Trinity Lutheran Church in the 1960s and ’70s. He identified to get to the root of why individuals were starving and established Bread with a committee of 7 Protestants and 7 Catholics in 1974.
He held its presidency for 16 years, constructing awareness about appetite in manner ins which notified politicians and moved policy.
Beginning in 1975, Bread has actually held “Offering of Letters” projects, motivating churchgoers and neighborhood groups to correspond and e-mail messages to legislators to prompt passage of legislation to minimize domestic and worldwide appetite.
Simon, an ecumenical minister associated with the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod, indicated the significance of grassroots advocacy.
(N)either spiritual leaders nor policy experts can alternative to the impact of citizens from a lawmaker’s home state or district,” he composed in “Silence Can Kill.” “Voters who speak out, not huge cash interests, can be the lobbyists who get Congress to act.”
The Rev. David Beckmann, the 2nd president emeritus of the company, stated Simon “reacted to God’s call to make the world more constant with God’s love for everyone” and set an example for others.
“Arthur Simon led the advancement of Bread for the World from a prayer into an effective, across the country motion to get our country’s chosen leaders to assist end appetite,” stated Beckmann in a declaration. “In the 50 years because Art began arranging, Bread for the World and its members throughout the nation have actually played a management function in broadening and enhancing poverty-focused worldwide help.”
After his retirement from Bread, Simon was the director of the Washington workplace of the Christian Children’s Fund, a neighborhood advancement company, from 1992 to 1997.
In 2019, he informed RNS that he had actually not quit on his decadeslong wish for an end of cravings.
“I do not believe Bread is quiting or other advocacy groups are, or churches for that matter who are engaged by doing this,” he stated. “When there are problems you simply got to work more difficult. It’s not unreasonable. Often it simply takes reaching that tipping point in the general public sense of things that appetite is an outrage in a nation as rich as ours.”
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