The Bishop’s Challenge

The Bishop’s Challenge is meant to move all NJ Synod congregations to grow in awareness, generosity, service, and advocacy in response to hunger.


Did you know that one dairy cow can produce as many as three gallons of milk each day? That nutritious, calcium-packed milk from a cow helps ensure that children in a family or a community can grow up healthy and strong. Extra milk can also be used to make cheese, yogurt, butter and other dairy products to eat and sell for a steady source of income. With food and funds—not to mention fertilizer for fields—a cow is a total package for a family which would otherwise face hunger.

Between now and the 2019 Synod Assembly, each congregation in the New Jersey Synod is invited to raise $500, which is what the ELCA World Hunger Appeal spends to provide one cow through their Good Gifts program. Read on to learn more about the ELCA World Hunger and this special opportunity for your congregation to get involved!

ELCA World Hunger

The World Hunger Appeal of the ELCA traces its history back to 1974. Currently, the Hunger Appeal supports programs in 83 countries, including the United States. Over 90 percent of money given to the Hunger Appeal goes directly to programs that feed people and provide resources that help communities become more self-sufficient, making it one of the most cost-effective relief programs in the nation.

NJ Synod Giving

The congregations of the New Jersey Synod are being invited to increase support for the ELCA World Hunger Appeal. The aim is that every synod congregation will participate in the appeal in the coming year. This includes using educational resources to learn about hunger and this vital ministry of the church. It also means using Hunger Appeal resources to engage in local, national and global efforts to alleviate hunger, including advocacy for policies that assist those in need.

And we hope to increase financial giving to the appeal: the goal is for every synod congregation to contribute financially over the next year. For some of our congregation this will mean a “first time” gift: for others, perhaps re-engagement or an increase in support.

The Cow Challenge

We hope the “Cow Challenge” will be one interesting, educational, and fun way to encourage growth in giving to the World Hunger Appeal in the New Jersey Synod. All monies will not just support the Global Barnyard, but will be distributed to ELCA World Hunger programs where there is the most need.

Congregations that participate and are able to raise $500 will be invited to bring a “cow” to next year’s synod assembly. Cow “cut-outs” will be provided for congregations to decorate, name, and bring to display next year!

It is hoped that congregations that already give to the hunger appeal will see this as a challenge to increase their gift.

And, for congregations that have not given to the appeal in the past five years, there is a unique opportunity to increase the impact of your gift: Any congregation in that category which raises $500 between now and next year’s assembly will have their gift “matched” with an additional $500 given by an anonymous donor. There is a potential to raise up to an additional $25,000 in new money in response to new and generous giving.

The year ahead will give synod congregations the opportunity to learn about hunger and the many ways our church is helping to end it! We can’t wait!

For assistance or for more information about the Bishop’s Challenge contact the organizing team: The Rev. Mary Forell, The Rev. Christine Reagan, The Rev. Janet Gasbarro, The Rev. Bruce Davidson, The Rev. Sara Lilja, Ms. Cindy Cooper, Mr. Nick Lloyd, and Mr. Steve Neiman. Reach out the Synod office for contact information at 609-586-6800 or

For online information go to “The Bishop’s Challenge”, and ELCA World Hunger Appeal website for downloadable resources.
The Bishop’s Challenge:  Calendar
New Jersey Synod Cow Challenge 2018- 2019
FAQ’s – Why World Hunger?
Cow Poster
ELCA Good Gifts Catalog