Michael Smith
Michael is a southeast representative of Bread for the World, living in Asheville, NC. Bread is a DC-based collective voice of people of faith and conscience, building the public and political will to end hunger in the U.S. and globally. His journey has included living & serving in Ethiopia & Indonesia, teaching in seminary and leading nonprofits. From neighbors in some of the world’s most vulnerable places he has learned that our world’s inherent abundance, justice, hope and compassion are unfolding around us. We are called to be part of the movement. His contemplative practice keeps inviting him to see and surrender.

Transforming our story to change the world: the journey from compassion to justice
Compassion stirs us to feed the hungry and care for our neighbors who suffer. But justice compels us to ask why they’re hungry in the first place. Brazilian Archbishop Dom Helder Camara reported, “When I feed the hungry, they call me a saint. When I ask why they have no food, they call me a Communist.” We struggle to even see injustice around us. The North American church has a profound history of compassionate ministries and community development which led it to create alternative schools, hospitals, community centers, feeding agencies and banking institutions. But what would it look like if the church began to call for public systems and structures to serve the common good. We can learn to leverage our compassion to do justice as well as charity. This session will blend inspiration and practical resources for the journey.