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Faith & Hunger: Elijah and the Widow

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Need another resource?  Looking for advice? Please contact Kathy Pittenger.

Possible ways to use this playlist:

  • Share with families to use on their own – perhaps after church to reflect on worship
  • Use as a “Sunday School” or kids ministry time either in person or online
    • If using in-person – read the story together, use the wondering questions for discussion and to go deeper, bake the bread, read the book(s), and talk about how your group can take action against hunger, end with a blessing
    • If using online – read the story or invite kids to act out the story (can someone bring bread or fish or baskets or… props to help tell the story – or have a scavenger hunt for kids to find those object or objects that can be substitutes); talk about a question or two, choose one of the activities, or use one of your own, use the prayer or your own, and end with a blessing
  • Use the Bible story and questions as a devotional at a gathering with families and then invite families to go deeper with the prayer list on their own.
  • Invite small groups to use the playlist together (could be an intergenerational group, family groups, etc.)

Elijah and the Widow of Zarephath

The story of the widow of Zarephath is one of great faith. Based on the world we know, there is no reason that her food should have lasted as long as it did. But we claim an all-powerful God who works miracles and made that food last. Often times congregations, and individuals, find themselves working for a scarcity mentality of worrying about how little they believe they can do in ministry. The story of the widow of Zarephath inspires us to instead come from a mentality of abundance, and working to make the best use of the resources we have to make an impact in the world for others, no matter how big or small. (Rev. Michael Vollmer)

Bible Story

  • Read the story of Elijah and the Widow of Zarephath from 1 Kings 17:8-16 in your Bible or favorite Bible Story Book.
  • Explore the map of Israel. Find Zarephath on the map. Elijah traveled from the Kerith Brook all the way to Zarephath. How long do you think it took Elijah to travel that far?
  • Wonder about the story together:
    • What surprises did you hear in the story?
    • How did the widow feel when Elijah asked for help?
    • How did trusting Elijah change the widow’s life?
    • What is God calling you to do next?
    • What do you wonder about?
  • Prayer:
    • Dear God- the world is full of surprises. Some are exciting and others can be hard. Thank you for helpers who show kindness and care even when it is hard. Help me know how to help others when it feels difficult. Amen.


Girl Holding Plant

Grow in Your Faith Together

A woman trusted Elijah and her family always had enough to eat! There are people across the world, the United States, Michigan, even in your community. We read stories from the Bible to learn about God, Jesus, and our faith. The stories from the Bible can also inspire us to take action! To notice when there are people who are hurting, hungry, or sad and to be with people. Sometimes that means learning, taking action, or advocating. The activities in this playlist offer ways to deepen our faith through a spiritual practice, a way to learn about hunger, and a way to take action.

Spiritual Practice

Paying Attention

Elijah paid attention to the needs of the widow. Here are ways that the practice of paying attention can help you grow in your faith.

Simply paying attention is about as basic as it gets. But it can also be challenging in our world today. Young children are good at noticing. They notice bugs and flowers and the way a pea rolls around on the plate. That gives us a natural way to connect the things they notice to God the Creator. “Thank you, God, for creating that cool bug.” “Wow, God makes some beautiful flowers!” etc. As children grow into tweens and teens, they become more distracted by a lot of the same things that distract us. So we can help them (and ourselves) by simply inviting them to notice, to pay attention, to look for signs of God all around them. “I see the beauty of God’s creation in the sunrise.” “I see God’s compassion in you in the way you care for your friend.”  (from Ten Simple Practice Ideas for Children & Youth by Discipleship Ministries)

Learn About Hunger

Take Action

Volunteer at a local Food Bank

Use the discussion questions from Feeding America 

  • How did you feel when you were volunteering?
  • What was easy about the volunteer experience?
  • What was challenging?
  • Why do you think it is important for your family to help other families?
  • What other actions could we take as a family to help other families in need?

Learn more about hunger and ways that you can take action here.



Lulu and the Hunger Monster

by Erik Talkin and Sheryl Murray

Purchase the book here
Learn more about Lulu and the Hunger Monster here

One Potato, Two Potatoes

by Cynthia DeFelice

Purchase the book here

My Food, Your Food, Our Food

by Emma Carlson Berne

Purchase the book here

Music Videos