Progress – is it always positive?
The concept of progress as the continual improvement of conditions for human life needs to be challenged.
As we explore the dichotomies in life which integral mission seeks to address, we need to include the separation of the individual and the community from their natural environment. The most obvious impact of this division is that nature and our environment is viewed as a commodity, a resource to be used, exploited, abused and destroyed. The driving force is one of consumption and immediate satisfaction for the benefit firstly of individuals and secondly for society.
Partly our theological worldview(s) has exacerbated this over the years. We asserted that the human being was centre of God’s creation and the mandate to have “dominion and rule the earth” gave us freedom to do what we liked. We did not anchor this firmly in the character of God and his mission to liberate, restore and reconcile our world. We did not link this to the Good News of the Kingdom of God and our shared role in demonstrating and living this out. We did not fully explore the meaning of dominion and rule, the extent to which caretaker and kingship point to towards protection, flourishing, sharing and life in all its fullness.
So, it seems there is a destructive side to “progress” which we need to address. As we review the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) that will be launched this September (25th to 27th in New York – UN Summit), we need to unpack each of these words and ideas theologically and practically, learning not only to live within our planetary boundaries, but to support the regenerative natural life cycles and to help heal and restore our world. This will mean intentionally bringing the individual and community responsibility back together with our environment, recognising our inter-dependence and reciprocity for life, not just for our generation but for future generations.
Progress (moving forward) that leads us over a cliff is suicidal.
Join this conversation, add your thoughts and reflections to our preparation for the Global Consultation in September – together we can make a difference.
Grace and peace,
Interim International Director
SDG 2: End hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition, and promote sustainable agriculture
- All people to have access year-round to safe, nutritious and sufficient food by 2030
- Double agricultural productivity while ensuring sustainable food production systems and the implementation of resilient agricultural practices
- Maintain genetic diversity of seeds, cultivated plants, farmed and domesticated animals
Hunger and Justice
842 million people go hungry every day. Some of the issues that need to be considered here are:
Rising food prices: why, what, where, who, how questions need to investigated.
Low wages: just and fair wages that take into account the real cost of living. What is the minimum wage in your country and is it a liveable one?
Wastage: about one third of all food produced annually is wasted – that is 1.3 billion tonnes of food. This could address the needs of those without. See this article calling on world leaders to address food waste.
Poverty: An infant’s future is shaped in the first 1,000 days of life. If they don’t get the right nutrition their capacity will be damaged for life. That is, if they make it past 5 years old. Poverty destroys lives and robs opportunities.
We currently grow enough food for everyone, so hunger is not due to physical limits of our planet but to social limits – the way we choose to produce, buy, share, sell and use food. See the United Nations' Zero Hunger Campaign for more information.
SDG 2 presents us with achievable goals however they require a united effort.
Make it Happen
Sunday 8th March 2015 is International Women’s Day. It’s an opportunity to celebrate women’s achievements and to again raise our concern of equality.
Amanda Jackson, head of the WEA Women’s Commission shares: "International Women’s Day is still important. March 8th has only lost its relevance if we use it as a day to promote more privileges for ourselves. But by using it as a day to stand up for women around the world, who are living in poverty and oppression, it is hugely relevant". Read Amanda’s challenging blog on this subject and see how Banksy’s art work in Gaza raises the issue further.
Why does it matter and why should we in Micah continue to raise awareness of inequality and violence against women?
Read the shocking report by Leslee Udwin who interviewed one of the men who raped the student on the bus in Delhi in 2012. This report highlights how much effort we need to make to change the opinion of women being viewed as less than human, as a meer commodity to bight and exchanged. Follow this story as it unfolds in India.
Gender based violence is not a women’s issue it’s a human issue!
The 8th of March is not a day just for women to be remembered it’s a day when men are invited to stand up and:
1. Respect all women everywhere and demonstrate love and support for women and children in your family
2. Challenge other men by speaking out to your friends and colleagues about ending violence and negative attitudes towards women.
3. Join the cause and make a personal pledge by joining the First Man Standing list here
Integral Mission & Shalom: GC 2015
6th Micah Global Consultation
We are looking forward to gather together as a global community in Lima, Peru on the 14th-18th September, 2015.
You will have the opportunity to participate in workshops, plenary sessions, debates, exhibitions and pre- and post-consultation thematic sessions.
Keynote speakers will include:
- Johannes Reimer
- Efraim Tendero
- Rene Padilla
- Ash Barker
- CB Samuel
...and many more!
You can view the full draft programme here.
The Consultation will be conducted in English, Spanish, Portuguese and French using simultaneous interpretation.
Theme: Integral Mission and Shalom: justice, peace, joy
The word “Shalom” conveys a powerful concept of peace. This is not just the absence of conflict, it is an all-encompassing peace:
• Peace with God
• Peace with one another
• Peace with creation
Shalom captures God’s intent and purpose for us all. Life in all its fullness. It reflects the Kingdom of God’s relational dynamic.
Registration is being taken using Eventbrite. The different accommodation options are limited, so please register early to ensure your place!
You can fill out the registration form and complete payment here.
Micah National Conversations
Kenya - Integral Mission & the Community
5th-6th March, 2015
Dimesse Sisters, Nairobi, Kenya
Tanzania - Transformation: an Integrated Response
10th March, 2015
Canossa Spirituality Centre, Arusha, Tanzania
Germany - Celebration and Sorrow
Die Millenniumsziele - ein Resümee (The MDGs - a Summary)
24th-26th April, 2015
Jordan - Courage for Change: Being Salt and Light
15th-16th May, 2015
The Jesuit Centre, Amman, Jordan
Cape Town, South Africa
Nepal - Integral Mission and Inclusive Community Transformation
25th-26th May, 2015
France - Celebration and Sorrow
29th-30th May, 2015
Sri Lanka - Integral Mission and Justice
June 4th-5th, 2015
Colombo, Sri Lanka
Diplomado Virtual Prevención y Atención Integral de la Violencia Familiar [Virtual Diploma in the Prevention and comprehensive care of family violence]
Dates: 6th April - 7th August, 2015
Registration until 3rd April, 2015
This online course is co-organised by Paz y Esperanza and Restored, and accredited by NYACK.
The course is conducted in Spanish.
This course is targeted to: leaders and church members, organisations and networks that want to enrich their ministry of service in the field of domestic violence.
Partial scholarships available.
More Information here.
Reminder: Disaster Ministry Conference and Workshops
Dates: June 8-11, 2015
Location: Wheaton College, Wheaton IL, USA
New speakers announced, including:
• Shayne Moore, author
• David Myers, Department of Homeland Security's Center for Faith-based & Neighborhood Partnerships
• Patrice Penney, Initiative for Children at Risk Africa
• Gil Odendaal, World Relief
• Wendy Bovard, UMOJA
• Roger Sandberg, Medical Teams International
• Tom Albinson, International Association for Refugees
All the details and registration can be found here.
The Justice Conference - Australia
Dates: April 17th - 18th
Location: Arrow on Swanston, Melbourne, Australia
This international event exploring biblical justice is coming to Australia, and is open to anyone who is keen to dive in to learning and sharing on what justice looks like and how each of us is called to respond to injustice in our community, our nation and our world.
Overturning Tables: Freeing Missions from the Christian-Industrial Complex - Scott Bessenecker
Much of Christian ministry has been shaped to operate not according to the witness of the Scriptures, but according to the values of the free market. We adopt metrics of success that have nothing to do with the state of people's souls or the seeding of the earth with the kingdom of God.
Possible: a Blueprint for Changing how we Change the World - Stephen Bauman
Stephan Bauman, believes true change begins in the hearts and actions of ordinary people. In Possible, he presents clear and biblical thinking, powerful stories, and practical tools for sustainably impacting our workplaces, neighborhoods, villages, and cities.
Accountable Financial Management
From managing our own family finances to overseeing organisation, church, business and college finances, we need to ask ourselves about how we can ensure safe, transparent and accountable practices.
Mango's Guide to financial management for NGOs provides high quality resources, available for free to help NGO staff and trustees get to grips with financial management in practice. There are lots of helpful free resources here which can be adapted for small to large organisations as well as for church and college finances. Mango also offer training courses for your finance teams.