Individual, Community and Creation
Colossians 1:15ff tells us that all things in heaven and earth were created by God and for God and that he sustains all things. So God created all things, he sustains all things and he holds all things together. As we read on in Colossians it also he in vs19-20 that Jesus will reconcile all things, whether in heaven or on earth. So we can add that God will redeem, restore and reconcile all things to himself. Our individual salvation is a part of God’s total redemption plan. We are not saved out of creation, but as part of creation.
We have often tended to focus our evangelical efforts on individual salvation. Important as this is, we should not separate this from God’s whole Gospel revelation to redeem all things in heaven and earth.
The church thus plays an integral part through demonstrating the unity that is God’s intention for all of creation. We cannot just be a sanctuary for saved individuals, we need to see God’s bigger missional picture. As we read through God’s revelation history in the Bible we see that from Genesis through to Revelation there is an inescapable "corporateness" in his plans. The covenants made with Noah, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob are to be a blessing for all peoples of the earth.
There are certainly individual believers that stand out but always for the purpose of the greater community. The coming of Jesus is described as an expression of love for the world (John 3:16). The call we have to a ministry of reconciliation is only possible to be fulfilled with others.
Integral Mission encourages reflection on this so as to bring together what has become separated. God’s mission is to redeem individuals, families, communities, nations – in fact all of creation (this includes land, water, productivity).
Does the way we share the Gospel reflect this? How does this impact the way we live?
At our Global Consultation in September 2015, we will be exploring together Integral Mission and Shalom: justice, peace and joy
for all of creation. This is an important moment in Micah’s life as we decide together how to be as effective as possible, how to be a catalyst for integral mission and how to advocate for life in all is fullness; free from poverty, injustice and conflict. We want to learn together how we can indeed go and make disciples of all nations.
Grace and peace,
Interim International Director
Response to Nepal Earthquake
In the aftermath of the devastation caused by the earthquake in Nepal on April 25th, Micah Nepal and other Christian NGOs, churches and other organisations have formed a united response: Disaster Relief Christian Community (DRCC).
You can read more information about Micah's response from our recent focus newsletter here, and from DRCC here. We encourage you to consider how you can be standing in solidarity with brothers and sisters in Nepal as they seek to deliver relief, rebuild homes and regain livelihoods.
In our Integral Mission Conversation in Kenya
in March as we reflected on the achievements that Kenya had made with regards to the MDGs, we celebrated that MDG 2 (Ensure that every child will be able to complete primary school) was stated as met. However, on closer examination we found the following:
The Kenya government had legislated that all children need to complete primary school. Class size had shot up to at times over 100 children per teacher. The number of schools and teachers were insufficient. The quality of the education suffered and reports were received that children were leaving primary still unable to read and write.
As we look ahead at the Sustainable Development Goal on education (SDG4), we hope to learn from the gaps created in MDG2 and approach education in a more systematic and holistic approach. The wording of SDG4 is encouraging:
SDG 4: Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote life-long learning opportunities for all.
The indicators to track progress lean heavily of quantity targets but there are also now a number of access, qualitative and structural improvement targets embedded into the progress markers.
Role of Christian Education
In our Global Consultation in Peru this September we will be facilitating discussions on the distinctive that Christian Schools bring and what role they play. These discussions will also explore the evolution of Christian schools which had initially been set up for the poor children, yet in many countries have become private schools for Christians, international or wealthier families.
SPOTLIGHT: Sri Lanka - REGISTRATIONS NOW OPEN
Towards Shalom: Integral Mission & Justice
4th - 5th June, 2015
LEADS, No.25 Hospital Road, Dehiwala
Colombo, Sri Lanka
Guest Speaker: CB Samuel (India)
Full details, invitation and registration form
Jordan - Courage for Change: Being Salt and Light
The Jesuit Centre, Amman, Jordan
15th-16th May, 2015
The Conversation went well with an overiding call for unity and an integreated response to support the refugees being hosted in Jordan.
Cape Town, South Africa
20th - 22nd May, 2015
Focused on strategic discussions, sharing opportunities, reflections and prayer as members consider how Micah can be a blessing in South Africa
Nepal - Integral Mission and Inclusive Community Transformation
The event scheduled for May 25th-26th is POSTPONED due to the earthquake which took place last month. Please continue to pray for Nepal.
France - Celebration and Sorrow
Postponed - new dates will be set at a later date.
Myanmar: Truth and Reconciliation
SAVE THE DATES - 10th - 13th August, 2015
Details to come in upcoming newsletters
Theme: Integral Mission and Saholm: justice, peace, joy
14th-18th September, 2015
Casino de Policía
Lima - Peru
We hope that you are all planning to join us at this important triennial gathering, as we formally launch the new Micah and look ahead to an exciting new strategy as we move forward together beyond 2015.
Full details are available here.
- New Venue
Note that we have changed the venue of the Consultation within Lima to Casino de Policía. If you have already registered, please note this change in venue as your ticket will have the old venue listed.
Registration is open and we are glad that many of you have already completed this process. Please ensure your spot by REGISTERING EARLY. Registration is available via Eventbrite in English, Spanish,
French and Portuguese.
- Discounted Flights
Micah has secured an agreement with the SkyTeam Airlines Alliance which allows delegates of the Global Consultation to access discounted airfares to and from Lima.
More details and access to this deal are available here (under "Travel Information").
Submissions of papers are now closed. Thank you to everyone who made a submission - we are really excited by the quality and variety.
Submissions of stories of change, case studies and artwork remain open.
If you cannot attend the Consultation, we still strongly encourage you to participate by making a submission.
See details here.
Ending Extreme Poverty: A Moral and Spiritual Imperative
On April 8, The World Evangelical Alliance (WEA), along with over 30 leaders from major world religions and heads of global faith-based organizations, launched a clarion call to action to end extreme poverty by 2030, a goal shared by the World Bank Group.
The statement, entitled Ending Extreme Poverty: A Moral and Spiritual Imperative, notes that remarkable progress has been made in reducing extreme poverty. Over 25 years the world has gone from nearly 2 billion people to fewer than 1 billion living in extreme poverty. Now, for the first time in human history there exists both the capacity and moral responsibility to ensure that no one has to live in extreme poverty’s grip.
“We in the faith community embrace this moral imperative because we share the belief that the moral test of our society is how the weakest and most vulnerable are faring. Our sacred texts also call us to combat injustice and uplift the poorest in our midst.”
The Moral Imperative statement seeks to generate the necessary social and political will by inspiring greater commitments from others to join in this cause, tapping into many of the shared convictions and beliefs that unify the world’s major religions around the call and responsibility to combat poverty...
You can read the entire media release on the WEA website here.
2015 marks a baton change year. We draw to an end the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and launch the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) which will run from September 2015 to September 2030.
Action/2015 is a campaign initiative that seeks to raise awareness of the two key decision making events taking place this year:
1) The SDG Launch in New York on the 25th to 27th September 2015 (SDGs)
2) Paris 2015: UN Climate Change Conference on the 30th November to 11 December 2015 (COP21)
Key Activities for Action/2015:
May Mobilisation: encourage leaders to invest in the preparation for the SDGs and COP21 and to commit to leave no one behind in the pursuit of meeting the SDGs. See a full list of activities in May here.
Open Letter to world leaders: see example here.
Action/2015 is supported by UN Foundation.
El Evangelio y la Responsabilidad Social
(The Gospel and Social Responsibility)
Reflections with Ron Sider
With translation by: René Padilla
Dates: 15th - 17th May
Location: Centro Kairos, Buenos Aires, Argentina
Hosted by Fundacion Kairos.
More Information and registration: click here.
The Justice Conference USA
Dates: 5th - 6th June
Location: The Auditorium, Chicago (and other venues by simulcast) USA
Presented by World Relief
Guest Speakers Include:
- Dr. Cornel West
- Stephen Bauman
- Lynne Hybels
- Gabriel Salguero
More Information and registration: click here.
Christian Connections for International Health
The 29th Annual Conference
Dates: 26th - 29th June
Location: Marymount University, Virginia, USA
The CCIH Annual Conference is the one gathering where Christian global health professionals from across the world come together to share best practices and Christian fellowship. It is unique in its focus on delivering strong public health programs from a Christian perspective.
More information and registration: click here.
Where the Cross Meets the Street:
What Happens to the Neighborhood When God Is at the Center
Noel Castellanos, CCDA
In Where the Cross Meets the Street, Castellanos shows the strengths and limitations of a narrowly focused church and broadens our imaginations to embrace a gospel that proclaims Christ and forms disciples. This life-giving gospel also demonstrates compassion, confronts injustice and restores individuals and communities to wholeness.
The Future is Inclusive:
How to make international development disability-inclusive
The Future is Inclusive is a recent publication by CBM International. It sets out in detail the rationale for including persons with disabilities in international development and humanitarian action and highlights a number of key principles to support disability-inclusive development based on the rights based approach and good practice in development. Using case studies and good practice examples, a number of success stories are highlighted which illustrate how inclusion can be insured in development projects.
The Restorative Economy
Completing our Unfinished Millennium Jubilee
The Restorative Economy is a paper intended to help catalyse a much needed debate about how we shape the future of our society and of our world. The ideas encapsulated in it are bold and radical, and deliberately so. The details are open to discussion, but we believe it’s time to start the conversation around these vital issues.