I recently listened to a lecture given by Aung San Soo Kyi (the opposition leader in Myanmar held under house arrest for many years) in which she talked about our hunger for freedom. She believed that we all as individuals and corporately desire to be free.
This year we have seen the news full of the revolution that has spread across the North Africa and parts of the Middle East – their determination was again freedom.
But what freedom are they asking for?
• Freedom to share our thoughts and beliefs with one another
• Freedom to communicate
• Freedom to move within our borders and to travel
• Freedom to choose who we want to lead us
• Freedom to do what we want to do and when
Aung San Soo Kyi is willing to persevere under great personal suffering to pursue her belief and passion for freedom.
When I think of the word freedom, I can't help but get the picture of Mel Gibson in Braveheart shouting that word out at the end of the film as his last breath was taken from him. Powerful image of this hunger for freedom.
But what does it really look like?
Galatians 5:1 states "It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by the yoke of slavery."
Our passion in Micah Network is to mobilise our Christian community to live out this freedom that Christ has provided for us. We are in a new Kingdom (The Kingdom of God) where we have been set free from all that enslaved and restricted us to be what God wants us to be. We need to learn to walk in that freedom, to live it out, to share it freely - the process of walking in this freedom is integral mission. Demonstrating God's amazing love through our walk of integrity with God, through the hope and message we share, through the compassion we give and in the signs and fragrance of the new Kingdom that follows. Proclaiming the truth of the freedom we now have.
Like the Israelites who stood before the Red Sea and looked back to Egypt thinking better the struggle they knew than freedom that lay ahead – unknown, we need to choose to stand in faith and move into all that God has for us.
Support church and community action for food justice
During the Churches’ Week of Action on Food, which takes place worldwide on 10-17 October, join fellow Christians in a moment of reflection and action on the global food system and the imbalances that result in a full plate for some and an empty plate for others.
There are many ways to be involved, as highlighted in the action guide prepared for the week. Whether by holding a special worship service (using the liturgy developed for the occasion by the Iona Community), doing food quizzes with your community members, or discussing the regional information and action sheets provided with the action guide, we invite you to learn more about the issues and find ways to make a difference.
The week in October covers World Food Day - October 16 – which is also the Micah Challenge day on the MDGs.
The action guide, regional information and action sheets, liturgy, quiz, waste Tracker, and examples of other activities, sermons and more are available online at: Food for Life Campaign. We invite you to share your actions with us so that you can help inspire others in their similar endeavours: firstname.lastname@example.org
Note: Micah Network would like to encourage members to read up and join into the campaign that EAA are running called: Food for Life
World Food Day – 16 October 2011: Food prices - from crisis to stability
Price swings, upswings in particular, represent a major threat to food security in developing countries. Hardest-hit are the poor. According to the World Bank, in 2010-2011 rising food costs pushed nearly 70 million people into extreme poverty.
“FOOD PRICES – FROM CRISIS TO STABILITY” has been chosen as this year’s World Food Day theme to shed some light on this trend and what can be done to mitigate its impact on the most vulnerable.
On World Food Day 2011, let us look seriously at what causes swings in food prices, and do what needs to be done to reduce their impact on the weakest members of global society.
16th October is also Micah Sunday – why not combine the two and help raise awareness in your church, community and organisation.
Download the issues: FAO Food Issues Paper
Anti-Poverty Week Australia
TEAR Australia and Servants Australia are jointly holding a prayer workshop: Praying the Psalms in a World of Dispossession. This workshop is timed to coincide with Anti-Poverty Week (http://www.antipovertyweek.org.au) and the UN's International Day for the Eradication of Poverty (http://www.un.org/depts/dhl/poverty)
Sophia Think Tank - Advocacy
Sophia Think Tank is the Bible Advocacy unit of Bible Society Australia. Bible advocacy is identified as having a Public Theology and Apologetics role and has at least three components to it:
To advocate for the Bible, its relevancy, usefulness, and worthiness as a source of wisdom, usually (but not always) in contexts where the Bible is regarded with little respect.
To advocate with the Bible, allowing it to speak into issues of importance in daily, public life as a source of insight and wisdom that deserves to be heard and respected.
To understand stories of advocacy within the Bible as a way of learning how advocacy can be done and as a way of interpreting those parts of the Bible that speak into issues of the Biblical times.
Sophia Think Tank has identified ten drivers of society: Politics, Media, Arts, Business, Sports, Community Service Organisations, Education, Health, Justice, and Law. We want to challenge each of these drivers to consider what a difference a wisdom stance would make to their sector and to make a stand to think wisely about the issues they face on a daily basis. We need to return to a values base in decision making, a character ethic in leadership, and a framework of social justice through which we see all of life. This is the application of wisdom and the desire of ST2
ST2 is committed to research, development of tools for engagement with wisdom, and regular conversations in the public realm that contribute to ‘engaging with wisdom for personal and social transformation’.
The Director of Sophia Think Tank is Dr David Wilson.
To follow and engage in discussions: www.st2.com.au
Leadership Consultation with Faith2Share
Location: Antalya, Turkey
Dates: 5th to 10th March 2012
This is a global consultation with a regional focus one year on from the “Arab Spring”.
• Integrating emerging mission movements
• Focus on effective collaboration in mission
• Facing up to the big issues in mission in 2012
There will also be an opportunity to "walk in the footsteps of St. Paul" and see some of the local ancient sights.
For more information: email@example.com
Inspired Individuals - Nominate
From Tearfund UK / www.integralmission.net
Inspired Individuals seeks to identify, resource and support Christian social entrepreneurs in the global south. We offer selected candidates (Inspired Individuals) a 3 year journey that consists of financial support through a small annual stipend of $5,000, as well as opportunities for fellowship and networking with other social entrepreneurs and experts in their field of work, targeted capacity building support including coaching, and membership to our worldwide prayer support network. We attempt to provide a nurturing environment for the individual where they and their idea can become more sustainable and their impact can increase.
This is where you come in! We are now looking for our next cohort of Inspired Individuals. It is a nomination-driven identification and selection process - so we are looking to develop a network of friends, colleagues, partners, and IM networks that can help us identify potential social entrepreneurs who could benefit from the support we provide through the Initiative. I know how well you are networked, so I would really appreciate it if you could consider people you know, or those you may get to know over the next while, as potential candidates as Inspired Individuals, and nominate them!
The main criteria for the initial nomination are:
1. They are Christians.
2. They have started to implement an idea that has the potential to bring about significant positive social change.
3. What they are doing is innovative.
4. Finally, there is opportunity to scale their idea.
It's an easy on-line process, go to: www.inspiredindividuals.org/nominate
Integral Mission Conversation and Reconciliation Workshop
Dates: 15th to 17th November 2011
Location: Abundant Life Fellowship, Lusaka, Zambia.
This event is especially targeting Christian organisations, church leaders and colleges from Zambia, Zimbabwe, Malawi and Mozambique.
The mornings will be set aside for discussion and shared learning on integral mission in Africa and the afternoon and evenings will be devoted to learning about putting this into practice through a reconciliation workshop which will be facilitated by Dr Rhiannon Lloyd, who has run these workshops throughout countries such as Rwanda, South Africa and DRC .
For more information go to: www.micahnetwork.org/events
Registration: either online or by writing to firstname.lastname@example.org
Limited space so register early.
Asia Regional Consultation – 17th to 21st October 2011
Have not registered?
Send registration details to email@example.com and join us now.
See: www.micahnetwork.org/events for more information
Justice and Peace – Renè Padilla
PEACE is a desirable good for individuals as well as for nations. The human heart longs for peace, which is also a political objective that no responsible government can ignore. Be it in the East or the West, in the North or the South, the prophetic vision of a world in which swords are beaten into ploughshares and spears into pruning hooks elicits a positive response.
However, peace has its conditions. Unless they are met, the ideal of peace becomes merely a desire that cannot be fulfilled. Isaiah 32:17 points to the most important condition: justice. It reads: “The effect of righteousness [justice] will be peace, and the result of righteousness, quiet and trust forever.” Peace relates to justice as fruit to the tree that produces it. Where there is no justice, there can be no peace. Injustice and peace cannot coexist.
For full devotion – see www.micahnetwork.org/prayer-focus
If you are not signed up for the prayer focus please write to firstname.lastname@example.org
Global Triennial Consultation 2012
Dates: 10th to 14th September 2012
Location: Thun, Switzerland
Theme: Justice, Compassion, Humility – Integral Mission and the Local Church
Focus: Making a difference and learning together how to make a practical impact.
Annual Review 2010
Our Micah Network Annual Review of our activties in 2010 is available to download: Review 2010