Saturday, December 30, 2006

Where 2 Help

A gift, an opportunity, a unique moment in history

EGR is committed to its organization being only as large as it needs to be to sustain the movement without getting so large it saps resources from the movement. Currently, that requires an annual budget of less than $200,000 for essential staff; maintaining an excellent internet presence and online community; and providing opportunities for grassroots leaders to gather, network and receive training.

It is a small amount compared with other organizations with larger staffs and overhead expenses. It is also one of the best investments in terms of return. Americans are generous people, and Episcopalians are certainly no exception. President Harry Truman was right when he said, “If you give Americans the facts, they will do the right thing.” All over the church, when people are educated about the profound need and the incredible opportunity the MDGs represent, they are opening their hearts and wallets – writing checks, starting missions and ministries and building relationships that are changing the church and the world. Every dollar given to EGR means many more dollars and more go to the people who need it the most. And that doesn’t even approach the transformational spiritual benefits for the Church and its people in engaging this mission and the great evangelical opportunity we grasp in being leaders in this global movement.

Throughout history, moments of great opportunity arise for humanity to fulfill the dreams of God. Those moments are gifts, and God is giving us one now. It’s the opportunity for the Church to reclaim its identity as the Body of a Christ who came to hold and heal, to draw the whole world to himself. It’s the opportunity to experience the depth of what our faith can mean not just for ourselves but for the world.

It’s an opportunity to go down in history as the generation of the Church that showed the world what Christ’s love looks like lived large and loud. And it’s your opportunity to be a part of it. We pray that you will join us.

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Companion Dioceses in Developing Counties

This Christmas I really wanted to spend my personal 0.7% on gift certificates for friends with articles in support of the Missouri companion Diocese of Lui, Sudan. I hope by next Christmas, companion diocese accounts will be established with 'gift certificates' like the Heifer Project has. Where I could give out 30, $10.00 primary education certificates to friends in Christmas cards. The meager amount of $10.00 pays for one child's education for a full year in Sudan. An amount most parents cannot afford.
Food for thought for the powers than be....
Penny Phillips, Ph.D.
Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

MDGs in Diocese of Spokane

After our annual Convention in October, two members of our Social and Outreach Ministry Commission agreed to spear head a group to help educate the congregations in our diocese. One program they've adopted is to feature one MDGs in each issue of the Inland Episcopalian, which is the monthly diocesan newspaper. This will culminate with the final MDGs just prior to our next convention. A special "package" will go to each congregation in February, providing links to EGR, One Campaign, a sample Vestry resolution, and several other resource documents. A round of kudos goes to Char Mills and Nancy Collins-Warner of the Spokane Diocese! Bob Runkle

Monday, December 18, 2006

The Next Great MDG Resource

The next great MDG resource, brought to you by -- YOU!

MDG cross logo
At EGR, we believe the best tools for ministry come from the people actively doing the ministry! That means YOU are the research and development arm of the MDG ministry in the Episcopal Church.

General Convention provided a mandate for church's engagement with the Millennium Development Goals. Now comes the fun part -- creating new, innovative and enevelope busting ways of spreading the Good News of God's call to us and our ability to respond.
So kick start both sides of your brain and invite your most creative friends to join the fun. Here is what we need:

Prayers -- Write your own prayers and liturgies with an MDG focus . Sunday School and youth groups to do the same. Write a Stations of the Cross service with the MDGs. Prayers of the People . Special morning and evening prayer services . A liturgy for the Last Sunday after Pentacost. (The Sunday where the Episcopal Church will be focusing on the MDGs .)
Printed materials - bulletin inserts, brochures, fliers, postcards, bumper stickers -- you name it. Anything we can put on our website in a pdf format anyone can download for use in their congregation. Be creative. Have fun.
Bible Studies - Thematic or lectionary- based. What are the creative ways to incorporate the MDGs into our weekly scripture study. Share what you are trying.
Activties by and for children and youth - Some of the best ideas about engaging the MDGs have come from people under 21! Turn 'em loose and remove the phrase "we can't" from your vocabulary. A lot of times those ideas are the best ones!

Hi-tech - Build a website, blog about the MDGs, make your own videos to put online, make podcasts of MDG stories, link people with listservs, create powerpoints and flashmovies, online photo albums, etc., etc. Need help? Read above under Children and Youth!

Art and music - Whatever your medium, turn yourself loose on God's mission of global reconciliation. Art and music can move us in ways unlike any other. And don't hide your light under a bushel. When you create, share it with us so God can work through you to touch others.

Everything else -- Fundraisers, displays, activities, demonstrations, adaptations of other ideas and stuff nobody's ever thought of before. Let your imagination run wild. Have fun with this!

Most important, whether it's something you have to share or a challenge you help with, make sure to let EGR know so we can help make it happen, too.

Need ideas to start with? Spend some time surfing around the EGR website ... that'll give you plenty to chew on.

Remember, this is a movement -- which means we don't wait around for something to happen or someone to tell us what to do. We become what's happening. We pray that God will use us, and then we get busy!

Saturday, December 9, 2006

What You Can Do

"And he said to them, 'Do not be amazed; you seek Jesus of Nazareth, who was crucified. He has risen, he is not here; see the place where they laid him. But go, tell his disciples and Peter that he is going before you to Galilee; there you will see him, as he told you.' And they went out and fled from the tomb; for trembling and astonishment had come upon them and they said nothing to anyone, for they were afraid." Mark 16:6-8

Go. Go and meet the risen Christ.

The first command of the resurrection was a sending out into the world. The dead Jesus whom they had come to finish burying was gone. The risen Christ was out there -- for them to seek and find.

God's mission, our call -- is not one that leaves us in familiar places of safety.

The missio dei of global reconciliation and the Millennium Development Goals is the call of that Easter morn. It is the call to go out into the world to seek and be changed by the living Christ. It is the glorious opportunity to leave our safe places to be with those whom many consider dead -- or at least dead to them -- and instead find in them the deepest well of life.

Each week we answer the question "What Can One Do?" with concrete examples and resources because that question is about nothing less than how we respond to the voice that greets us at the empty tomb. And because of that, when we talk about giving 0.7% or writing a letter or any of the many, many things you can do for those in deepest need from the comfort of your desk chair -- we are talking about those things not as ends but as beginnings. First steps on the road to Galilee where Christ is waiting to be met in unexpected people.

The stone has been rolled away -- and what we have found was not what we expected. Not an ending but a beginning. A call to an amazing and extraordinary life -- if we have the courage to go out and seek it.

So go. Go and meet the risen Christ. Don't listen to those who say that the brokenness of poverty, of AIDS, of malnutrition and lack of education and water that kills instead of heals, that all this brokenness is too much to tackle and that you are too foolish to take it on.

Be not afraid. The map may call it Tanzania or Pakistan or Nicaragua or Haiti or Sudan ... but it is all Galilee, and Christ is waiting for us there.

--The Rev. Mike Kinman

Friday, December 8, 2006

What One Can Do

Welcome to our blog. Episcopalians for Global Reconciliation. We will be updating this blog a couple of times per week. We would love your input and thoughts about how we can best support the Millennium Development Goals. For those that may be new to the MDGs, here are some facts;

The Millennium Development Goals (MDGs)

The Facts

One billion people live on less than $1.00 a day -- approximately one sixth of the people on the planet. Every day 30,000 children die from preventable consequences of extreme poverty; that's one every three seconds. Every year 500,000 women die from complications of pregnancy -- most of them exacerbated by poverty.

"One dollar a day" does not mean the equivalent of what a U.S. dollar would buy in an impoverished country. It refers to what it would buy here at home. That's like a family of four living on less than $1,460 a year of combined private and public resources (schools, roads and fire trucks are public resources). One dollar a day is the threshold below which there are insufficient calories to keep the body alive.

This is not about being poor. This is about living a slow death; this is about the poverty that kills.

Is anybody doing anything to eradicate poverty? The answer is Yes! And you can help.