On Thursday, Sept. 25, more than 300 bloggers around the world participated in World MDG Blogging Day -- spreading the word about God's mission of global reconciliation and the Millennium Development Goals. Over the coming weeks, some of our daily entries on the EGR blog will include some of those entries. Like this one!
Have you heard of the ONE campaign? Most likely, yes. Not just because Mr. Hotpants is a major spokesperson, but because you may have seen people wearing the white wristbands or you have seen the YouTube videos? Maybe you have been to an event, a rally, raised your voice to your congressperson or senator. Maybe you saw that someone signed up for the ONE group on their facebook or myspace causes? Maybe you are a huge U2 fan, and follow the work of Bono, ultra hip and cool rockstar/humanitarian.
In the Episcopal Church, we have an group kind of similar called E4GR. E4GR (Episcopalians for Global Reconciliation) is an Episcopal grassroots movement of connection and collaboration to seek and serve Christ in the extreme poor around the world. It is this group that has had me put a badge on my blog, and invited me to lend my voice to the other almost 2,000 other bloggers who have committed to writing, praying and fasting last Thursday, Sept. 25, the day that the UN Secretary-General and the President of the UN General Assembly are convening a High-level Event on the Millennium Development Goals at UN Headquarters in New York. So what is all this hoopla about?
The MDGs (Millennium Development Goals). What are the MDGs you ask? Google it, I dare you. You will come up with about a gah-gillion hits (ok... about 4,010,000 for MDG in 0.21 seconds) , with literally hundreds and hundreds of organizations, governments, and everyday people talking about the MDGs. People like Ellen, Bill Gates, Angelina Jolie and Ryan Hanson (aka Mr. Joe Average American) are all spreading the word. So I too, am lending my voice.
The Millennium Development Goals are a concise set of goals, numerical targets and quantifiable indicators to assess progress in development. The set includes 8 goals, 18 targets and over 40 indicators. All United Nations Member States have pledged to meet the following goals by the year 2015.
But *ugh*. Really, what can I do, just me, little ol' me?
WARNING: HONEST Reality check. My heart screams "YES! Right on! I am so in!" and the rest of me is an apathetic piece of s#@*%$@! who can hardly bring herself to vote in the primary, is scared to call her congressperson or senator because she has never done it before, and really, just wants to write her check, and be done. I WANT more for myself, I want to be more, do more, but the reality is most days I am as selfish and lame as the next person when it comes to my social activism. I hate this truth about me, and I am ashamed, but feel like maybe there are some of you who feel like I do. I am no Angelina Jolie I say to myself. What can I do?
I can pray.
God, are you sick of me yet? Forgive me and my apathy, and create in me a clean heart and a right spirit to be ONE, in the way you have made me to be. Jesus, table flipper-redeemer-grace beyond grace giver-transformer, show me, teach me, rattle me with the stories of who and whos I am. Holy Spirit, nudger-havok reeker-heart restarter, breathe life into my apathethic bones, and the bones of my neighbors, government, leaders. Help me believe that You are in fact at work in this crazy, messed up island home we call earth. Help me to discern what I can do.
(and the E4GR Prayer)
Most loving God,
as your desire for mercy for the poor is unrelenting,
may we be unrelenting in our pursuit of mercy for all;
as your compassion for the suffering of the poor knows no limit,
may our hearts overflow with compassion for all;
as you long for justice for the poor, may we strive for justice for all.
Open our eyes to the structures of oppression from which we benefit,
and give us courage to accept our responsibility,
wisdom to chart a sound course amid complexity,
and perseverance to continue our work until it is finished.
Breathe your life-giving Spirit afresh into your Church
to free us from apathy and indifference;
through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Rachel Swan is a self-described Episco-Lutheran? Luther-palian? young adult who works for the Minneapolis-area synod of the ELCA and who dreams of owning her own dive bar. You can read her regular musings at swandive.typepad.com