I’m still installing the first 25 steps. đź™‚
I confess this is one area I feel we need more attention in our context. More and more I feel if we sign up for a cause, we need to have a nudge to take baby step. Here’s a good list for starters:
“Among the ideas they are promoting which combine worship, prayer, and learning are the following:
- Find out what your church has said about HIV and AIDS and ask church leaders what they have done to follow up on their statements.
- Learn about the commitments toward universal access to prevention, treatment, care and support made by governments and how you can join in civil society to ensure that effective targets are made and kept. UNGASS.
- Link up to other community events around World AIDS Day. Promote and take part in them. Work with and support networks of people living with HIV and AIDS.
- Help mobilize action in your community – such as a march, vigil, or letter-writing campaign – calling on your national leaders to set clear targets for their commitments on HIV and AIDS and to actively work towards universal access by 2010. Use the posters and other resources from the World AIDS Campaign
- Visit political leaders or write to them to make sure that they are keeping to commitments they have made for the care and support of people living with HIV and AIDS. Lobby them to increase their commitments.
- Join in 16 Days Against Gender Violence, November 25-December 10 as part of an already existing local or national activity or take action on your own. The Center for Women’s Global Leadership has an international calendar of activities.
- Write journal articles, letters to the editor, newsletter articles about HIV and AIDS and the role of faith communities.
- Be tested for HIV. It is important for all of us to know our status, so that we can make informed decisions that affect our own health and that of the people we love. Seek out and promote good counseling and confidential testing. This is also an important way for religious and community leaders to break down the stigma often associated with HIV and testing.”
Of course, most of the time things are messier than what letters can convey but we need some way of processing this.
Good reminder quote. This is a good post for leaders and I’m sure my Methodist friends would appreciate it.. But lately, I’ve been thinking as one who’s heard this kind of talk pounded on myself again and again. What do the people need to hear together with insights like this?
“What if the church is not about attracting people into a building but living as God’s people in the public space of their own community and neighborhood?”
Looking at pictures in this post and reading about life and ministry there stretches this city based kid in me!
A kind reflective soul recommended I post this up.
Jesus turned to the ones on his left and he will say:
“Depart from me you who are accursed. For I was hungry, but you didn’t give me anything to eat. So we grew our own food, but we had to sell it into the international trading system, using the money to pay off our debts to your country. We had little left to eat.
“For I was thirsty, and you gave me nothing to drink. So we found a water table and drilled a well. But Coca Cola Amatil came to our city and outbid us for access to our own water. They use it to make your Coca Cola. They outbid us with the profits they made from selling you their product.
“I was imprisoned in my own country, so I fled in desperation with nothing except the money that I was able to get in exchange for everything I ever owned. I managed to get to your country, even though the people smugglers told me I was going to England! When I got to your country, you put me into another prison. But you call yours a detention centre?
“I was naked, and you did not clothe me. So we had to find work in order to buy our own clothes. I found work, in a factory. I worked every day from 7am till 9pm with very few breaks, 7 days a week. It was hard work. I rarely got to see my family, life was very hard. This kind of life made me very sad. The factory I worked in made clothes that were sold to you.
“I was sick. I agonized as many of my family, friends and especially the children in my community died from things like diarrhoea and simple infections. I was afraid I too would die in this horrible way. Day after day, month after month, year after year. This happened whilst every now and then, you would give thanks to your God for your health.
“I was homeless and I read in one of your Christian books that if I applied myself and worked hard enough, I could have whatever I could conjure up enough faith for. I have been praying and believing for a home for my family. I cannot wait for God to answer that prayer.
“I was lonely, hoping for someone to visit. Often I saw your aeroplanes flying overhead. I suspect that you were probably on your way to London, or Paris to see things that were very important and special.
“You seemed so blessed with so many things. You must be very holy for God to bless you with so many good things. I am still very hungry and lonely and cold.
Then he will turn to the ones on his right, and he will say:
“Come you who are blessed by my father, inherit the Kingdom prepared for you since the foundation of the world.
“For I was hungry, and you decided to prioritise environmental sustainability and the just nature of trade regarding the food you eat. When you made your food producers and manufacturers accountable to the way they treat me and the planet on which I try to grow my own food, you slowly but surely made a difference in my life and the life of my family.
“When I was thirsty, you heard my cry and sacrificially gathered some of God’s wealth and resources and gave them to me so that I could build a well in my community. Your simple sacrifice and concern for me and my family made a huge difference in the life and health of our community.
“I was naked and you were outraged. You demanded that the corporations from whom you purchased your own clothing treated me with justice. I was able to form a trade union and campaign for good working conditions. I was able to work and to rest and recreate because of your concern and action. You now have to pay a little bit more for your own clothing, but that does not concern you for now people are more important to you than money.
“I was sick with preventable diseases, and this filled you with remorse. You decided that you would give some of your monthly income regularly to programs that helped to improve the quality of my life, and that of my family and friends. In your monthly budget, you made sure that you remembered me always, for the remainder of your life.
“I was homeless, and you knew that this was wrong. You opened your home to me, sharing a room, meals, tears, time, frustrations, patience and love with me. It was uncomfortable for you; however you gave much and learned much about yourself, about God, and about our common humanity.
“I was lonely. But so were you, trapped in a world where you needed to be constantly entertained and stimulated. As you broke free from your materialistic prison, we found each other. We talked, and listened to one another, we spent time getting to know each other, and ourselves. In your act of reaching out, you became more human than you realised possible.
And the ones on his right said to the King:
“Lord, when did we see you hungry, thirsty, naked, sick or lonely and in prison?
And the King answered:
“Whatsoever you did to the least of these, you did it to me.”