Take part in attaining MDGs, Zambians challenged
TIMES OF ZAMBIA, Monday, October, 20, 2008 – HOME NEWS
By Times Reporter
The organisation’s facilitator, Lawrence Temfwe said on Sunday during an inter-denominational gathering at the Bread of Life Church in Ndola that people needed to work towards achieving the MDGs and not leave it entirely to the Government.
Sunday Liturgy and Guide
Micah Sunday is a global day of prayer to mobilize churches to engage with global poverty issues. It is a time for churches to learn, reflect and act on their belief about the importance of justice, and to commit to the fight for dignity for the most vulnerable.
Micah Sunday is celebrated with activities in church services around the world. These activities include prayer times, Biblical reflections and mobilization of faith communities to present public petitions in the fight against poverty within each context.
Micah Sunday 2008 is set for October 19, after the Stand Up 2008. However if you cannot mark Micah Sunday on October 19th, please choose another Sunday before October 19. This year’s Micah Sunday will coincide with Stand Up 2008, a period of high profile for the reduction of poverty in various communities in Zambia.
Aims of Micah Sunday
The aim of this year’s Micah Sunday is to:
- Mobilize Christians against poverty
- Intercede for our leaders to keep their promise to halve poverty by 2015.
- Pray for Zambia to meet her side of commitments to the MDGs.
- Take stock of what your church has done to lessen poverty in your community
- Discuss your aims for the service, including any local aims (e.g. Special Outreach)
- Hang posters, send invitations etc
- Involve all church members in preparing for the service (e.g. prepare posters illustrating the MDGs)
- Ask children to prepare a play, poem and/or song around the MDGs.
- Decorate the church in Micah Challenge Colours: Yellow and blue
Be ready to greet the congregation before the usual start time. Four options:
- Display MDG posters in the church
- Arrange the children to present Bible verses, poem or song to illustrate Micah Sunday
- Show the Micah Challenge Zambia Video, Agenda to End poverty
- Children and youth perform a 5 minute poverty drama.
- Read out statistics illustrating the Millennium Development Goals, with pauses for meditation and prayer.
Briefly introduce Micah Challenge Zambia and read the Micah Call. You could mention the two aims of Micah Challenge and the meaning of integral mission.
Read Isaiah 62: 1-12
Songs of Praise
Choose songs that praise the God of life, protector and carer of creation
Please ask the congregation to join in one or more of the actions indicated below:
- Read out the Micah Call and ask everyone to sign it as they leave the church
- To pray for our leaders to commit themselves to halve poverty by 2015.
Possible sermon Themes
Psalm 33:1-5 Justice and Righteousness, Isaiah 58 True fasting, Amos 5:21-24 Let Justice roll, Matthew 25:31-46 The least of These, Luke 4:14-19 Good news to the poor, Luke 10:25-37 Who is our neighbour? Luke 11:37-52 neglecting justice, James 1:19-27 Pure religion, James 2: 14-46 Faith and deeds.
To bring to mind the people of many lands and cultures who are joined with us in the Body of Christ, prayers of commitment could be said individually or jointly in as many languages as are represented in the church gathering, or as many languages as you wish.
We are writing with more details for the two major Micah Challenge Zambia Mobilization events in the month of October. We warmly invite all District Steering Committees to participate in the Stand Up Take Action and Micah Sunday. They do not require significant financial resources and we hope that all District steering Committees will be able to participate.
Objectives-what do we want to achieve?
- Mobilize Churches in your District to participate in Micah Sunday
- Mobilize the community and the church to participate in Stand Up Take Action.
Theme: Stand Up Against High Food prices
Stand Up Take Action is a worldwide call to take up action against poverty and inequality and for achieving and exceeding the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). Between the 17th and 19th of October millions of people around the Globe will literally and symbolically stand up and speak out demanding their governments keep their promises to end extreme poverty and hunger. Last year more than 43.7 million people in 127 countries took part and set a new Guinness world record. This year rings even louder. Micah Challenge Zambia aims to mobilize over 100,000 people. Every person counts.
We need you to Stand Up and Speak Out to make the Zambian government honour its commitment on the attainment of MDGs.
Taking part is easy. Here’s what we urge you to do:
1. Make announcements in churches through the Ministers/pastors fellowships asking Christians to plan a moment between October 17 and 19 in their workplaces, schools, churches or homes, when they will stop, stand up, and share a moment of prayer and commitment focused on the words of the Micah Call.
2. Prepare churches by introducing Stand Up Take Action in announcements and news bulletin in churches, Sunday schools and small or cell groups before October 17. Encourage Sunday school teachers and cell group leaders to share or to discuss on the words of the prophets and the teachings of Jesus concerning the poor during the week leading to 17th October. On October 19 invite churches to observe Micah Sunday; and during the service that Sunday ask church members to practice the Stand Up Take Action moment as it comes to a climax that day.
3. Demonstrate the challenge of poverty in communities by escorting a senior government or political leader (e.g. MP, PS, Mayor, DC, Council Chairman, or Provincial Minister) to the local market. Get them to spend the equivalent of one US Dollar (i.e. K3500) on their food supplies for the day. Hold a public rally at the market place or another suitable venue where different speakers can address the issue of rising food prices and the impact it’s having on the poor. Invite speakers from the church and the civil society and the government.
4. Invite Christian artists to participate in your stand up activities and endorse the Micah Challenge.
5. Invite like-minded NGOs, CBOs, FBOs and the public to participate in the Stand Up Take Action activities.
6. Approach local schools to organize classroom/school based actives. These can involve among other activities pupils sharing poems, songs, and sketches either at the start of the class or during assembly. The class teacher can explain the significance of Stand Up Take Action, and the need to reduce poverty in our nation. Furthermore pupils can be asked to write posters urging the government to reduce poverty and stick them on the notice board.
7. Plan for a march and a public rally where you can invite the public to participate and musicians and speakers dealing with the issue of high food prices. Use this forum to have people sign a petition that relates to local situation such access to ART, overcrowding in schools, high food prices etc.
8. Hold round table dialogues on MDGs in your district. Invite the public to participate in these discussions
9. Run phone in radio programs on your local community radio station. Contact the Campaign Coordinator’s office to find out what assistance is available for organizing a radio program
10. Hold a sports day for young people under the theme: kicking out high food prices.
11. Finally, you can also organize a prayer summit to pray for God’s intervention in the poverty and hunger situation in your district.
This is a moment in history of unique potential, when the stated intentions of world leaders echo something of the mind of the Biblical prophets and the teachings of Jesus concerning the poor, and when we have the means to dramatically reduce poverty.
We commit ourselves, as followers of Jesus, to work together for the holistic transformation of our communities, to pursue justice, be passionate about kindness and to walk humbly with God.
We call on international and national decision-makers of both rich and poor nations, to fulfill their public promise to achieve the Millennium Development Goals and so halve absolute global poverty by 2015.
We call on Christians everywhere to be agents of hope for and with the poor, and to work with others to hold our national and global leaders accountable in securing a more just and merciful world.