Advocacy resourses online for Millennium Development Goals
As the weeks of Advent lead to Christmas, Christians prepare for Christ's coming by examining and ameliorating the patterns of their lives and relationships with God and one another.
Inviting the Church to pray and reflect upon making right the relationships and patterns of community in the world, the Episcopal Church's Office of Government Relations (OGR) offers several Advent resources on the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) for home and parish use. These include a theological reflection on the MDGs by Presiding Bishop Frank Griswold, a litany for use in the parish, and a short service of Evening Prayer that can be used with an Advent Wreath in the home or parish. Links to these resources:
Evening Prayer for Advent with Prayers for an End to Global Poverty http://wwwepiscopalchurch.org/3654_69643_ENG_HTM.htm
A Theological Reflection on the Millennium Development Goals for the Season of Advent http://wwwepiscopalchurch.org/3654_69645_ENG_HTM.htm
An Advent Bidding Prayer for an End to Global Poverty and Instability http://wwwepiscopalchurch.org/3654_69673_ENG_HTM.htm
"The Millennium Development Goals embody the response God calls us to give to our suffering world," said Griswold in his theological reflection. "The MDGs reflect God's passionate desire for justice and mercy, and the work of re-ordering and rebuilding we have been given." The Episcopal Church's General Convention "has called all of us to support the Millennium Development Goals and to give of ourselves to see that they are fulfilled," Griswold explained. Various program offices and agencies of the Episcopal Church have committed to fulfilling the MDGs.
"Episcopal Relief and Development (ERD) is operating successful programs in the developing world that are working in all of the Goal areas," Griswold said. "Moreover, the Church is living out its commitment to the MDGs in its world mission work and the efforts of its offices of Women's Ministries and Peace and Justice Ministries. As part of that effort, the Church's Office of Government Relations -- with the help of the thousands of Episcopalians around the country in the Episcopal Public Policy Network (EPPN) -- is lobbying the U.S. government to devote more resources to fulfilling the MDGs."
Home of the Episcopal Public Policy Network, OGR is located on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C., and brings the positions of the Episcopal Church to the nation's lawmakers. "We represent the social policies established by the General Convention and Executive Council, including issues of international peace and justice, human rights, immigration, welfare, poverty, hunger, health care, violence, civil rights, the environment, racism, and issues involving women and children," said OGR's director, Maureen Shea. OGR staff meets directly with government leaders, works with media, recruits and mobilizes grassroots Episcopalians, builds relationships with Members of Congress and staff, and forms coalitions of both religious and secular interest groups to further the Church's positions. Alex Baumgarten, OGR's international policy analyst, explained that Episcopalians from around the country have expressed an interest in resources for worship and prayer that underscore the Baptismal promise to 'strive for justice and peace.' "As the season of Advent challenges us to examine our relationships with God and others, the Episcopal Church is pleased to offer these resources on the MDGs to help Christians rededicate themselves to the work of justice and reconciliation in the world," he said.
"The world possesses the wealth -- many times over -- to end extreme human poverty in our time, and the Millennium Development Goals offer us the strategies for doing so," Griswold said. "It is now up to all of us to build the will. To be sure, building the will involves a significant reorientation of our nation's and world's priorities. Ultimately, though, this is what the Christian faith is all about, and Advent shows us why."
Further information about the Episcopal Church's Office of Government Relations and the Episcopal Public Policy Network can be found online at: http://www.episcopalchurch.org/eppn
Thank you, Deacon Brooke, for sending this through Barbara so that it could be posted here. We hope that many are encouraged to pray - especially during this season - for those in an empoverished environment as well as those who can support legislation to curtail that poverty.