Thank you for sharing and praying with the worldwide Micah Challenge community. We hope this email is challenging, inspiring and spurs us on!
What are characteristics of a healthy, vital congregation?
Wayne Whitson Floyd from the Alban Institute writes: ‘In my experience, vital congregations are more than a collection of individuals drawn together by similar personal experiences and needs that in turn are expressed through common beliefs or by similar styles of religious life.
Vital congregations are communities of practice, where we immerse ourselves in those “patterns of communal action,…create openings in our lives where the grace, mercy and presence of God may be made known to us.’
In the attached reflection, he lists five essential spiritual practises that endure over time and across cultures: discernment, story-telling, proclamation, radical hospitality and transformative service.
‘But it does not end there. Service requires the Practice of Stewardship, which depends on the Practice of Generosity. The more we live out our congregational life as intentional communities of practice, the more vital our congregations become.
In Acts 2:42-47 we read of the first vital congregation in the history of the church.
Let us pray:
· That we can play our part in shaping our churches to become ‘intentional communities of practice’.
· For the emergency summit of the G20 which will be convened in Washington DC this Saturday 15 November. Please pray:
o For wisdom for the Heads of State as they seek to tackle the global financial crisis.
o That these 20 economically strong nations will consider the plight of economically poor nations, many of whom are already suffering under the effects of increased food prices and threatening starvation for the poorest.
· Our prayer focus this week is for Micah Challenge Netherlands. Otto Kamsteeg, the coordinator of MC Netherlands writes:
‘We have had a very busy time in the run up to Micah Sunday, particularly aiming to mobilize Dutch Youth. We have also had the opportunity to publish the Pastoral letter from our sisters and brother in the Global South in the main Christian newspapers and magazine to raise awareness of global poverty issues.
Together with the Dutch One campaign, we have released the movie ‘Amazing Grace’ to raise awareness of modern slavery, global poverty, justice and Micah Challenge.
Please pray that Dutch Christians will be motivated to participate and act and that we will have wisdom to know how to engage them in a meaningful way.’
· Reflecting on the statement below: We pray that this current financial and food crisis will indeed lead to reform and radical change.
We pray that new ways of doing things, more effective, efficient and equitable, can be found.
Meditate on the Statistics
As you spend time in prayer and reflection, you may like to take a moment to silently understand with your heart the focus statistic we include each week (see below). Our hope is that you will find this series of statistics a useful resource in preparing presentations.
Goal 1: Eradicate extreme poverty and hunger
Target 2: Halve, between 1990 and 2015, the proportion of people who suffer from hunger
Indicator 5: Proportion of population below minimum level of dietary energy consumption
‘There are two lessons that history and our personal experience teach us. One is that when crises occur, the least responsible are usually the worst affected and the least able to cope. The second is that crises can provide the momentum for reform and radical change.’
Kofi Annan, Michel Camdessus, Robert Rubin; Members of the Africa Progress Panel www.africaprogresspanel.org.
Source: Financial Times, 31 October 2008
Yours in Christ,
Regine and MC team
Please view all the Friday Prayer statistics we’ve used to date at Index of Millennium Development Goal Statistics.xls
Please see Index of Reflections on Integral Mission.xls
This email is also available in French and Spanish. Please contact Regine if you, or someone you know, would like to receive one of these versions ([email protected]).