Micah Network Update, October 2009

General November 10, 2009

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September and October 2009

Letter to Members

Dear friends,

This update comes to you much later in the month than usual and combines last month's update. I am sure it is not hard to guess why. Micah Network, as you already know, is in a period of transition. At the end of last month, Jane Furniss our International Director since five years has left office as also the international team with her. She now volunteers her support. During this period, the members of the Board have each taken on additional responsibilities. Probably the most obvious one is the weekly prayer newsletters that you have been receiving from Steve Bradbury, our former Chairperson. Let us thank God for these people of God and pray for their continued efforts to strengthen our Network.

As often as I reflect on the phrase '… the hope of glory…' (Col 1: 27), the question that comes to my mind is: 'What is it that we seek to achieve in our engagement in relief, development and justice issues?' Is it merely a better chance at survival for our 'beneficiaries'? Any development NGO can do this. An achievement of the MDGs? The UN and the governments of the world can strategise for this. Surely there is something greater that we seek… Christ in you, the hope of glory. If what we seek is greater, will our professionalism do the job? Surely, it will take us a good distance. I believe it is our commitment to 'present … the word of God in its fullness' (NIV), 'proclaiming his entire message' (NLT) and 'laying out the whole truth' (MSG) that will take us all the way.

The process of recruiting a new International Director is well underway. We request you to continue to pray for wisdom and guidance for the Board in the selection.

Sincerely in Christ,

Dino L. Touthang

Event: Conversations on Integral Mission

The IMI is pleased to announce six upcoming national conversations on integral mission, scheduled for late November and early December in Ethiopia, Burkina Faso, Benin, UK, Cambodia and North-East India. To find out more about any of these events you can contact:

Africa: John Wesley Kabango [email protected],

Asia: Sundar Daniel at [email protected],

UK: Jenny Flannagan at [email protected].

Event: International Day of Prayer for the Persecuted Church, November 8, 2009

Every November, Christians around the world join together in prayer to remember our Christian brothers and sisters suffering persecution simply because they confess Jesus Christ as Lord.

In the traditional church calendar, the month of November is marked by "All Saints Day" and "All Souls Day." These days were set apart to remember the saints of the church and the souls of those who have departed this world. In recent years, the modern church has also set apart the month of November to remember and pray for suffering believers through The International Day of Prayer for the Persecuted Church (IDOP)- an initiative of the Religious Liberty Commission of the World Evangelical Alliance.

To find out more, visit www.idop.org.

Event: Global Mission Consultation, Tokyo, Japan - 11-14 May 2010

The Tokyo 2010 Global Consultation and Celebration is scheduled for May 11-14, 2010 in Tokyo, Japan, and is planned in pattern of and in celebration of Edinburgh 1910, with an emphasis on mission sending structures and mission leadership meeting together in strategic consultation. We invite you to take a closer look at the information on their web site www.tokyo2010.org and to consider the participation of yourself and your mission association, agency, or structure.

If you are part of a regional or national association of mission agencies, the organisers would especially appreciate hearing from you and we ask for your help to spread the word about Tokyo 2010 to your members. We also invite your participation as a sponsoring regional or national association or network.

In general, we ask for your help to spread the word to your circle of contacts. Registration information is available on the web site. In you have questions or can sign on as a sponsor, please contact [email protected].

Message from Jane Furniss

Dear friends,

As my time with Micah Network draws to a close I would like to thank all of you who I have had the pleasure to connect, collaborate and work with over the past 5 years.

What an amazing journey these years have been and I thank God for the opportunity to serve as Micah Network's first international coordinator and later director. The job has kept me challenged every day and has been rich in relationships, fellowship, shared commitments and collaboration with a diverse group of wonderful people and organizations from around the world.

When I returned to maternity leave on a half-time basis, I quickly realized that it was going to be difficult to sustain momentum, and as a new mother I feel that it is difficult to travel as frequently as the job requires. So while it is very hard to go, I feel that it is the right time and know that God will provide a replacement just right for what the network needs now.

It has been a great privilege to get to know each one of you and I thank you for the opportunity to connect and work with you over this time. I have learnt a lot about faith, people, work and life through you all and come to know and trust God better through the journey. Micah Network has become a big part of my life (and Peter's) and now that the time has come, it feels like a significant chapter in our lives is closing.

I officially finished with Micah Network on 30 September but am continuing to work on a reduced hours basis until my replacement is appointed.

I do hope there will be opportunities to cross paths again in the future. My personal email will remain [email protected].

God bless you,

Jane.

Resources: Gender

Reference to gender has been prominent in Micah Network prayers, policies and meetings over the past few months. This reflects our "endeavour to resist those attitudes and practices that link influence and authority to gender", which was affirmed afresh when the Micah Network Board sought a fresh expression of the core values of the Micah Network in Limuru, Nairobi in July this year.

Resisting attitudes and practices that link influence and authority to economic power, gender or geography is a long-term struggle, and we need to draw strength and encouragement from one another.

Micah Network Interim Gender Policy

Introduction

As a team we are committed to gender equality which we understand as the Biblical basis for God-ordained partnership between men and women in all spheres of life. We aspire to create a working environment where both genders are supported, encouraged and enabled to fulfil their God-given potential.

This policy is designed to help people in Micah Network governance and staff roles achieve this by articulating clear commitments against which we can assess our culture and practices.

Micah Network is facilitating a global process for development of gender resources throughout 2009 and early 2010. Once this process is complete, this gender policy will be reviewed and modified as appropriate. However rather than wait until that process has been finalised, we will implement this interim policy.

As a team we commit ourselves to the following behaviours, and will annually submit to an audit of our performance against these commitments:

Every team member feels able and encouraged to express their opinions in interactions:

  • With their line manager
  • With other team members
  • In team meetings
  • In meetings involving other team members with external groups or individuals

Every team member feels that their contributions are valued and does not feel belittled, ridiculed, excluded or overlooked, particularly in relation to their sex , in interactions:

  • With their line manager
  • With other team members
  • In team meetings
  • In meetings involving other team members with external groups or individuals

This includes particularly consideration of the use of language and humour.

Every team member feels able to participate in decision making, as appropriate to their role and the context of the decision.

Every team members feels that they are trusted with significant work within the scope of their job description and capabilities, and given opportunities to develop towards future roles.

Team members feel that power is shared between both sexes within the team and that real gender partnership is the context for the team’s work.

In our governance processes (board and regional coordinating groups), the Chair will ensure a balanced profile to be given to both sexes through:

  • Overall membership of the group
  • Participation of members in meetings
  • Allocation of responsibilities

In our communications and interactions with the member base and beyond, we will give a balanced profile to both sexes through:

  • Participation of our team members
  • The stories we tell
  • The practitioners, theologians and communities we profile

Specifically, when we organise events, or events are held in our name, we will ensure a balanced profile is given to both sexes through:

  • Plenary speeches
  • Workshops and case studies
  • Facilitation roles
  • Planning committee membership

When we convene working groups, taskforces or planning teams for other aspects of our work, we will ensure a balanced profile is given to both sexes.

As we work to promote Integral Mission we will, with sensitivity and respect, challenge perceptions of Integral Mission which do not challenge gender injustice. As individuals and as a team we commit to name gender injustice when we see it (as it relates to our work) and articulate a Biblical perspective on gender complementarity without hierarchy.

In our recruitment of new team members from time to time, we will be mindful of gender and seek to ensure a balanced profile is given to both sexes, while ensuring in each case that we recruit the right person for each role.

Approved by the Micah Network board - July 2009

A case study from TEAR Australia

The following story from TEAR Australia (www.tear.org.au), describes the sustained efforts of one of the Micah Network members to act on a growing understanding of gender inequity. It describes some of the tension between wanting to address gender inequity as an expression of organisational identity, and being required by a funding agency to formalise a gender policy. It reflects on the costs and commitments required to address gender inequity. It describes the capacity building strategies utilised, and concludes by seeking support in peer NGOs.

The following issues are addressed (links to each sub-section)

Our donor requires us to have a gender policy

We recommend our partners adopt gender aware and sensitive frameworks

Advocacy within the organisation

A 12 month strategy – a gender audit and a gender working group

What is gender inequality?

Potential for division

What investments sustain movement towards gender equity?

What sort of gender training?

Networking and networks

Click here to read more

Gender resources will be shortly available on the Micah Network website (www.micahnetwork.org)

Resources: Umoja

Umoja is an exciting and comprehensive set of training manuals for those who want to envision and equip the local church to work for transformation in their communities. Umoja contains Bible studies, activities, tools, energisers, advice and a step-by-step process, helping churches gain a vision for community involvement, helping communities assess their needs and resources, and helping whole communities envision, plan and work for a better future.

Resources: Books by Dave Andrews

Dave Andrews has published a number of books over recent years, including Compassionate Community Work, Plan Be, Hey Be and See, See What I Mean, People of Compassion, and A Divine Society. For a full list of titles and details re how to order copies, please click here.

Prayer points

We encourage all our members to contribute to the weekly prayer update. Please email any requests for prayer by each Thursday to [email protected]

For the months of November and December, please send your emails with news and information to Sundar Daniel <[email protected]>

CONTACT MICAH NETWORK

Call us: +61 2 9212 4181
Email Us: [email protected]
Visit our website: http://www.micahnetwork.org
Write to us: Suite 413/410 Elizabeth Street, Surry Hills, NSW 2010, Australia

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