2007 is halftime for the Millennium Development Goals from commitment in 2000 to achievement in 2015. Using the concept of the ‘halftime’ period in a sports game during which there’s the chance to discuss the score and change the strategy, Micah Challenge is inviting churches worldwide to ‘Blow the halftime whistle!’ for the MDGs; and through prayer, lobbying and mobilisation to assess the score and encourage a renewed commitment to achieve them.
- Micah Challenge Coordinators have mostly supported the extension of Halftime! to include Micah Challenge Sunday (October 14) and the GCAP white band day (October 17). The BTHW Communications Group will be convened again in the next few days to agree new wording to define Halftime! and to locate 07/07/07 within the concept. There will be national variations in how the period is promoted. MC UK has already developed a concept for Micah Sunday 2007 and MC Australia may have to shape Micah Sunday to speak into the context of a national election that may be called very close to October 14.
- Please note that the activities for the seven weeks between Pentecost to 07/07/07 will go ahead as planned, including the BTHW prayer series. There is also no expectation that we will find activities to fill the gap between 07/07/07 and October 14/17, a period in any case dominated by summer holidays in the northern hemisphere.
US participation in BTHW taking shape
- BTHW participation in the US will link with the Sojourners ‘Take the vision to the streets’ event (June 3-6) in Washington; Bread for the World’s ‘Sowing the Seeds, Growing a Movement’ event (June 9-12); and with National Association of Evangelicals (NAE) plans for a major summit of religious leaders in the autumn to coincide with Micah Sunday and the GCAP White Band Day. Into all of these lobbying events MC USA will create a global foundation by bringing in southern speakers and a global perspective.
France BTHW lobbying actions begin
- This month in France, Défi Michée begins a series of major letter-writing, lobbying actions focused on the Presidential and District elections taking place in April/May and June/July. Questions, which will be press released, will be posed to candidates on their commitment to progressing the MDGs and fairness in International Trade.
- Also planned:
- Micah Challenge workshops at a major youth event in May, Pentecost 2007, with the possibility of ‘waving off’ a delegation from the event to take Micah Call signatures to the G8 in Germany.
- on Micah Sunday (October 14) Micah Challenge will invite Sunday school children to send 8 different coloured pencils to newly elected representatives symbolising the 8 MDGs and the desire that all children should have access to education.
UK postcard action to Prime Minister begins
- The UK also begins its BTHW campaign this month urging Christians in the UK to send a postcard to UK Prime Minister Tony Blair, reminding him that halftime is approaching and urging him to keep his commitment to achieve the MDGs.
White Band Whistle
- With GCAP’s decision to add a ‘moment of noise’ into their White Band Day mobilisation on October 17, we’re pressing on with final design changes to the white band whistle. The fourth and final prototype is expected by February 17. If happy with it we will distribute samples to all facilitators, as soon as possible after that date.
- Please see attached the BTHW Calendar. This will develop as we receive more national campaign plans and information.
Prayer and Study Series
- The Prayer and Study series (May 20 - July 7) is taking shape with the 7 bible studies from 4 different continents nearing its completion. Steve Bradbury and Amanda Jackson from MC Australia will now edit and format the contributions.
Please send information you'd like us to include in the next update to [email protected]. The next update will be sent out on Friday March 2. This update goes out to all Micah Challenge Coordinators and International Council and Executive. An adapted version will go to a wider audience of international key contacts.