Monday, March 30, 2009

G20 - Prayer for a Better World

The G20 nations meet this week to try and re-imagine (and resurrect) something of the global economy. It could be a God-given moment to "make things right." It could be. It'd be good to join The Rise UP campaign of the Micah Challenge and pray for our national/international leaders. A prayer guide for the Summit can be got from www.micahchallenge.org.uk/g20/. Keep to the Way.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

There is hope - scandalous

I discovered this posting at earthabbey.com (a cool online community that deserves some of your cyber energy)...

"This is a story to put a smile on the face of anyone convinced that growing and eating our own organic produce should, perhaps, take precedence, even, over the front lawn of the Whitehouse. Michelle Obama isn’t thinking about this. She’s not weighing the pros and cons of a petition urging her to do this. She’s not allowing some local grower to plant some potatoes in a corner. She’s doing it herself with the help of some local school children."

I love it - this is the new kind of politics that could change the course of history. I'm cracking a smile and sensing some hope. I'm thinking, where could I/we plant a communal garden?

Economics Hit Home

Its personal now. The global economic crisis left the distant and safe space of intellectual posturing and moved a lot closer to where we're at. A friend of mine e-mailed today to say that she has lost her job. My friend lives in a developing nation. The global financial slowdown has meant a lessening of donors, a contracting of capital income and consequently a trimming of expenditure. My friend has been "trimmed." I've gotta tell you, its scary. How will my friend cope without a fixed income or without a robust system of welfare? Will she be able to find employment in a shrinking and over-crowded market? What can I do? How many of you know someone who is facing this same cost-cutting trimming? What can we do? What will we do? Will we now learn to live from within a story of "enough" and redistribute what we have with our friends/neighbours who have-not? Will I? Will you? Will we?

Evermore - Between the Lines










Anyone listening to the latest from Evermore? Some catchy tunes and some great lyrics too. Look at these from Between the Lines:

"The world is very different now,

for man holds in his mortal hands,

the power to abolish,

all forms of human poverty,

and all forms of human life."

Hear the echo of the sword or the towel? Which is most evident in our own little corners of influence? The aggressive efficiency of the sword or the patient servanthood of the towel?


Wednesday, March 25, 2009

100kms for Water




As you will recall Chris' Frazers last In Touch with the World focused on water...
By 2025, at least 3.5 billion people -- about half the world's populations -- will live
in areas without enough water for agriculture, industry, and human needs... Worldwide, water quality conditions appear to have degraded in almost all
regions with intensive agriculture and in large urban and industrial areas."
-- World Resources Institute, October 2000


These facts are astonishing and real. We are doing the Oxfam trailwalker, to partner with you to see the above crisis avoided. Oxfam do some amazing development work- some of which is to do with providing water and working with communities to provide sustainable living solutions. So As we walk 100km, and you give financial sponsorship, together we can contribute to dealing with the simple solutions to poverty around the world. Follow the details on the poster (double click to open larger)or leave a comment if you would like to partner with us!

Thanks to those who already have. We look forward to making you proud on April 4/5 at Taupo!

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Economics of Elephants

The latest discussion paper from the Social Policy and Parliamentary Unit of The Salvation Army has gone to press. Economics of Elephants is a look at what the current economic crisis could mean for the practice of our faith in Aotearoa New Zealand. You can get a look at it by emailing me (malcolm_irwin@nzf.salvationarmy.org) or by going straight to www.salvationarmy.org.nz/socialpolicy.

Let me know what you think.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

a prayer that is all too true to be funny?

Hat tip Mike Zook and Mike Brantley.

Source Naked Pastor.

Cross-posted from Gavin Knight .com

Fairtrade Fortnight 2-17 May 2009

Groups all over Australia and New Zealand are planning events to promote Fairtrade and encourage people to think about purchasing products made fairly. So why not join them, and get something planned to inform those in your church and community.

Some ideas include
  • A Fairtrade Church Service (a few corps did this last year with great results)
  • Mothers Day (10th May) Have a fairtrade morning tea, what Mother wouldn't want to support something that meant children got education.
  • Movie and Discussion - Black Gold and China Blue are both really good. I have a copy of each which can be borrowed.
  • Get in a speaker to talk about it.
  • Fairtrade T-shirt Tie dying
  • Write to companies like Cadburys encouraging them to use Fairtrade.
More ideas and info will be on the Fairtrade website soon, and packs are being put together to send out to Corps.

She has a point.























P.S. The cartoon is from www.nataliedee.com

Monday, March 16, 2009

Is the Economic Crisis Over?

There has been in the last seven days something of a renewed resurgence of "hope" in the market... 4 days of good trading and some commentators have even dared to hint that the economic crisis could be over. what? is it? for who? what is your experience of the economic downturn? I think larger and more scarier than the current financial crisis is our crisis of vision. We're simply not thinking that differently from how we got ourselves in this mess. The proposed solutions of stimulating economies, bailing out banks, and privatization, stink of the same old same tired thinking. There has to be more, doesn't there?

Monday, March 9, 2009

Economics for Dummies (like me)

Thr3e causes of the current economic crisis (individualism, fear, and greed) and thr3e practical resolutions (community, faith, and generosity). Is it that simple?



On the 28th March from 8.30pm to 9.30pm, Auckland City Council will be joining millions around the world in an attempt to make a statement against global warming.

For an hour you switch off your lights and in doing so make that choice to vote for earth. Leaving your lights on during this time is a vote for global warming.

Information gathered from the hour will be presented to world leaders at the Global Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen 2009.

Every household counts so make that change.

http://www.earthhour.org/

http://www.aucklandcity.govt.nz/auckland/environment/earthhour/

Here are some ideas for things to do during this time:

Having a candle lit dinner for two or one, hanging out with a group of friends, reading with a torch or candles or playing games like hide and seek in the dark with your kids. It's an opportunity to get creative.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Alternative Family Economics

I have three incredible daughters who I love and who I fight with everyday.  The fighting can make home feel like a “house”.  A couple of comments from Walter Brueggemann on the church family have helped me to see the bigger picture of parenting and have helped me to let go of some of the smaller stuff (the changing of clothes every minute, the complaining, the demanding, the toys on the floor, the top left off the milk, the spilled food, the tantrums, the noise, the shrieks, the sibling scraps, the sticky fingers, the loss of sleep-ins, the incessant “why”):

We are scripted by a process of nurture, formation and socialization that might go under the rubric of liturgy. Some of the liturgy is intentional work, much of it is incidental; but all of it, especially for the young and especially for the family, involves modeling the way the world "really is." The script is inhaled along with every utterance and every gesture, because the script-bestowing community is engaged in the social construction of a distinct reality. A case in point is the observation of Mark Douglas that regular table prayers of thanksgiving are a primal way in which to challenge the market view of the supply and movement of valuable goods.”

The claim of (our) alternative script is that there is at work among us a Truth that makes us safe, that makes us free, that makes us joyous in a way that the comfort and ease of the consumer economy cannot even imagine. It would make a difference if the church were candid in its acknowledgment that that is the work to which it is called…  The nurture, formation and socialization into the counterscript with this elusive, irascible God at its center constitute the work of (the church family). All those called in the Bible were inducted into this task, and it is not different now. … Nurture is aimed at the embrace of the new script and the relinquishment of the old script. Formation is aimed at receiving and living into an alternative reality and disengaging from the old. Socialization is entering into another world that comes by "switching stories." Each practice of (the church family) is to "improve our baptism," wherein we live with increasing singularity in this alternative script.”

(Walter Brueggemann, 2005, Countersciprt:living with the elusive God)

 

Every practice of parenting is to “deepen” our living in the alternative script of God.  Ever thought of parenting like that?  what difference could it make in your family?  what difference could our parenting make to the current gloom and doom of the economic recession?