This year's Appeal is particularly close to my heart for these reasons. It is in support of a Christian Hospital near a large factory in rural West Bengal so the water supply is compromised. It provides health care to a very poor community, including tribal people who fall outside the main social groupings.Linked with the hospital is a Nursing School for local young people and a community outreach programme.
This mirrors exaclty the work I was associated with in Bangladesh (formerly East Bengal)) in the 1980s! This excites me and I pray that it will inspire Parishes to support it as fully as they can, especially because of our Diocesan links with the Church of North India which includes Wirksworth's churches pairing with the Diocese of Durgapur.
I am available to share my own experiences in general and speak about this Appeal in particular and can be contacted by leaving a message at our home phone: 0115 9460395.
Richard Henderson-Smith, World Mission and World Development Portfolio Holder
Our slogan 'World Mission Matters!' implies the importance of our collective and personal ministries to the world-wide Christian family as the visible Body of Christ at work amongst the most vulnerable and neediest of groups. That ministry demands prayer, which in turn requires information (available BELOW by clicking on the symbols of the various agencies) and leads to individual and collective action as we are able.
With regard to Mission Action Planning consider explicit mention of support for a mission agency or development organisation (preferably both!) because they are attempting to counter on our behalf and in the name of Christ, the greatest needs (see below).
Mission and Development agencies can be readily accessed by clicking on each logo below.
As parishes develop the second round of Mission Action Plans, Dietrich Bonhoeffer’s remark (from Letters and Papers from Prison) rings true: “Our being Christian today will be limited to two things, prayer and doing justice among men”. That statement is surely as pertinent for us today, with all our uncertainties, as it was in Nazi Germany of 1944. So as we look at our immediate communities and their needs we will be drawn to examine the relationships we and they have with the wider world.
As part of the MAP process some Parishes have looked at the places of work of their population and possible international links which employers have. The countries from which raw materials are imported and perhaps even the manufacturing processes of these businesses might be considered together with their target markets. It may be appropriate to look at their environmental impacts (mindful of climate change and pollution) and also whether there may be effects upon marginalised or deprived communities in less developed societies with which businesses are involved.
In this way prayers for our own people and the communities we care about can be linked to those situations about which we know less and those communities which suffer injustice and poverty beyond our immediate horizon. Our prayers should then be better informed and purposeful as we discover what God is already doing and engage with it so that Christ’s Kingdom of Peace and Justice may be extended.
To do that it is worth remembering the “Five Marks of Mission” which Christians of many countries and cultures have affirmed as a way of finding a common focus as they share in God’s mission in the world are:
- To Proclaim, the good news of the kingdom
- To Teach, baptise and nurture new believers
- To Respond, to human need by loving service
- To Seek, to transform the unjust structures of society
- To Strive, to safeguard the integrity of creation and sustain and renew the life of the earth.
The Anglican Communion - for which the development agency is the Anglican Alliance: http://www.anglicancommunion.org/mission/anglican-alliance.aspx
The Church of North India - www.northindia-derbyshirechurches-partnership.org.uk