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Does Integral Mission include everything that God requires of us and does God require of us everything included in Integral Mission?

Does Integral Mission include everything that God requires of us and does God require of us everything included in Integral Mission?

Daniel Hillion  -  SEL France

May  2021

The Micah Network owes its name to the well-known verse from the Old Testament prophet: ‘What does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.’

(Micah 6:8) Its fundamental concept is ‘Integral Mission’ whose definition has been given in the Micah Declaration on Integral Mission (2001).

The concept of ‘Integral Mission’ has received widespread acceptance among the Evangelical Christians who are acquainted with it and part of its definition has been included in the Cape Town Commitment, giving it still more weight. Yet one wonders if everybody really gives it the same meaning, despite some common general ideas receiving acceptance, like ‘evangelism and social action belong together’.

The aim of this paper is to discuss the scope of Integral Mission. It seems to me that the expression ‘Integral Mission’ as used by the Micah Network tends to include everything that God requires of us, whereas the term ‘Mission’ has not always had so broad a meaning among Christians. Instead, mission has been viewed as only one of the things (maybe the most important) that God requires of us. 

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Connecting Beyond Borders

I live in the desert. The high beautiful rugged Chihuahuan desert covering north central Mexico and the southwestern United States. My city lies on the shores of the Rio Grande river, or the Rio Bravo, depending which side you are on, a river meandering over 3,000 kilometers from the Rocky Mountains to the Gulf of Mexico. As the river passes through our region, the sister cities of El Paso and Ciudad Júarez, it abruptly becomes the dividing line between the United States and Mexico, and remains the dividing line for the rest of its journey, snaking another 2,000 kilometers to the south and east.

The river, a source of sustenance and beauty and rest and life in the desert, has been transformed into a wall of division. A wall defining specific boundaries and separating those who are in from those who are out and those who are out from those who are in. Until about 60 years ago the river would still meander when it flooded, changing its pathway, as if to defy efforts to control the line. Yet in more recent years it has become increasingly channelized and fortified.

Like so many places in the world, our region has been affected by waves of colonization. First the Spaniards swept through in the late 1500’s, subjugating the many native tribes in the area. Then it became part of the newly formed nation of Mexico after independence from Spain. The United States wrested control of the area from Mexico in 1848 as part of its effort to expand westward in order to span from the Atlantic to the Pacific oceans. It is not uncommon to hear someone in these parts say “I didn’t cross the border. The border crossed me.” What once was connected is now divided. And the dividing wall keeps being built higher in an effort to emphasize this division.

And yet the twin cities of El Paso in the United States and Ciudad Júarez in Mexico are so intricately intertwined. There is a shared heritage, a mix of culture, of language, of music, of food, of commerce, of humor. Family members live on both sides of the border, sometimes crossing daily for work or for school, or to visit their grandparents and shop. Many children in my neighborhood spend their weekends on the other side of town, which happens to be in another country. We are so interconnected. And yet there is a wall dividing us, and the contrasts are stark.

The El Paso-Juarez metropolis represents a microcosm of so many of the issues facing our world today, and the issues facing so many of us as members of Micah Global. A world increasingly divided between those who have so much and those who have very little. A world where political, military, economic, and often religious interests combine to move forward in ways that make sense for the powerful, but have dire consequences for the vulnerable. How do we respond to larger issues of power, injustice, religiously-sanctioned oppression, stark income inequality, nationalism, racial tensions, historical trauma, current trauma, and, in some instances, the marriage of Christianity and empire?

In our context, we struggle daily with what it means to live and walk in the way of Jesus in the midst of these forces. How do we act justly? How do we love mercy? How do we walk humbly with our God? How do we speak truth and bring to light that which is hidden? How do we love our neighbors? How do we embody a wholistic, integrated Gospel?

Many questions remain, and yet, along with the global family of Micah, we know that inspired ways forward emerge as we fall to our knees, develop friendships, listen deeply to our neighbors, draw close to the margins, elevate voices of the hurting, cry out in agony with those who suffer, leverage what we have, and open up opportunities for learning and encounters. And somewhere along the journey we regain a sense of our interconnectedness despite the barriers separating us.

Sami DiPasquale Micah Global Board Member, Executive Director of Abara El Paso, Texas, USA
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Pastor Covid 19

Pastor Covid 19

Dr. Rev. Joseph Nyamutera and Rev. Suzi Harriff

February 2021

This article is the fruit of long days of reflecting on my work as a pastor. I was challenged after listening to the struggles of many faith leaders in my area and abroad. I could not keep cool in my confinement after hearing the comments of members of congregations and those we can call the spectators of the church in this time of the Covid 19 pandemic. I am the kind of person who asked like the prophet Isaiah ‘Lord send me’ (Isaiah 6:8). I was worried that God’s people might come out of this curve without learning and becoming better. Paul talks about some who learn but they do not simply get it (2 Timothy 3:7). In African cultures which are rather oral and communal, most of us are not used to meditation, long times of silence. We do not have journals to record our daily learning, we think it is a waste of good time that should be used in telling stories, singing and laughing with our families and friends. In so denying God the opportunity to speak to us, most of church leaders find themselves stuck in their spiritual journey and start to diminish like a bar of soap. Read more
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Climate Church Talk

Climate Church Talk

Climate Church Talk

A sermon outline by Tearfund

February 2021

Thank you for downloading our guide to talking about climate change at church. In this resource, we’ve written our top tips and example wordings for a short announcement and a full sermon for you to use in a Sunday service.

Whether you’ve only got time for a quick announcement, or you’ve got a whole sermon slot, you can help people understand the climate emergency and be inspired by God’s love for creation and his heart for justice. We’ve also made some slides to go with these talks, which you can download on our website at: www.tearfund.org/actresources

Please email us at campaigns@tearfund.org at least two weeks before you speak at your church so we can pray for you and support you as you prepare. If your church is meeting in person, then we could also send you some cards so people can sign the petition during the talk and commit to pray.

Thank you for supporting the campaign and inviting others to get on board too!

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Black Lives Matter

Black Lives Matter

Tearfund - February 2021

On May 25, 2020, a 46-year-old African American named George Floyd died in police custody after a white police officer knelt on his neck for a period of eight minutes and 46 seconds during arrest. The incident was filmed by an onlooker and footage shows that the police officer persisted despite Mr. Floyd pleading for his life and saying that he could not breathe. George Floyd’s death has triggered massive protests across our country and the world. An outpouring of centuries of pain and frustration has been seen in a groundswell of protest against racism in the US and globally, and a trend in the use of the hashtag #BlackLivesMatter on social media.

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Mission on the margins

Mission on the margins: A proposal for an alternative missional paradigm in the wake of COVID-19

Buhle Mpofu - January 2021 The outbreak of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) global pandemic paralysed all aspects of human lives and transformed systems, cultures, businesses and institutions as communities grappled to stay safe from the deadly COVID-19. The existential desire for safety and shunning precarious situations prompted the need to delimit spaces we inhabit, as governments ordered lockdowns and closed borders as part of measures to curb the spread of the virus and fast track ‘contact tracing’. Demarcating territories through ‘stay at home’ instructions and regulations restricted travelling to essential services. The global threat presented by COVID-19 resulted in one of the worst socioeconomic disruptions in modern history, leaving a devastating impact and configuring the world in a scale never imagined before. As infections and deaths peaked, most countries introduced a lockdown and millions of jobs were lost; universities, schools, colleges and Technikons remained closed; oil prices plunged to critical levels and global trade was estimated to decline by 32% in 2020 (CNN 2020). Read more
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Micah Project Proposal and Reporting Templates

Micah Project Proposal and Reporting Templates

Micah Global - December 2020

Micah Global has revised its Project Planning and Reporting Templates and these are now available for download below. They have been reworked to be easier to use and to reflect changes in the nature of partnerships between supporting and implementing partners. In addition, new emphases within the development sector, such as safeguarding, have been accommodated.

Please note that these are Templates and not “one size fits all” documents. Adapt them as required for your own organisation and implementing contexts. Please do bear in mind that they are underscored by and should be used alongside the Micah Partnership Guidelines. In the first quarter of 2021, there will be some webinars that will further introduce and discuss the Templates.

Thanks go to those members who worked together over an extended period of time to complete this extensive revision of the Templates. Should you have any feedback or questions on the Templates, including ways in which they could be further improved, please email deborah[at]micahglobal.org.

Development Proposal Template
Emergency Response Proposal Template
Financial Proposal Template
Financial Reporting Template
Reporting Template
Download Download Download Download Download
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WEALTH CREATION AND THE STEWARDSHIP OF CREATION

WEALTH CREATION AND THE STEWARDSHIP OF CREATION

Lausanne Movement and BAM Global - March 2017

‘Remember the LORD your God, for it is he who gives you the ability to produce wealth’ (Deut 8:18).

The Bible talks about wealth in three ways; one is bad and two are good. Hoarding of wealth is condemned. Sharing of wealth is encouraged. Creation of wealth is both a godly gift and a command, and there is no wealth to be shared unless it has first been created. But all too often the issue of wealth creation is misunderstood, neglected, or even rejected. The same thing applies to wealth creators.

The Global Consultation on The Role of Wealth Creation for Holistic Transformation aimed at addressing that. We were about 30 people from 20 nations, primarily from the business world, and also from church, missions and academia. During the  consultation process 2016 – 2017 we discussed various aspects of wealth creation, including justice, poverty, biblical foundations, culture, wealth creators, stewardship of creation and the role of the church.

The findings have been summarized in the Wealth Creation Manifesto, and will also be published in several reports and a book, as well as an educational video.

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Reimagining New Redemptive Ways

Reimagining New Redemptive Ways

John Beckett, Anthony Sell, Seed Initiatives

The need to remain responsive and open to new ways is nothing new for churches and organisations serving in developing, and for that matter, developed contexts. Political and social unrest and the ever-changing needs of vulnerable communities means that no model or approach remains fresh and relevant for engaging in the public square and driving social, economic, political or systems change. Surprisingly, for those blessed to live in more stable contexts, disruption and change often pose a significant challenge. Often leaders in these contexts have not developed resilience to respond constructively and creatively to uncertainty and the myriad of emotions that disruption can bring. This can result in a confused voice and a vague organisational identity when they attempt to engage in public life. Either way, the church, community organisations and social movements must continue to be agile and responsive when trying to engage redemptively in the public square. Never has this been more important than during this current experience of Covid-19 and the many significant and polarising issues of our day.

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Peace Education starts with the Young Generation

Peace Education starts with the Young Generation

Cornelia Reimer  - Arc 2020

Conflicts in the world are a general phenomenon; they are also the result of a culture developed in years of constant rivalry in a given multireligious and/or multicultural

society. To bring an end to conflict and violence means to transform culture in its essence and to generate a state of wellbeing for all its people. The starting point of cultural change and transformation ideally is a transformed mind of the next generation. This, of course, implies peacebuilding practices taught by people of insight, e.g. informed adults and peace-loving youth as educators of other youth and children.

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