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Christian Aid – We Can All Give Something

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Each year Christian Aid week provides an opportunity for us to turn attention to those living in poverty and to give towards Christian Aid projects. Usually in developing countries, these projects are aimed at establishing business ventures, enabling beneficiary communities to grow financially and meet the inhabitants' needs. Christian Aid creates resources for church groups to offer a service dedicated to learning about, praying for and giving to this cause.
For this year's Christian Aid service at Bishop's Castle Methodist Centre, a short film depicting the experience of Esther and her family in Malawi, preceded Bishop Michael Bourke's sermon which explored the importance of touch, reaching out and our connectedness to one another.
"At the time of global economic and political crises, Christian Aid Week makes a difference. It does not allow us the luxury of ignoring the economic situation or the problems of capitalism and consumerism. It put us directly in touch with communities, with these real people in their working lives. We may be living in different countries and climates, but they are our brothers and sisters. We can use Christian Aid Week in our churches. If we allow their problems to touch us, it may shame our government and politicians into action," Bishop Bourke told listeners.
Comparing the books of the prophets, Bishop Bourke highlighted Joel's comparative lack of moralising. "In Joel terrible locusts are compared to an army; their swarming to an environmental disaster." Joel, Bishop Bourke said, "shared the conviction of the other prophets and their use of the breaking of God's covenant to admonish, which should lead us to an all-embracing concept of Shalom or peace. Joel pleads, "Repent!......." He does not point to any specific problems apart from the need to re-establishing or recognising this covenant. Joel cries in pity, alluding to Jesus who, so saddened, gives himself as a sacrifice."
Bishop Bourke suggested that the current, increasing interest in spirituality, should beg the question, "How receptive are we or prepared are we for the changes needed in our own attitudes?" Examples like Christian Aid's assistance to Esther in developing her cooperative pigeon peas and breadmaking business, thus helping a whole community, should encourage our giving and interest in Esther's success.
He concluded, "Our blessing of Christian Aid will enable all of us to contribute. Never let anyone convince you that the problems of the world are so big that we can't do some small thing. The Widow's mite was effective because it was generous and sacrificial and had great impact. On the day of Pentecost Peter quoted the prophecy of Joel. "Pour out my spirit on all flesh." There is no one touched by the Spirit of God who cannot do something."

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