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Christian Communities persist in prayer & action for the poor as World Leaders reflect on MDG promises

September 21, 2010

21 September 2010

New York Christians from across the city gathered yesterday to pray for the poor and to take action over Millennium Development Goal promises, at a unique worship service hosted by Micah Challenge International and Micah US.

The service was held last night to mark the United Nations Summit on the Goals, taking place to assess progress ten years after 189 leaders vowed to “spare no effort” to tackle global poverty.

The service was based around justice, mercy and humility. The Bishop of Southern Malawi, Rt Revd James Tengatenga, spoke of the importance of humility in tackling poverty: 'We cannot wait for the next generation, as there may be no-one left to do it on our behalf.

Right and reverent use of resources are the order of the day. The MDGs are the barest minimum that world leaders can do. What does God require? The humility to accept that we have not done what we should have done."

Jean-Valery Vital Herne, Haiti Micah Challenge National Coordinator spoke inspirationally of how the Church stands as a lighthouse to bring hope to the hopeless in his nation after the earthquake. Dr Geoff Tunnicliffe, Head of the World Evangelical Alliance (WEA) supported Micah Challenge’s campaign through powerfully reiterating the crucial importance of global church partnership in tackling poverty and promoting good governance.

The messages were complemented by worship led by a local New York church, Metro Hope, and children from the area brought a strong visual message about the eight poverty goals, reminding us that children suffer disproportionately from the effects of poverty.

International organisations such as Tearfund, World Vision, Bread for the World, and Sojourners supported the service. The event was held in partnership with the Salvation Army International (SA) International Social Justice Commission, the New York Faith & Justice Network, and the Anglican Communion at the United Nations.

Director of Micah Challenge International, Joel Edwards, said: “The world has come to give an account of itself at the United Nations, at a critical time in the struggle against extreme poverty, and an outcome document, which by common consensus is little more than a political version of ‘we are doing what we can’ promises limited further concrete action over the MDGs.

It was a privilege to be part of a cross section of a unique gathering of Christians, meeting a mile away from the seat of the decision making. Our worship was praise to God, but it was also an act of defiance in the face of a document which is saying far too little to far too many of the world’s poorest.”

For further information contact MCI Communications Coordinator, Theresa Malinowska, at theresa@micahchallenge.org or call +44 (0)78 142 09442 or contact Campaigns Coordinator, Amanda Jackson on amanda@micahchallenge.org

www.micah2010.org

Notes to Editors:

For a copy of the governance paper, and photos of the event, please contact the MCI press office or check our www.micahchallenge.org

100 million people are expected to speak up for the world’s half a billion disadvantaged by praying for an end to extreme poverty at church services held on 10.10.10. They will be saying the words of a promise and a prayer  Please download the words by visiting www.micah2010.org

Micah 2010 is backed by a number of Christian organizations such as Youth for Christ Europe and North Africa, Urban Saints, Assemblies of God UK, 24-7 Prayer, Scripture Union International, Hispanic Church USA, New Testament of God, Redeemed Christian Church, Tearfund, Compassion Art, CWR, Kingsway Publishing, Christian Aid and Lausanne. Micah Challenge was launched in 2004 by two global bodies – Micah network of over 300 relief and development bodies and the World Evangelical Alliance who represents 420 million Christians – to be a voice of Christian advocacy against extreme poverty.

Internationally renowned worship leader, Martin Smith has contributed a theme song for the Micah 2010 campaign called ‘You have shown us.’ To watch and listen, please click here. ‘You have shown us’ is part of an album of worship focusing on justice, mercy and humility, available from Kingsway. A set of Bible Studies called ‘Just Mercy’ written by Micah Challenge’s International Director, Joel Edwards, has also been written to accompany the journey of faith many Churches will be embarking on, together with a set of essays on the Churches responsibility to the global poor; ‘Micah’s Challenge.’ Other supporting downloadable resources are available to Churches for help in planning activities on 10.10.10 at
www.Micah2010.org. French, Portuguese and German versions can be obtained clicking here.