GuIdE for orGANIsErs MICAH CHALLENGE is a coalition of christian organisations and churches calling for people of faith to speak up for justice for the world’s poor and vulnerable. in the bible, esther used her unique position as queen to speak up for her people, suffering under oppression. the prophet isaiah reminds us that to do right, we must, “seek justice, encourage the oppressed. defend the cause of the fatherless, plead the case of the widow.” (isaiah 1:17) in our generation, we have the opportunitY to address the injustice of eXtreme povertY. we want to encourage national leaders to do their part to achieve the millennium development goals (mdgs): eight internationallY-agreed goals to halve eXtreme povertY bY 2015. we can act as individuals and churches, and also as a nation, to seek justice and encourage the oppressed. offering of letters 09 will take just 15 minutes – 15 minutes of praYerful action that will remind our leaders of our promise to the poor. what is an offering of letters? just as we offer our money and time to god, we can also offer our voices on behalf of the voiceless. this is part of our worship, and gives us the opportunity to “do justice and love kindness” by prayerfully writing letters to our prime minister. we invite christian groups around australia to take part in offering of letters 09 to declare the injustice of global poverty and encourage generous action by our nation. we always aim to be positive, prayerful and prophetic when we speak to politicians from all parties about national priorities. last year just over 5,000 letters were delivered to mr. rudd. thank you for organising your group to write letters – we want to reach 10,000 letters this year. a timeline is included in this guide to when should prime minister rudd has announced that help you plan a successful letter-writing event. we write the letters? australia’s aid will increase from the current organise your group to do the offering of level of 0.32% to 0.5% of national income whY write a letter? letters between April and mid-August so by 2015. while this planned increase is politicians say that a hand-written letter is the that you have time to collect them all and welcome, it will still leave australia 17th of most effective form of written advocacy. not send them to the micah challenge office 22 rich countries and falling well short of many people take the time to write a personal for us to deliver them to the prime minister doing our fair share towards achieving letter these days so they have a much bigger in september. the mdgs. impact than an email or a petition. the letters can help persuade politicians that many what are we want australia to encourage other australians want generous action to address we writing about? nations to match (and exceed!) our effort, global poverty. our message is very simple: We want to so that nations are cooperating to achieve remind the Prime Minister that Australia has the mdgs. who can write a letter? promised to Increase Overseas Aid to 0.7%. anyone who cares about poverty can write what happens a letter. a sample letter is included in the in 1970, the world’s rich countries (including to the letters? participants’ handout that you give to every australia) promised to increase government all the letters we receive will be presented to letter-writer, so even though a person may aid to poor countries to 0.7% of national the prime minister’s office in canberra as part not have written a letter like this before, they income. this is just 70 cents in every $100 of voices for justice, the national gathering of can get started. a sample letter for kids is dollars of each nation’s annual earnings. this micah challenge, which is happening from available at: www.micahchallenge.org.au/ level of aid is needed to help achieve the 12 – 15 september 2009. offering_of_letters. mdgs to halve global poverty by 2015. GuIdE for orGANIsErs (You may choose to send a representative 4. One week before: - thank everyone and pray over the from your group to canberra to be part of the - do an announcement, short talk or collected letters. event and meet politicians in person - go to powerpoint presentation. Remember you can find lots of materials to www.micahchallenge.org.au to register.) - link the offering of letters to the people help you organise your Offering of Letters or projects overseas you support financially. at www.micahchallenge.org.au/offering- last year, we presented our letters to maxine of-letters. mckew mp on the lawns of parliament 5. The day before: house. she passed the letters on to the - print off letter sheets for everyone. 7. After Offering of Letters prime minister. - check you have pens and paper for - count the letters everyone. - fill out the response form, cut it out and step-bY-step guide - have the ppt or presentation talk ready. include with the letters. to offering of letters - have the prayer/s put on ppt or printed off. - post the letters to micah challenge, locked use this plan to help organise your own - prepare a collection point for the letters on bag 122, frenchs forest, 2086 offering of letters. the day. (make sure people who take their - tell your group how many letters you wrote letter away, know when and how they can and remind them that they will be presented 1. NOW: return it). to the prime minister in september. the plan a date for the offering of letters with website will tell you how many letters are your church/group leader/school/family. 6. On the day: sent in total so you can tell your group. choose a date between april and mid - pray together for the poorest people in our suggested idea: write a brief letter or august. please post your letters by friday world and ask god to make the message email to your mp or the opposition leader 21 august 2009. of the letters effective. saying how many letters your group wrote. - hand out the participant sheets at the a sample letter can be downloaded at 2. Three weeks before: beginning of the service/lesson/meeting go to www.micahchallenge.org.au/offering- www.micahchallenge.org.au/offering so people have a chance to read the sheet. _of_letters of-letters to find information, prayers, signs, - use the ppt or presentation talk to introduce newsletter announcements and a 2 minute the offering of letters. (You may want to presentation talk you can make. You can also have the letter on a ppt slide as well as download a short powerpoint (ppt), the a5 on the sheets). sheets for participants and sample letters for - remind everyone to write a personal children. message in their letter, to write neatly and to print their details at the end. 3. Two weeks before: - allocate 15mins for people to write their put an announcement in the church/school letter; in the service or during coffee time newsletter; put signs on notice boards. afterwards. have a collection point. ResPONse FORM FOR OFFeRINg OF LeTTeRs 09 complete this form and send it with Your letters to: micah challenge, locked bag 122, frenchs forest nsw 2086 name of church/school/group: contact person: phone: email: address: federal electorate (where the group is located): member of parliament: (You can find out this information at www.apps.aec.gov.au/esearch) number of letters written to the prime minister: i have sent a letter to the mp representing our church / a letter to mr. turnbull mp’s name please add me to the list to receive micah challenge monthlY e- updates on the campaign. for more information contact the micah challenge office: firstname.lastname@example.org or (02) 9453 1586.