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MICAH CHALLENGE is a coalition of christian organisations and

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MICAH CHALLENGE is a coalition of christian organisations and Powered By Docstoc
					 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:
info@micahchallenge.org.au or (02) 9453 1586.

				
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