The importance of advocacy for ending poverty Bishop Desmond Tutu once said that, 'There comes a point where we need to stop just pulling people out of the river. We need to go upstream and find out why they’re falling in.' That is the approach of advocacy. It is about first finding out why people are poor, what are the underlying root causes? In practical terms advocacy means speaking up on behalf of someone else. We adopt their cause and take up their case, as Isaiah wrote, 'Learn to do right; seek justice. Defend the oppressed. Take up the cause of the fatherless; plead the case of the widow.' Isa 1:17 (NIV) However, it requires research to understand and identify the root causes of poverty, assess how they can be tackled and who is best placed to seek the necessary change. This research leads to policy positions being agreed, around which we can then advocate for the changes that are needed. It’s not quick, but it can be transformative when done correctly. In terms of international de-velopment this could mean that we support people to do advocacy themselves on behalf of their own community or that we advocate on their behalf. In India, Christian Aid sup-ports an organisation called Ekta Parishad. In 2012 they organised a huge month-long march of around 60,000 people, mainly Dalits and tribal Indians, from Gwalior in Madhya Pradesh to Delhi, to demand a new land reform policy that would guarantee access to land and livelihood resources for all people, and a law establishing the right to shelter. Less than a week into the march the government called a meeting with the organisers and publicly signed an agreement in front of the marchers accepting their demands. The new deal gave backing to the provision of agricultural land to the landless poor in the poorer districts and urged states to protect the land rights of Dalits, tribals and 'all other weaker and marginalised sections of society.' Ekta Parishad are continuing to work to ensure that these commitments are kept. Ekta Parishad’s President, Rajagapol, said 'No charity, no amount of other development activity is going to remove poverty from the earth unless people have control over land and livelihood resources.' Thank you for your prayers and interest in Christian Aid
ELEVATION SINGERS, please meet in the Majury Hall @ 6pm for a brief practice prior to Café Church.
DINNER WITH FRIENDS after church next Sunday at a new venue, “88”, next door to the church!. Meet at 1pm. All welcome.
The Voters List is on display today in the vestibules. Those entitled to be on the list are as follows…... ENTITLEMENT TO VOTE (extract from PCI Code) 175.
(1) Voting members in the Church are communicants on the roll of the congregation who are listed, whether by name or number, as having contributed to the stipend or weekly freewill offering of the congregation in the last financial year.
(2) In addition to those so listed the following shall also be qualified, if themselves communicants on the roll -
(a) A wife shall be qualified on a husband’s contribution, and vice versa, where both are communicants. This shall also apply should the contributor himself or herself not be a communicant. If neither husband nor wife in such circumstances is a communicant, then their contribution shall qualify the eldest child, residing in the family, who is on the communicants’ roll.
(b) Should a contributor, who is not a communicant, be a member of a family residing together, then his contribution shall qualify the eldest member residing in the family who is on the communicants’ roll.
(c) Those who have been added to the communicants’ roll of the congregation since the close of the last financial year, upon confirmation by the treasurer that they have contributed during the current year, shall also be qualified voters.
If you have any queries about the list, please contact the Church Office or one of the Elders. Any official objections to any name appearing on the list should be made in writing with reasons and lodged with the Rev George Moore (Moderator of Kirk Session) by Sunday 29 January.
Click ACCOUNTS The Auditors will be in attendance in the Church Office on Wednesday 25 and Thursday 26 January from 7:00pm to 8:30pm to receive the Accounts of the various Organisations for the year to 31 December 2016. Treasurers of the Organisations are reminded to bring with them bank statements for 2016 together with invoices, receipts and other supporting documentation. It is important to respect these dates so that deadlines can be met - thank you for your cooperation.
HOPE OUTREACH PROGRMAME There will be a 1/2 hour prayer meeting for the Antrim Festival of Hope in the “Hope Café” (beside Kilpatrick’s) Dublin Road, Antrim on Wednesday 25 January @ 7:30pm. Please come and pray that God will use this multi church outreach effort to bring many people into a personal relationship with the Lord Jesus.
The Wider World order for 2017 has to be sent to church house by 25 January together with payment. A number of people who normally receive the magazine have not paid the £5 or indicated they still wish to receive the magazine. If you still wish to receive the magazine and have not already paid, please put the money along with your name in an envelope marked “Wider World” in the offering plate or speak to Lily Nicholl as soon as possible. Thanks.
THANKS I want to sincerely thank everyone who gave so generously for the Chat ‘n Chew Christmas dinner. More contributions have been received for the Digger Appeal for Gary and Mary Reid in Kenya making our current total £780. This machine will enable water to be obtained for the Masai people and their animals and so alleviate much suffering. Any further contributions will still be gratefully accepted. Josephine
FESTIVAL OF HOPE The three issues that require your immediate support are:
1. A Gala Dinner is being held in Dunadry Inn on 21st January 2017 at 7.30pm . The guest speakers will include four time Paralympic Gold Medalist, Bethany Firth, record breaking Atlantic rower, Kate Richardson, Manchester United Chaplin, John Boyers, and former N.Ireland Football International, Stuart Elliott. This is a wonderful oppor-tunity for you to invite your non Christian friends and neighbours where they will hear peoples’ stories of how Jesus has changed their lives and also hear the gos-pel message. As this is an outreach dinner it is important that members coming bring a non Christian friend with them. Cost is £20/head. Tickets are now available from Nora McKnight, KenAlexander,AngusCuthbert and Norman Allison. The minimum age is 16 years old.
2. Evangelism training will take place each Thursday in February 2017 at 7.30pm in Greystone Presbyterian Church and you are encouraged to participate in this valuable training to help us in sharing the good news of the gospel. From 1 January 2017 registration sheets will be available in the vestibules to enable you to book into this training.
3. Refurbishment of the Hope Café premises will take place in January 2017. If you can help with plumbing, electrical work, carpet fitting , painting etc. please come down to the Hope Café 10A Dublin Road, Antrim at 7.30pm on Thursday 5 January 2017 to discuss work plans. Any support will be most appreciated.
FESTIVAL OF HOPE The next prayer meeting will be held in Antrim Baptist Church on Wednesday 18 January @ 7:30pm. It would be great to see you there as we seek God’s blessing on this multi-church outreach effort to the needy town of Antrim.