Thursday, 17 February 2011

Ecumenical World Development Conference -High Leigh

The Ecumenical World Development Consultation at High Leigh from 11th-13th Feb provided a stimulating environment as we reflected on the title 'What replaces Poverty?' Michael Taylor and Joel Edwards began the conference exploring the multiple dimensions of poverty including the lack of dignity and participation. Dr Sabina Alkire introduced some of her research on defining and measuring poverty and well-being reflecting on the many variable factors in different cultures.

Many of our discussions explored the themes of power, participation and exploitation when working in developing countries with an emphasis on, 'working with' those in poor communities enabling them to make their own choices.

An interesting research project had taken place where those in poor communities were asked, 'What was the greatest factor enabling them to be lifted out of poverty?' - 77% of people indicated that the predominant factor was there own initiative and desire. Perhaps it is no surprise to discover that transformation often begins with our own motivation whilst acknowledging that human flourishment is frequently dependent on structural change in society alongside individual transformation.
Rev Rachel Carnegie reflecting on Matthew 5 text 'Blessed are you who are poor, for yours is the Kingdom of Heaven' describing the poor as co-creators of the God's Kingdom, emphasising that being aware of this was not an excuse to stop working towards social and economic transformation and the redistribution of dignity and mutuality.
  • Continue to remind our MP's in the current economic climate of the value of supporting developing countries.
  • Support the many agencies working in poor countries some of whom have seen a reduction in donations.
  • Pray.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Good to see that faith and politics was discussed. We don't hear much about the Methodist Church encouraging Christians to take an interest and/or get involved in politics. Does the Methodist Church have any involvemant with the Christian Party and Christian People's Alliance, for example? Churches should be encouraged to visit the susa website.