Great to see the news this Fairtrade Fornight that from November this year Cadbury’s Dairy Milk will display the Fairtrade Mark: The Fairtrade Foundation, CadburyTV, Stop the Traffik and The Guardian… This really is a big achievement. When the bars hit the shops the value of Fairtrade chocolate sales in Britain will go from £45m to £225m in one giant leap!… A big consumer-driven success, which hopefully will put more even pressure on the rest of the chocolate industry to follow suit.
Whilst in Zambia I helped put together a case study of the work we were doing in the run-up to elections with local communities and would-be MPs… since then it has taken on a life of it’s own through the power of the web and global networks… apparently it appeared in the briefing documents for Bishops at Lambeth, and most recently as part of Tearfund’s Footsteps 76 (PDF).
It’s great to see it being used and the influence of the web and networks!
The CMS Crowther Centre regularly welcomes experienced mission thinkers and practitioners to help reflection and learning… and one of the things the community house we are part of will be doing is hosting these thinkers – known as the missiologist in residence…
The first such missiologist to join us will be Rene Padilla (‘South American author and pastor, who is one of the most influential voices in the rediscovery of the radical nature of Christ’s call to transform lives and society’)… As part of Rene’s time in the UK CMS is hosting two events:
Enough is enough revisited: In a global community, how do Christians define and live “enough”?
Firstly the CMS Crowther Centre & Christian Concern for One World are hosting a day in October with him and others to explore how we live justly in a world of plenty. I’ll miss it but I’m sure it will be great… details below:
Saturday 25 Oct – 10am – 3.30pm at CMS, Watlington Rd Oxford OX4 6BZ
- A Theology of Enough Rene Padilla – Former International President of Tearfund
- Seminars on: Community – Jenny McIntosh, Pastor and counsellor, co-founder of Spirited Exchanges NZ; Patrick Mukholi – CMS mission partner from Kenya working in the UK with young people; Food – Mike Rayner, Director of the British Heart Foundation Health Research Group, Oxford University; Travel – Jo Rathbone, National Co-ordinator for England, Eco-Congregation; Creation – Dave Bookless, National Director, A Rocha UK
- A Theology of Flourishing by Sabine Alkire – Director, Oxford Poverty and Human Development Initiative
£8. Concession £6. Lunch included 12.30 – 1.15pm
Find out more and book here.
Tomorrow’s World Weekend
An opportunity to meet and hear Rene Padilla as part of a residential weekend for 20-40 year olds, 21-23 November 2008 at Windmill Farm in Oxfordshire.
The weekend costs £99 for ‘early bird’ bookings (before 30 September) or £120 (from 1 October). Find out more here.
We try to buy our clothes from fairtrade / organic / ethical companies… but it is still hard to avoid the lure of the high street and the price tag usually causes the majority to head to the high street.
But there are other ways, I’ve found getting creative about shopping helps, as does heading to charity shops and intentionally trying to avoid the bright lights of the high street…
And buying ethical has got a lot easier over the last few years with some great web-based companies… by there nature they will never be as cheap as the high street (but there in lies the reality of paying the real price), but making the most of sales at these companies helps… and it seems everyone has a sale on at the moment! Here are some of my favourites:
I’ve been trying to blog about The Irresistible Revolution: Living as an Ordinary Radical by Shane Claiborne for a while now… but somehow every time I think about it I can never really sum it up. But that is probably because it is such a simple book about the story of a community of hopefuls just getting on and doing what they feel we are called to do. It’s not complicated… in fact it’s beautifully simplistic. Some people will look at Shane and his fellow Simple Way members and see a naive bunch of optimists… and there were times when reading it that I found myself muttering ‘yeah but it isn’t as easy as that’ and ‘oh come on get real’… But deep down I know these guys have got what I want… that naive faith that makes things possible. I look at them and see a group of people attempting to live the way of Jesus. Not letting the ‘whys’ and ‘what’s’ bog them down, and doing all they can to break down the barriers and obstacles our (western) society has erected to ‘protect’ and ‘comfort’ us.
There is a real danger (which Shane readily admits) that he becomes the ‘pin-up boy of social justice’ and a brand that people embrace but do nothing about (the church is good at saying ‘yeah we do that stuff look here’s our example in action’)… but that would be missing the point completely… the way of this book, and Shane’s example, is all in the practice, and it’s good to see (from what he says in the book and what I hear from others who know him) that Shane isn’t naive enough to fall for the old ‘fame and fortune’ trick, but, thankfully, neither is he letting that potential danger stop him from being a prophetic voice today… It is a great easy read – and Shane is an inspirational writer… so get the book (or the CD version)… and let it inspire and challenge you in The [simple] Way… or you could even go and hear him in person this week (sadly I can’t make it).
We are not a neo-denomination, because we are trying to spread a model of community. We are just trying to discover a new (ancient) kind of Christianity. We are about spreading a way of life that exists organically and relationally and is marked by such a brilliant love and grace that no one could resist it… Over and over, we hear, “I knew there was more to Christianity.” We are waking up. What seemed impossible is becoming normal.
Shane Claiborne, The Irresistible Revolution
A few weeks ago I mentioned I’d be leading an Encounter team to Bangladesh in October to see the work of the Church of Bangladesh Social Development Programme (CBSDP), who are involved in highlighting the issues of human trafficking…
News last week on the CMS website shares the story of Halima, who was sold by her aunt to a brothel in India when she was just 12 years old – and the news that following her subsequent escape, she has successfully taken her traffickers to court through the CBSDP’s Rights, Advocacy and Empowerment programme… read the full story here.