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Millennium Development Goals: Episcopalians note progress (Daybook)
Friday Forum: ERD launches MDG section on website

[Episcopal News Service]  It's been nearly two years since the Episcopal Church passed Resolution D006 at the 2003 General Convention aligning itself with the United Nation's (U.N.) Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), which pledge to:

1) eradicate extreme poverty and hunger;
2) achieve universal primary education;
3) promote gender equality and empower women;
4) reduce child mortality;
5) improve maternal health;
6) combat HIV/AIDS, malaria and other diseases;
7) ensure environmental stability and;
8) develop a global partnership for development.

"I think we're doing really well," said the Rev. Michael Kinman, Episcopal chaplain at Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri and member of the Church's Standing Commission on Anglican and International Peace with Justice Concerns. "We have contacts in just about every diocese working on this."

Resolution D006 reaffirmed the 2000 General Convention's resolutions A001 and D033 and issued a challenge to all diocese and congregations to contribute 0.7 percent of their annual budgets to fund international development programs. It also called on the appropriate offices and staff of the Episcopal Church Center, in cooperation with Episcopal Relief and Development (ERD), to promote among dioceses and congregations education about and participation in the 0.7 percent contribution for international development.

Kinman, also of Episcopalians for Global Reconciliation (EGR) , an emerging network of lay and ordained economists, business people, students, social organizers, theologians, attorneys, labor activists, and advocates united in their pursuit of justice and peace, said that two years ago "people didn't know what the MDGs were, so what we are doing is educating ourselves."

"The stories of transformation have been incredible," Kinman said. "I think that by the next General Convention, we will have 1/2 to 2/3 on board with this."

ERD's MDGs website

Continuing to do its part, ERD recently launched a MDGs section on their website:

The new 20-page section, called "What Can One Person Do? The MDGs and You," provides information about the MDGs, cites examples related to ERD's programs and key issues, and provides ideas for how one person can make a difference.

ERD also worked in partnership with EGR and Episcopal Public Policy Network to develop new downloadable materials, including a brochure, pew card, and survey.

"The MDGs are integral to each of Episcopal Relief and Development's programs," said Robert W. Radtke, ERD president. "Our site can be used to find valuable resources on how we can work together to eliminate extreme global poverty."

Meeting to find concrete ways

On Sunday, September 11, leaders from a wide range of Christian denominations worldwide will gather privately at Washington National Cathedral to discuss concrete ways the faith community can better aid the U.N. and its MDGs.

Following these deliberations, a delegation will travel to New York to present a communiqué to the U.N. on the eve of its 60th General Assembly session, beginning Wednesday, September 14.

Among those expected to attend the sessions at the Cathedral are Lord George Leonard Carey, retired archbishop of Canterbury; Presiding Bishop Frank Griswold of the Episcopal Church in the United States; and Archbishop Andrew Hutchinson, primate of the Anglican Church of Canada. Church leaders from numerous African nations attending include Archbishop Njongonkulu Ndungane of Cape Town; Lubabalo Ngewu, rector of the College of the Transfiguration in South Africa; and Ndaba Mazabane, chair of World Evangelical Alliance in South Africa. Religious leaders from Kenya, Botswana and Tanzania will also be present.

Other world religious leaders attending the conference include Angel Furlan, former president of Iglesia Evangélica Luterana Unida in Brazil; Luis Prado, retired Bishop of the Province of Brazil; Dorothy Lau, director of Hong Kong Sheng Kung Hui Welfare Council; Ishmael Noko, general secretary of the Lutheran World Federation in Switzerland; Setri Nyomi, general secretary of World Alliance of Reformed Churches in Switzerland; Jenny Te Paa, principal of the College of Saint John the Evangelist in New Zealand; Richard Marsh, director of the International Education Centre of Canterbury College in the United Kingdom; and Geoff Tunicliffe, international director of the World Evangelical Alliance of Canada.

The convocation will commence in the Cathedral nave with a lecture by Dr. Jeffrey Sachs, director of the Earth Institute at Columbia University, at 2:00 p.m. Sachs, who was recently named by TIME magazine one of the 100 most influential leaders in the world, is also a special adviser to U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan, on the MDGs. His address and an interfaith prayer service at 4 p.m. are open to the public.

The convocation, officially called the Consultation of Religious Leaders on Global Poverty at Washington National Cathedral, is an initiative of the Cathedral's recently-established Center for Global Justice and Reconciliation. The Rev. Canon John L. Peterson, former secretary general of the Anglican Communion, directs the center. The center forges collaborations within the Anglican Communion, among Christian denominations, and with interfaith partners, governments, NGOs, and the private sector.

D006 Implementation Update [Source: EGR]

Participating dioceses as of August 9, 2005:
Total number of dioceses engaged in 0.7% in some form - 48
Percentage of dioceses engaged-44
Percentage of dioceses giving at 0.7% or above - 18.3

Dioceses currently giving at 0.7% or who have 2005 budgets with 0.7% included in them as of April 1, 2005 (20):
Bethlehem (giving at close to 2%)
California (diocesan giving at 0.62%, expect parish supplements to meet or exceed 0.7%)
Central New York
Convocation of American Churches in Europe
Eastern Michigan (giving at 1%)*
Los Angeles
Michigan (gave $17, 029 in 2005 - 0.7% giving since 2003)
Nevada (giving at 0.88%)
New Jersey
North Carolina
Western Massachusetts

*Also has passed resolution asking congregations to give at 0.7% (1% for E. Michigan)

Dioceses that passed resolutions commending D006 and urging congregations to give at 0.7% (1):

Dioceses that have passed resolutions calling for diocesan giving at 0.7% in 2005 budget and urging congregations to give at 0.7% (9):
East Tennessee
Long Island
New York
Rhode Island
Southeast Florida* (failed to get into 2005 budget, will try again in 2006)
Southern Virginia

Dioceses that have passed resolutions calling for diocesan giving at 0.7% in 2006 budget and urging congregations to give at 0.7% (8):
New Hampshire
San Diego

Dioceses that have passed resolutions calling for "study" before committing funds (2):
West Missouri

Dioceses that will be presenting resolutions at their next convention calling for diocesan giving at 0.7% in 2007 budget and urging congregations to give at 0.7% (8)"
Southwest Florida
Upper South Carolina

Dioceses that will present some sort of MDG resolution at their 2005 convention (1):
Working toward 0.7% giving, hope to be there in 2006 (2):