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Social Justice Advocacy as a Lenten Practice: Women’s Health, MDGs and Earth Day 2006
“In Lent, Christians are called to examine our relationships with others and the world around us, and to renounce the various patterns of life that limit God’s passion for justice and righteousness.   Part of that contemplation is coming to the understanding that God obliges each of us to work daily for a world free from the divisions and inequalities that so bind human beings.”  -- Bishop Jane Holmes Dixon, Sermon for International Women’s Day, March 8, 2006

Celebrate International Women’s Health Day – Support Women’s Health and the MDGs
In commemoration of International Women’s Day today, leaders from many faith traditions gathered in Washington to celebrate an important new piece of bipartisan legislation for women and families around the world.  The Focus on Family Health Worldwide Act (H.R.4188), introduced by Reps. Betty McCollum (D-MN), Chris Shays (R-CT), Jim Oberstar (D-MN), and Jim Ramstad (R-MN) strengthens U.S. international-family-planning programs through increased funding.  This represents an important step forward in bringing assistance to the millions of women and families in the developing world who are at risk from unintended and unsafe pregnancies.  The proposal could not come at a more critical time: the world is lagging significantly in meeting the anti-poverty targets set by the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), and President Bush has released an FY’07 budget making deep cuts to international family-planning and other programs for women’s health worldwide. 

Send a message to your Representative urging him or her to support and cosponsor HR 4188.  Make it known that U.S. leadership on issues of women’s health is vital to the world’s campaign to meet the MDGs.  To send a message CLICK HERE.

Earth Day Sunday, April 23rd – Through the Eye of a Hurricane
Each year the Eco-Justice Working Group of the National Council of Churches of Christ dedicates one Sunday for creation stewardship and the Earth Day celebration. This year Earth Day Sunday is April 23rd. The emphasis for 2006 is on our connection to all of God's creation and our call for justice and right relationships with a focus around the issues brought to light during and after Hurricanes Katrina and Rita last year. For more information and resources you can use with your congregation, visit

More information on Women’s Health, the MDGs, and US Funding
On the Issues: Millennium Development Goals (Background Paper)
On the Issues: International HIV/AIDS Funding (Background Paper)
General Convention and Executive Council Resolutions:
Fighting HIV/AIDS
Development Assistance & MDGs

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