USPG sermon, transcript and prayer for Sunday June 14th

USPG are working hard to support churches and communities around the world respond to Covid-19.  Bishops’ Appeal supported their efforts by releasing €10,000 to their Appeal.

Here, they have provided a timely sermon for this Sunday, June 14th: https://vimeo.com/428503981/d49c3d162b

The transcript for the sermon is here: To look with tenderness -A sermon from USPG for 14 June 2020

Also, there is a prayer, which can be used as part of Sunday’s service or as a separate resource.  It is The Lord’s Prayer for faith in a time of changing climate: https://vimeo.com/228292829

We are Supporting Global Emergency Responses During the Covid-19 Pandemic

In light of the global Covid-19 pandemic, Bishops’ Appeal – the Church of Ireland’s World Aid and Development Programme – is releasing a total of €50,000 to five key partner mission and development agencies to support their efforts among the world’s most vulnerable people.

The five agencies are Christian Aid, Tearfund Ireland, CMS Ireland, USPG, and Motivation.  The emergency responses include distributing essential supplies such as food, soap, medicine and information to people whose markets have shut down and who have no access to supplies, people who live in informal settlements and in refugee camps, and people who are living with a disability.

Christian Aid
Christian Aid is using the lessons from the Ebola crisis in Sierra Leone to mitigate the impact of the coronavirus. The agency is already taking action in Rohingya refugee camps where 850,000 people live in cramped conditions. Working together with partners, Christian Aid is informing people about the risks, offering hygiene and handwashing sessions, ensuring that health facilities in camps have triage and isolation spaces in order to receive suspected cases, and providing training to health personnel and key frontline aid workers.

Tearfund Ireland
Tearfund is working in Ethiopia, Cambodia and Uganda and with Syrian refugees in Lebanon who are living in densely packed conditions in makeshift shelters, waiting for peace and the possibility to return home. Whereas people would have previously congregated to receive essential supplies, volunteers now knock on hundreds of doors delivering food and medicines.  These are countries with much fewer resources than Ireland to face this pandemic – for example, in Uganda, it is estimated that there are more government ministers than ICU beds.

CMS Ireland
CMS Ireland is working with partner churches which are distributing handwashing supplies in refugee camps in northern Uganda.  Diocesan clinics in the region need assistance to upgrade their personal protection equipment and to upgrade their main hospital to be ready as a treatment and isolation centre.

In South Sudan, partner churches are requesting funds for bicycles to help to spread accurate information. The war has ensured that the vast majority of people living in the country have no financial reserves – so being unable to work their gardens or sell at market has left many in need of food and soap. Several dioceses wish to make packs available to the most vulnerable in their communities.  The Mothers’ Union in Maridi has been busy making masks for the diocesan clinic and they need further supplies.

In eastern part of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Kindu Diocese is also suffering the devastating impact of local floods at this time and their communities are displaced, already without food and basic supplies.

The Urban Development Programme in Kenya ministers to communities in informal settlements.  The programme has identified many elderly residents who are without basic household supplies and would like to provide these for them.

USPG
USPG is launching a new fund in solidarity with churches locally – across South and East Asia, Africa, Latin America, the Caribbean, Oceania, the Middle East and Europe – as they provide care and support for their communities most in need, out of their faithful commitment to God’s love. USPG has already sent money to Guinea, in West Africa, for the distribution of sanitation kits, and emergency support to families of agricultural labourers in central Sri Lanka where coronavirus restrictions have severely exacerbated pre-existing difficulties created by unusually dry weather.

Motivation
Motivation is working with disabled people in Africa and South Asia who have lost jobs and income, lack access to food and medicine and are struggling with pain and loss of dignity, due to a lack of urinary and sanitary products, which increases their risk of serious infection.  These people are also often excluded from support so a network of communication and support is being utilised to keep them connected and informed.

The Rt Revd Patrick Rooke, Chair of Bishops’ Appeal, said: ‘Aware of the financial pressures parishes are currently experiencing, the Church of Ireland is not launching its own major appeal but asking dioceses, parishes and individuals to give what they can to the appeals launched by our partner agencies, with Bishops’ Appeal acting as a conduit. In the midst of our own sufferings and fears at this time, it is vital that we remember those in countries with fewer resources and expertise.’

Further donations can be sent to Bishops’ Appeal through our website at www.bishopsappeal.ireland.anglican.org/give

#pennies4plastics

Our #Pennies4Plastics Lenten Initiative is here!

Check out this information sheet full to the brim with everything you need to reduce plastic waste and support others to do the same this Lent. Pennies4Plastics Complete Resource

If you want to download the different sections separately, please click on the links below:

Pennies4Plastics Information

Pennies4Plastics Action

Pennies4Plastics Giving

Pennies4Plastics School Assembly & All Age Worship

Download labels and attach them to recyclable jars for your Lenten Collection: label setup #pennies4plastics

Download Application Forms for TEFL Grants Here

Read about some of the successes and experiences of TEFL grant recipients and then download an application form to begin or enhance your own volunteering journey:

Teaching English to Asylum Seekers, Refugees and Migrants: New Grants Available in 2019

In 2018, Bishops’ Appeal offered a grant to people interested in becoming qualified to teach English as a second language.  There was huge interest in the grant from people all over the island of Ireland and people at all stages of life.  Shortly after the first round of grants had been allocated the father of a successful grant recipient approached me to thank Bishops’ Appeal for the initiative.  His daughter recently finished a Masters and was struggling to find work.  Getting the TEFL qualification had encouraged her to get involved in local outreach and had redirected her thoughts and given her confidence to put into practise her passion for others.

This is not an isolated story.  Some grant recipients were already involved in church or community migrant support groups, but the TEFL course enabled them to bring this volunteering to another level.  Others, through different life experiences, had lost confidence in being able to make a difference and the qualification gave them the boost to reconnect with community groups and to make friends with refugees.  Others again, had no experience in this area but have sought out groups in order to volunteer.  The grant also stirred up a lot of questions for people about the potential for their church to provide the classes if one or more of the parishioners were to become qualified.  It has been exciting to see the potential and the action, when people are given a little support.

Judy in Sligo has great plans for using her qualifications when she has finished wading through the grammar section:

‘We have a large Direct Provision Centre here in Sligo called Globe House where approximately 200 people live along with children. Having personally heard of some of their challenges, I understand how difficult it is for them to learn English and I felt compelled to help in some way. When the grant was advertised in the “Vox” magazine, I applied and was successful. I guess God had something to do with it!

I’m enjoying the TEFL course – the grammar module is certainly a challenge! There is a lot more detail than I recall in school! The course is very well structured and besides the theory, there are videos and demonstrations to further explain concepts and methodologies ; also quizzes with each module which are submitted for grading and are necessary to gain the qualification. The course must be completed within six months. Hopefully I will gain the qualification by early February 2019.

I am hoping to teach TEFL to asylum seekers in one of the local  centres and perhaps too with the ETB (Education Training Board). I have been in contact with one of the tutors and have been asked to contact him when I have completed the course.  I’m also considering if it could be used in church ministry.

I’m looking forward to teaching and using the qualification to help others. I know it will be demanding but also rewarding and fulfilling.  A big ‘ Thank you’  again to the Church of Ireland for the grant.’

 

Marjorie in Galway, has already completed her course and is putting her qualifications to great use:

‘While I was working on the Discovery/Galway Christian Fellowship soup trailer for the homeless I got to know a man from Eastern Europe. Joseph (not his real name) expressed his frustration at finding it difficult to obtain work because of his poor English. No job means no house, No house means living in a hostel or on the streets. No home means it is very difficult to have your children come to visit you. It’s a vicious circle that is so problematic to get out of.

The TEFL course was a bit more demanding than I expected. There are 13 tenses in English! That’s a few more than I was expecting.  On the other hand, it was broken up into bite sized units which helped.

I’m enjoying teaching, as a volunteer, with Galway City Partnership. I have seven students, each from a different country, each trying to fit in with their new culture, find work and care for their families.

Long term, I would love my church, Galway Christian Fellowship, to host an English class as an expression of God’s love to our local community.

Thank you to The Bishops’ Appeal for their support in funding this course.’

Due to the success of the grants in 2018, Bishops’ Appeal will again be funding TEFL courses in 2019.  Where is God calling you to serve this year?  Maybe you feel pushed to connect in with a local community group or your parish could provide the meeting space for conversational classes?  Maybe the Direct Provision Centre in your area can be accessed through English classes and friendships that cross cultures and languages can be born.  Whatever it may be, may you be open to the promptings of the Spirit, and may you celebrate the wonder of serving God: where you, the giver, are enriched in ways that far surpass your own ability to enrich others.

Click here to download: TEFL 2019 Application

Limited Edition Bishops’ Appeal 2019 Calendars

Now Available in All Dioceses

Members of the Church of Ireland can support communities all over the world this Christmas by purchasing a Bishops’ Appeal calendar.  For just €10/£10, the calendar will raise funds to make a difference on the ground throughout 2019.  It commemorates the Disestablishment of the Church of Ireland – the 150th anniversary of which starts next year – and each month provides a reflection from its bishops on issues or projects that have been supported by Bishops’ Appeal over the years.

The Rt Revd Patrick Rooke, Chair of the Bishops’ Appeal Advisory Committee, said: ‘2019 marks the 150th anniversary of the Disestablishment of the Church of Ireland. Throughout those 150 years, this Church has worked to support the disadvantaged in some of the poorest parts of the world. The calendar is both a celebration of that partnership but also a reminder of how life is for so many. Those who purchase a calendar will be supporting this ongoing work as we seek to bring relief to disaster situations as well as supporting health, education and rural development projects.’

 

Calendars can be purchased in the following ways:

  1. Online at https://store.ireland.anglican.org/donations/the-bishops-appeal and then by choosing the most convenient collection point or adding €4/£4 for postage to your preferred address.  Please email bishopsappeal@ireland.anglican.org with delivery instructions.
  2. By cheque made payable to Bishops’ Appeal and sent to Church of Ireland House, Church Avenue, Rathmines, Dublin 6.  Please enclose a note that it is for purchase of a calendar.
  3. Exact payment on collection except where otherwise stated – from selected collection points only (listed below)

 

Collection points

  • Lydia Monds, Church of Ireland House, Church Avenue, Rathmines, Dublin 6 – 01 4125 610 (bishopsappeal@ireland.anglican.org)
  • Armagh: The Revd Elizabeth Stevenson, Bishops’ Appeal representative – 028 3885 1503.
  • Cashel, Ferns and Ossory: Denise Hughes, Diocesan Office, The Palace Coach House, Church Lane, Kilkenny.
  • Clogher: Diocesan Office, Hall’s Lane, Enniskillen.
  • Connor: Audra Irvine, Diocesan Office, 61-67 Donegall Street, Belfast (Collection only.  Please pay online or send a cheque to Bishops’ Appeal to cover the cost of your calendar).
  • Cork, Cloyne and Ross: Billy Skuse, Diocesan Office, St Nicholas’ House, 14 Cove Street, Cork, or Andrew Coleman, Bishops’ Appeal representative (acoleman@christian-aid.org).
  • Derry and Raphoe: Diocesan Office, London Street, Londonderry.
  • Down and Dromore: Tracey Taggart, Diocesan Office, 61-67 Donegall Street, Belfast (Collection only.  Please pay online or send a cheque to Bishops’ Appeal to cover the cost of your calendar).
  • Dublin and Glendalough: Sylvia Heggie, Diocesan Office, Church of Ireland House, Church Avenue, Rathmines, Dublin 6.
  • Kilmore, Elphin and Ardagh: Sarah Taylor, Diocesan Office, 20A Market Street, Cootehill, Co. Cavan.
  • Limerick and Killaloe: Available from St Mary’s Cathedral, Bridge Street, Limerick.
  • Meath and Kildare: Karen Seaman, Diocesan Office, Moyglare, Maynooth, Co. Kildare.
  • Tuam, Killala and Achonry: Canon Jennifer McWhirter, Bishops’ Appeal representative – 096 60829.

Indonesian Earthquake and Tsunami Response

People survey damage outside the shopping mall following earthquakes and tsunami in Palu, Central Sulawesi, Indonesia, Sunday, Sept. 30, 2018. Rescuers try to reach trapped victims in collapsed buildings after hundreds of people are confirmed dead in a tsunami that hit two central Indonesian cities, sweeping away buildings with massive waves. (AP Photo/Tatan Syuflana)

A 7.4 magnitude earthquake hit the island of Sulawesi on Friday morning, causing a tsunami and around 170 aftershocks. It is the most devastating earthquake to hit Indonesia since 2004.
The area devastated by the disaster is bigger than originally thought. The tsunami wave was as high as six metres in some places.
The death toll is currently at 832 and expected to rise sharply. 821 of the deaths occurred in the city of Palu. There are still only 11 casualties recorded in the city of Donggala, one of the worst hit areas
Bodies are now being buried in mass graves once they have been identified.
The city of Palu has been devastated. There is no electricity and drinking water is in short supply after the pipes were damaged. Fuel is also running low.
Rescue operations are hindered by the lack of heavy equipment needed to shift the rubble. Most search and rescue of victims is being done by hand.

Bishops’ Appeal is acting as a conduit for funds which they will direct to agencies to aid emergency relief efforts on the ground.

However, we would urge parishes and individuals not to divert Harvest giving as there are many communities awaiting funding for life saving projects across the globe.  For example, refugee training and trauma support centres in Lebanon and Iraq and access to safe water for schools and communities in Uganda.

All information on giving can be found at the ‘Give’ section of this website.

Reading the Bible Missionally – Sermon Outline & Powerpoint

Who is my Neighbour?
Reading the Bible “missionally” in light of the Global Refugee Crisis
By Charlotte Olhausen

– “30 Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ 31 The second is this: ‘Love your neighbour as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these.” (Mark 12:30:31)

● Aim of talk: In light of the refugee crisis, to stand in solidarity with people seeking refuge across the world through engagement with the biblical scripture, through prayer and through action. This talk aims to teach us why it is of such importance that Christians engage with the migrant crisis.

What you will need for the talk:
● A Bible
● Powerpoint with pictures and the readings (optional)
● 6 people to do the readings – perhaps three children and three adults/teenagers.
● A stand up flip sheet chart and two coloured pens to outline Tearfund’s theory of poverty (optional)
● Tearfund’s theory of poverty (optional) http://tilz.tearfund.org/en/themes/church/tearfunds_faith-based_approach/)

Opening Activity:
What is poverty?
● When you hear the word poverty, what sort of words spring to mind? People can give their responses to be put up on the flipchart – in our experience these are often a mixture of material and physical things with perhaps one or two non-physical things. Is poverty just about the amount of ‘stuff’ we possess?
● The World Bank did a study some years ago called Voices of the Poor, interviewing many living in poverty according to the World Bank criteria about what poverty meant for them. Their answers used words like isolated, alone, helpless, no voice, full of fear, useless, worthless, rubbish, ashamed.
● These are words that describe feelings and relationships – there is something about poverty that is grounded in relationships that are currently unhealthy, unequal and unjust – and so poverty alleviation needs to look at restoring of relationships in a holistic way, with God, self, others and the environment. When we speak about this restoration of relationships we are referring to all people – rich, poor and in-between. All of our lifestyles and choices perpetuate the current system that keeps the majority of the world poor. All of us need to be reconnected to God and to each other.

Introduction:

As Christians, we turn to the biblical text for wisdom and guidance during a time of crisis e.g. during a time of illness, when we need encouragement to help another etc. So, why wouldn’t we do the same in light of the global refugee crisis?
Much of Jesus’ ministry is aimed at the “other” or the most vulnerable members of society…coupled with our own Christian story of exile and the fact that Jesus himself was a refugee…makes for a pretty solid reason to really utilise the scripture as a tool to engage with the migrant crisis, right?

A view of Za’atari refugee camp

Statistics:

● The migrant crisis is a global issue with people currently fleeing conflict in countries such as Myanmar, Syria, Iraq, Iran, South Sudan and Yemen. The wars in Syria and Iraq alone have caused millions to flee their homes to escape violence, poverty and persecution.
● UN statistic: 12.3 million people have fled their homes since fighting broke out in Syria in 2011. 6.6 million are internally displaced with up to 13.5 million people within Syria needing humanitarian assistance.
● How do you feel after hearing these statistics – what is your initial response? Each number that makes up a statistic is a person, infinitely loved by the Almighty God.

1. Our Christian faith is built upon the story of the people fleeing from Egypt.

-Check out this short video for an overview of the Exodus story

Reader: Deuteronomy 26:7-9 “7 Then we cried out to the Lord, the God of our ancestors, and the Lord heard our voice and saw our misery, toil and oppression. 8 So the Lord brought us out of Egypt with a mighty hand and an outstretched arm,with great terror and with signs and wonders. 9 He brought us to this place and gave us this land, a land flowing with milk and honey.”

This is also the Story of God’s people – displacement and vulnerability are part of the Church’s DNA and Church’s story e.g. exile of the early Church. There are many parallels to be drawn between the Exodus story of Moses leading God’s people out of Egypt and the refugees fleeing conflict and insecurity today.

Not only do I have the right to a flourishing life, everyone does. We should all experience this quality of life. Flourishing is not about accumulating wealth and keeping up with the Jones’. It is about having Enough and living a life of contentment with Enough. Now is the time we need to take up the call to better our relationships with those suffering across the globe so that they may experience a better quality of life. – For Jesus came that we may have this sort of life and have it “to the full” (John 10:10).

2. The Parable of the Good Samaritan/love of neighbour/Jesus identification with human suffering
● In society there tends to be a suspicion/fear surrounding those from distant cultures, or the “other”, as we often perceive them to be.

Reader: Deuteronomy 1:16 – 16 And I charged your judges at that time, “Hear the disputes between your people and judge fairly, whether the case is between two Israelites or between an Israelite and a foreigner residing among you. 17 Do not show partiality in judging; hear both small and great alike. Do not be afraid of anyone, for judgment belongs to God. Bring me any case too hard for you, and I will hear it.”

● What does this passage tell us? It tells us two things: firstly, it is not our place to judge others – ultimately this is God’s job. Secondly, although it is a natural part of our being human to notice the differences between ourselves and others, we should always be willing to challenge any preconceptions and prejudices that can arise from this initial ‘noticing’ so that it does not build barriers in our hearts and in our interactions with others.
● What else does the Bible say about how we should respond to the stranger/the other/the foreigner? Take the parable of the Good Samaritan…

Reader: Luke 10:25-37 25 On one occasion an expert in the law stood up to test Jesus. “Teacher,” he asked, “what must I do to inherit eternal life?” 26 “What is written in the Law?” he replied. “How do you read it?” 27 He answered, “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind’[a]; and, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’[b]” 28 “You have answered correctly,” Jesus replied. “Do this and you will live.” 29 But he wanted to justify himself, so he asked Jesus, “And who is my neighbor?” 30 In reply Jesus said: “A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, when he was attacked by robbers. They stripped him of his clothes, beat him and went away, leaving him half dead. 31 A priest happened to be going down the same road, and when he saw the man, he passed by on the other side. 32 So too, a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side. 33 But a Samaritan, as he traveled, came where the man was; and when he saw him, he took pity on him. 34 He went to him and bandaged his wounds, pouring on oil and wine. Then he put the man on his own donkey, brought him to an inn and took care of him. 35 The next day he took out two denarii[c] and gave them to the innkeeper. ‘Look after him,’ he said, ‘and when I return, I will reimburse you for any extra expense you may have.’ 36 “Which of these three do you think was a neighbor to the man who fell into the hands of robbers?” 37 The expert in the law replied, “The one who had mercy on him.” Jesus told him, “Go and do likewise.”

● In fact, throughout the Bible we see that Jesus’ ministry focuses on the love of the poor and vulnerable, namely the foreigner, the widow and the child.
● Martin Luther King Junior said ‘On the one hand we are called to play the Good Samaritan on life’s roadside; but that will be only an initial act. One day we must come to see that the whole Jericho road must be transformed so that men and women will not be constantly beaten and robbed as they make their journey on life’s highway.’ So as we focus on those who are vulnerable, we don’t just look to meet their immediate need, but we look to why they are vulnerable and seek to change the root causes and not just the symptoms of the problem.

GUIDAN IDER VILLAGE, NEAR KONNI, NIGER, 27TH JULY 2010: Feeding centre started in 2004 by Christian Aid partner HEKS in partnership with GADRA. Staff cook vitamin-enriched formula for both babies and mothers.
Very poor rains in 2009 and late rains this season has led to severe food insecurity in many areas of Niger. Since last September food prices have risen by approximately 25%. Other factors affecting family’s ability to feed themselves and their livestock include worsening wind and soil erosion, a staggering 3% population growth, increasing mortality rates and rising temperatures.
Even if the rains now falling improve, the harvest itself is predicted to yield only 50% of what would be expected in a year of good rainfall.
Photo by Mike Goldwater / Christian Aid

Reader: Matthew 25: 34-39: 34 “Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. 35 For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, 36 I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’ 37 “Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink?38 When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? 39 When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’

● In the Bible there are constant reminders of God’s presence with us in our suffering. How? It is through his spirit that God is here with us. It is also through his spirit that we are convicted to stand with those suffering. By His Spirit we draw upon God’s infinite reserves of compassion and we allow them to flow through us and through our Christian witness.
● If we do not respond to the suffering of others, this inaction in turn, denies our love for God.

3. Jesus as a Refugee Child

Reader: Matthew 2:13-14: 13 When they had gone, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream. “Get up,” he said, “take the child and his mother and escape to Egypt. Stay there until I tell you, for Herod is going to search for the child to kill him.” 14 So he got up, took the child and his mother during the night and left for Egypt,

● Jesus can identify with refugees because he was a refugee himself. Jesus acts as a model of hope in the suffering of the refugees. If we are willing to accept Jesus the refugee into our lives, then surely this same acceptance applies to those fleeing in need of our help.
● This involves the reforming of the language we associate to refugees, the way we view them with our eyes and ultimately how we choose to respond to them. By doing this we can reverse the effects of self-absorption or self-prioritising as we are called as the people of God to stand in solidarity with others.

Looking forward:

By looking at the scripture through a missional lens we can see that it is very much part of our calling as Christians to help and engage with the “other”, the foreigner, the poor. As a Church community, we must not turn a blind eye to this. In doing so, we are blessed.

● Give: This can be done by donating to the cause or it can involve giving your time. Bishops’ Appeal is providing grants for people who wish to gain a qualification in TEFL and use this skill to volunteer with migrants and refugees. For more information email: bishopsappeal@ireland.anglican.org

● Act: Add your name to the Register of Pledges run by the Irish Red Cross to join in providing integrated support to refugees and migrants. Once registered, you can pledge offers of accommodation, goods and services http://registerofpledges.redcross.ie/#/ Speak up for those who are vulnerable and scapegoated. Be a voice that offers an alternative way of seeing the world than the dividing and fearmongering view of ‘us and them’.

● Pray: a major way we can help is through prayer. Especially when we come together

● Some links to give you more information on the migrant crisis and ways to get involved:
– https://www.redcross.ie/
– http://www.justice.ie/en/JELR/Pages/Irish_Refugee_Protection_Programme_(IRPP)
– http://www.tearfund.ie/get_involved/churches/

Powerpoint Slides for Readings: Reading the Bible _missionally_ Talk

Rev William Steacy Addresses Meath & Kildare Diocesan Synod

Report to Diocesan Synod 7th October 2017
(Rev William Steacy, Bishops Appeal Representative, Meath & Kildare Diocese)

Bishop Pat, and members of Synod, I want to speak to you briefly about Bishop’s Appeal.

Bishops’ Appeal was originally set up to contribute to the relief of suffering and poverty overseas.
It is like an intermediary;
it receives money from parishes and dioceses and distributes it via charitable organisations to those in need.

It channels funds towards humanitarian emergencies like for example the current Rohingya Muslem refugee crises in Bangladesh.

Our Diocese has been faithful in contributing to various appeals over recent years,
we have given to:
– the earthquake disaster in Nepal,
– the East African Famine Crises and
– the Syrian Refugee Crises.

Bishops’ Appeal also supports niche projects in areas such as
education, health and rural development.
A few years ago we as a diocese supported the
the Christian Aid Agogo Dairy appeal in Haiti.

But I suppose the one project that has been most prominent in recent years has been the Good for the Sole Project which started in February 2015.

I have been part of the working group which planned and steered this project.
It has been an amazing journey. Right from the start this project took off and caught the imagination of many people.

The idea of giving €5 for two pairs of protective sandals to help a Leprosy sufferer in India was easy for people to grasp.
Many Parishes, schools and individuals got involved and €22,630 was raised by the end of 2015.
The target of 10,000 sandals (or €25,000) was reached by Easter 2016 with a few thousand Euro to spare.
This was a wonderful achievement and we celebrated it in Trim Cathedral in April 2016.

We then moved on to Phase 2 where we were asking people to sponsor corrective surgeries at €50 per operation.


Dr Jerry Joshua, who was working with the leprosy mission in India came over in June last year to launch Phase 2 in Kildare Cathedral. He spoke about the process of taking fat tissue from one part of the body and relocating it to where it was needed around the foot.

By the end of last year €30,720 was raised – this was the equivalent of sponsoring 614 surgeries.
After Easter this year, a team of 12 people from the diocese went out to India to see where the money was being used (no doubt some of you have already heard reports of their experiences).
By the end of June, the Diocese had handed over an extra €10,661 to Bishops’ Appeal giving a grand total of the sponsorship of 827 operations.

We have been told that the Leprosy Mission has now enough funding to carry out foot surgeries in their hospitals in India for the next 2 ½ years that’s up to 2020. So we are delighted.

 

The Good for the Sole project has been a great success so we say a big thank you to all those parishes, schools and individuals that got involved.
We would especially want to thank Rhonda Willoughby for all the work she did in producing the Food for the Sole Cook books, which obviously raised a lot of money for the project.

I estimate that from February 2015 to June 2017 the diocese has raised over €66,000 for the Good for the Sole project.

Why was this project so successful –
why did people respond to it so enthusiastically and give so generously?

I came across a number of points in the Church of Ireland Generous Giving Programme literature recently, and it struck a cord with me. It said and I quote:

People give generously when they understand that giving is rooted in discipleship and worship.
They give generously when they clearly know what their money is being used for.
And they give generously when they can see that it is making a difference.

So thank you on behalf of Bishops’ Appeal for all your generosity.
Thank you

William Steacy

Harvest Appeal

Click here for Appeal Letter: +Patrick Rooke Bishops Appeal Harvest Letter

All Age Sermon Outline: Back to School Time

The Extraordinary Life of a Pencil:

Exploring our interconnected world, our potential in the hands of God and literacy projects supported through Bishops Appeal, this sermon outline has a lot to offer!
Originally for use in conjunction with the Cashel, Ferns and Ossory Diocesan Link Projects which focus on literacy in Democratic Republic of Congo and Ethiopia, it can also be used to explore a variety of themes and biblical principles by any church or group.

For the Sermon Outline click here: The Extraordinary Life of a Pencil

For the Powerpoint click here: The Extraordinary Life of a Pencil