Category Archives: Blogging

Will Your Church Step Up?: The Challenge of Human Trafficking

Earlier this week, President Obama spoke at the Clinton Global Initiative gathering on the topic of human trafficking.  In this speech he challenged churches to step up and act to “answer the Bible’s call to seek justice and rescue the oppressed” by educating their congregation about the reality of human trafficking;  by joining in coalitions that are bound by a love of God and a concern for the oppressed; and by standing up against the degradation and abuse of women and children.

Here is a link to this remarkable speech (18 minutes).

In the United Methodist Church, Human Trafficking month will be in January.  As your church plans it’s program and ministries for the next year, I encourage you to take action and join this great human rights challenge of our time. But there is no need to wait for January. Throughout the church year as a church engages with scripture, there are ample opportunities for a congregation to become more aware of the need for action regarding this form of modern slavery. You can show people this infograph and get the conversation started. We can determine to fight slavery by endorsing the use of Fair Trade Products in our churches and in the businesses and homes of church members. We can FOCUS our mission efforts by supporting women and girls. If you do not know about the Girl Effect, watch this video and check out this website.

Another opportunity to learn about ways to fight human trafficking and to support the well-being of women and girls will occur NEXT week. On October 1 and 2, Independent Lens on PBS will present a four hour “broadcast event” that will involve social media, educational modules, a social action game on facebook, and mobile games. Don’t miss this event! Half the Sky will provide you with inspirational and disturbing stories, and MANY suggestions about positive actions you can take to make a difference.

If you have not yet read the best selling book Half the Sky by Nickolas Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn, get a copy and read it. It was part of the UMW reading plan several years ago, and is great reading.

I support the new abolition movement by blogging (See “Teens Stand Up As Abolitionists,” “An Unlikely Hero Rescues Slaves in Nepal”,  and Human Trafficking Month Resources “) and by offering an ongoing micro-financing loan to women through Kiva.org. I have been recycling the same loan money for several years now, and I have supported women in Kenya, the D.R.Congo, South Sudan, and Uganda. I am about to make my seventh loan. Another organization I love to support is the Heifer Project.  Every Christmas, I make donations in honor of my friends and family for Christmas gifts.  In the past, I have given animals (or portions of animals) to one of the beneficiaries of HP.  My mother was quite amused the year I gave her part of a goat. Last year, since I have recently become a gardener, I purchased a gardener’s gift basket for someone else’s garden.

I invite you to take a look at these resources, share them with people you know, and DO something. I’d also like to invite you to share what you are currently doing or plan to do below. This can be an opportunity for YOU to contribute your ideas so others may step up to meet this human rights challenge of our time.

Will you and your church step up to this Biblical challenge? I pray that each of my readers will accept this charge.

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Filed under Abolition, Bible, Blogging, Christianity, Human Trafficking, Reading, Slavery, United Methodist

Cross-pollination

I am finally blogging! I have been an avid tweeter for about two years now, and I find Twitter to be an amazing tool for professional development, amusement, staying current with the latest news, and even a bit of social networking. I tweet primarily with Christians (mostly United Methodists, but a few strays too), educators, and techies; and I try to tweet or retweet information that I hope will be interesting across these disciplines.  I am sure that my religious tweets are sometimes a bit distracting to the educators, and my education focused tweets seem irrelevant to my Christian tweeps; but I hope they are sometimes useful as well. Despite the separation of church and state, I think we should be learning from one another and listening to words of wisdom from each other. Cross-pollination may lead to the creation of new ideas.

Twitter has, and will continue to be a great tool for me. But I have repeatedly found that there are occasions when 140 characters are inadequate to express my views.  So I am taking up blogging to fill that gap.  There are some topics that I am very passionate about, such as the United Methodist Council of Bishop’s Call To Action, my petition to the 2012 General Conference entitled “A More Equitable Salary”, education reform, on-line learning, the seeming taboo of the Bible in public schools, the elimination of extreme poverty, literacy and reading, racism, sexism, and the modern abolition movement. I would like to use this blog to speak in more depth on these topics. But in addition to just speaking, or writing about my own view, I hope that this blog will become a forum for discussion. So I invite you to comment, and join the conversation as well.

I look forward to this new adventure, and I welcome you to this journey.

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Filed under Blogging