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CHRISTMAS IS COMING!
The Christmas Appeal for 2018 is excited to be investing in empowerment projects that will benefit communities the UK and continental Europe.
Over the summer, Relational Mission churches were invited to submit proposals that let us know how an investment of between £2,000 and £20,000 would see people empowered in their local community. Proposals have now been submitted, projects have been shortlisted and the Christmas Appeal video is in the process of being created! so please watch this space!
How can you empower people?
Pathways from Poverty has been established to help our family of churches empower people with choice. This is about us being a church in and for a broken world. Helping local churches to empower people in both their local communities and in communities across the nations to walk free from poverty.
There are millions of people all over the world who have been dis-empowered to the extent that they do not have choices. This can come in many forms including social, economic or physical. Pathways from Poverty is not about giving out short term financial aid; it’s about helping those in our family of churches, and others we have relationships with, to demonstrate God’s heart for the poor, by creating sustainable pathways out of poverty that bring dignity and empowerment.
We are working to see the poor empowered, poverty alleviated and communities re-built, at home and across the nations.
We would love to help you embrace what God is calling you to in this area.
Watch Julia Miller explain the heart behind Pathways from Poverty.
What next for you?
These are some of the ways that you can start on the road to empowering people right now:
1. Find out what's currently going on within our family of churches
There’s a lot of great work already happening across our family. This means there is a great deal of knowledge, skills and expertise available for us to share and benefit from. As a individual or local church you might feel you want to go wider in your engagement with your local community to meet the needs of more people or to go deeper with a specific group of people that God has laid on your heart, getting to know them better, to see how you can have a greater impact in their lives.
One example is Ann Gallagher. Through building relationships in the community, she and others at Aylsham Community Church found that one of the biggest needs many families talk about is the need for support and help in parenting. So they began to run a programme called Kids Matter through the church. Learn more...
The map & directory below will help you find out what others are doing in their local community. (This map currently only covers the UK churches but more will be added in due course from across mainland Europe.)
Map of community outreach activities
To get the best results from this map when using a tablet, please view in landscape orientation and click on one topic at a time.
Community Action Directory
Please click on the button below to view or save the current UK version of the Relational Mission Community Engagement Directory.
2. Get inspired about what you could do
God has always wanted to ensure that the poor and needy were protected and provided for – both those who worshipped him and those who did not - he was intentional in making special laws benefitting them in the Old Testament and has made his heart known through the prophets, proverbs and through the life and ministry of Jesus, the apostles and early church.
Here is a selection of biblical references that demonstrate God's heart for the poor and what he expects from us his people.
Take a look at our resources page and dive into a great book or two, listen to or watch some inspiring talks or find out about projects you could start in your church via links to the Jubilee+ and Cinnamon Network websites and other websites that we think will be helpful to you.
How's it going:
Review your current community engagement activities. You can use the questions here and see if any prompt you to look differently at what you are doing or how you are doing it. Have you considered recently how accessible your church appears to non attenders - for example: are your community engagement activities easy to locate on your website? How engaged are you with others in the community who also want to see lives transformed? Do you intentionally plan opportunities for people to be able to hear about and meet with Jesus once they have got to know you and had some of their needs met?
Are our activities maintaining people in poverty or empowering people to get on pathways out of poverty? Short term aid is needed in crisis situations and some activities are right to focus on this, but we do need to ask how we can help people to move forward for the long term, so that for as many as possible there is a reducing need for them to access crisis support in the future. We're grappling with this one across the churches in Great Yarmouth at the moment.
If you want to follow up any of this or have any queries, please do get in touch via email: Julia@pathwaysfrompoverty.org.uk
Here to help:
The Pathways from Poverty team are here to help you. By working together as a family of churches, we can help each other to build glorious expressions of God's Kingdom that change lives and impact communities.
Recommended to attend:
The Jubilee+ Annual conference - Churches that Change Communities was hosted at the end of October 2017 by Relational Mission at City Church Cambridge and was a great success. The link below will take you to the Jubilee+ site which is well worth a visit. The recordings from the conference are now available and can be found on the Jubilee+ website and will also be linked on our resources page. I would recommend listening to lots of them - especially Mike's message on Empowerment. Very early warning - the next annual conference is taking place in London on 10th November 2018. Get it in your diary now so you don't miss out!
Some Background reading:
Have a read of the Pathways from Poverty Development Report. You can view it here. This lays out a plan to help churches in the Relational Mission family to move forward with their work in the local community. It includes wisdom and data from church leaders across UK and Europe and is a very valuable resource.
Head to our resources page for loads more helpful stuff:
3. Engage with the Christmas appeals
Since 2012, the Pathways from Poverty Christmas appeals have raised money to empower people with choice from across the nations, in partnership with the sustainable initiatives of local churches.
An example of what has been achieved through some of the appeals is shown in this video.
Working together this Christmas we can change the lives of hundreds of families who are experiencing extreme hardship and help them get onto pathways out of poverty. We are supporting 2 projects in 2 different countries on 2 different continents. Empowering people as we improve vital infrastructure in Kenya and transform communities in rural India.
For more info about this year's appeal, please click on the link below.
Want to find out more?
Contact Julia Miller if you would like some help with empowering people in your context.