COI Gazette – 2nd January 2015

‘Micah Summit’ culmination of 10 years of Christian campaigning on Millennium Development Goals

Miroslav Volf (Photo: J.O. Nyaku, UN)

Miroslav Volf (Photo: J.O. Nyaku, UN)

Christian leaders from four continents met for a ‘Micah Summit’ at the United Nations in New York shortly before Christmas. The Millennium Development Goals (MDGs, see box) were adopted at the same venue in 2000 and the Micah Summit marked the end of ten years of global campaigning by 25 national campaigns and a transition to a new Micah structure to address the UN’s post-2015 development goals.





A new year is a time for hope. As one looks back at the year that is past, there are so many things that could impel us towards despondency. We have seen suffering on an unimaginable scale, with massacres, beheadings and cruel conflicts the world over. The rise of ISIL in the Middle East and the activities of Boko Haram in West Africa have brought atrocity after atrocity. The situation in South Sudan is deeply concerning and from around the world there have been shocking reports of the persecution of Christian people. Developments in Ukraine have seen Russia isolated and now plunged into a serious economic crisis. All this, and more, has the potential to cause one to ask just how this new year of 2015 can be anticipated with any degree of optimism.

When the former Archbishop of Canterbury, Lord Williams, was interviewed for the Gazette last month (issue, 12th December), while he was in Dublin to address the annual general meeting of Christian Aid Ireland, he responded to the question as to whether poverty ever really can become history by commenting to the effect that while, humanly speaking, it seems impossible, nonetheless faith demands that we look beyond the seeming impossibilities of life and work for that justice and equity that is the vision of the Kingdom itself. Indeed, it is the vision that really counts – the vision to see the world as God wants it to be, to hold fast to that vision and to work for it.

The work of advancing the cause and values of the Kingdom of God is the calling of the Church and of every believer. There is to be no despondency or gloom but, rather, there is to be action energized by faith. There is also to be hope – hope that by God’s grace things really can change, that new starts are possible, that enemies can be reconciled and that injustice can be turned around for the most powerless and vulnerable of the world.

The Book of Proverbs puts it in a nutshell: “Where there is no vision, the people perish” (29: 18). The proclamation of the Gospel not only brings hope to the one who truly hears the Word but also carries a vision that goes far beyond the individual to embrace the whole world. Christ is the light of the world; he it is who makes all things new. Therein lies the message of hope for each and for all – and it is a hope that inspires a sustained commitment to work towards that new world in which all that is negative, divisive and destructive gives way to an immeasurably more glorious future.

The arrival of 2015 is a time for everyone to lift their sights, to look beyond the difficulties of the present to the life of God’s Kingdom. So, our cry this new year is the cry of Lewis Hensley’s hymn: Your kingdom come, O God; your rule, O Christ, begin.



Home News

  •  CMSI to launch young people’s global mission resources
  • Divine healing service
  • Winners announced of WWI short story competition
  • Trinity College Dublin Chapel community says farewell to Dean of Residence
  • Grant awarded to Belfast parish choir
  • Derry and Raphoe Nets Work initiative contributes to reduction in malaria
  • CITI farewell presentation

World News

  • First C. of E. woman bishop to be consecrated this month
  • Church festivities cancelled over Christmas in Peshawar after school attack
  • CEC unhappy with Lima climate change talks outcome
  • Pope Francis wrongly quoted over pets going to heaven
  • Anglican Communion searching for new Secretary-General



  • Rethinking Church – Stephen Neil – Why the rush to grow up?
  • Life Lines – Ron Elsdon – A new year. Resolution needed.


A Year in View


  • Aonghus Dwane – Bliain úr


News Extra

  • Tributes paid to graduates, staff and families at CICE B.Ed. graduation ceremony
  • Joint C. of I./Methodist peace pilgrimage to Holy Land
  • Non-Lottery funding available for NI places of worship