Archive for the ‘action’ Category

What is Truly Unjust?

February 4, 2008

So here’s something we should all consider: the Gaza strip borders Israel and Egypt, yet it is not recognized as a part of either country. There have been and continue to be wars over the ownership of this land. It is presently being controlled — dare I say ruled — by Hamas, a group that has been described as “a murderous terror organization.” Israel, an ally of the United States, has decided to cut off power to the Gaza Strip as a form of “economic warfare.”

Pause here to think about everything we use electricity for. There will be no electricity in homes, schools, hospitals and public places. The Gaza strip has 1.5 million residents that include innocent civilians — men, women and children; sick, healthy and dying. They all need electricity to purify their water, incubate their babies and run their dialysis machines, among other things. What is truly unjust? Yes, we can take a stance even in such a long-standing problem. Find out more about the war, make petitions, talk about it, raise awareness — but most importantly, PRAY!

-Ibukunoluwa Akinboyo

Links to Justice

February 4, 2008

During Justice Week we are engaging people that are on different levels of knowledge about injustices around the world. After learning and dealing with these issues during Justice Week, we hope that people will be motivated to respond to their calling. Below is a list of just a few organizations in which you can get involved in to help further the cause for justice:

Campus Coalition Against Trafficking (CCAT)
This is a university campus movement that seeks to build the anti-trafficking movement by training emerging leaders, fostering youth empowerment, raising awareness about human trafficking and encouraging linkages among social injustices. (www.ccatcoalition.org)

He Intends Victory
This organization has been active since 1990 and has worked to promote the hope of Jesus Christ to those affected and infected by HIV/AIDS. He Intends Victory is committed to sharing the hope of Christ as a cure for the hopelessness that comes with HIV/AIDS. (www.heintendsvictory.com)

ONE:: The Campaign to make Poverty History
ONE is Americans of all beliefs and every walk of life united to help make poverty history. As ONE, we are raising public awareness about the issues of global poverty, hunger, disease and efforts to fight such problems in the world’s poorest countries. As ONE, we are asking our leaders to do more to fight global AIDS and extreme poverty. Everyone can join the fight. (www.one.org)

The Micah Challenge
Micah Challenge is a global Christian-run campaign. Our aims are to deepen our engagement with impoverished and marginalized communities; and to challenge international leaders, and leaders of rich and poor countries, to achieve the Millennium Development Goals, which could halve global poverty by 2015. (www.michachallenge.org)

There is a long list of Justice Organizations with which you can get involved. A few more to add to this list are: Not for Sale, The Simple Way, Trade as One, Compassion, International Justice Mission, Free the Slaves, World Vision, World Relief, Acting on AIDS, The Salvation Army, Tearfund and Bread for the World.

-Katie Martin

Clicking for the Common Good

September 17, 2007

The Hunger SiteEvery morning an automated e-mail from www.thehungersite.com appears in my inbox. I originally heard about this site in high school, but for the last two years I have been attempting to visit it daily and click for the common good. The Hunger Site is an online activism site that sells advertising space– “the money from these advertisers goes to our charity partners, who fund programs to provide food to the hungry.” Visitors are allowed to click once a day; the advertisers then donate money per click. Visitors are encouraged to buy products of the sponsoring companies, though this is not a requirement.

This site links to other similar sites that raise money for breast cancer research, child health around the world and literacy among others. I recommend signing up and clicking; it’s a daily reminder that our life is good, and that we often take things for granted. Will it single-handedly save the world? Probably not, but it might begin the process of change our habits, thoughts and prayers toward doing good in the world. It is a way for us to get a glimpse of how heaven is being brought down to earth, one mouse click at a time, one person at a time, one small action a day. It has the potential to change us, give us hope, and through us God transforms the world.

greg p. veltman

The Boundries of Cultural Engagement

April 11, 2007

When I was in the ninth grade I wanted to be cool. So, I bought the coolest album I could- Pearl Jam’s Ten. Everyone in high school seemed to love them. They sounded good, and it wasn’t like I had to reflect too hard on the lyrics that you couldn’t catch most of the word too anyway. It was about being cool. I’m not sure exactly how it happened, but my Dad (a pastor) decided that we should sit down and listen and read the lyrics together. At first this seemed even cooler, seeing as how my first experience of rock music was the Simon & Garfunkel my Dad recorded off the radio during his college days. But as we read the lyrics of songs like “Evenflow” and “Jeremy” I began to realize that this was disturbing stuff- painful and emotional songs about child abuse. My dad didn’t make me burn the CD’s or throw them out, he merely pointed out that there was a massive disconnect between my own life and experience and the music I was listening to. I came to the realization that I wouldn’t be listening to Pearl Jam anymore (My junior year of college I returned to them with more mature questions). I had to recognize my own limitations.

What I have come to realize is that while a Reformed view allows Christians the freedom to really engage and ask good questions of culture, it also places on us the responsibility of know where the boundaries are. Even before the Fall, God had told Adam and Eve the limits that they were under, not as slaves to God, but so that they could find their identity and flourish in their relationship with God, rather than being deceived by thinking of themselves as god. This has become clearer, or rather more muddled, after the fall, where we now see the world “through a glass darkly.” In a world with real goodness and real evil, we must come to realize what our boundaries are so that we are pursuing faithfulness, rather than running into ruin.

What we need is a community of conversation- a space where we can learn and grow in maturity and discernment. To be human is to be a creature in God’s world, and we flourish most when we live inside the limits that God’s grace provides. Engaging culture is not a free for all in which we celebrate every created thing as art, rather it is a careful process in which we work out our faith with “fear and trembling,” trying to discern the complexities of an originally good creation that we have screwed up by mistaking grace for irresponsible freedom. Engaging culture will involve developing appropriate gestures in response to culture; these gestures then shape our posture toward culture. Andy Crouch (Culture Makers, 2007) lists “condemnation, critique, consumption, and copying” as possible Christian responses to different things in culture. While each of these responses are appropriate for different things, we should not allow one of them to become the dominating response. Rather, within the limits of God’s world we have to become creators and cultivators of culture- to truly be salt and light in the world.

–gpv

More on The Well Fund

February 21, 2007

Ok. So, here’s where we’re at. We’ve gotten seven hundred and eighty dollars in donations. Five hundred of that was matched by The Call Office. That leaves us with over one thousand two hundred dollars in the kitty. Pretty good. Only… We’re still over four thousand dollars away from our goal of a little over five grand.

Keep those funds coming. The more the merrier.

Special thanks to those who have given since the first round of names that we printed such as: denise godwin. robert liljestrand. rachel menke. matt dodd. seth wing. jared willson. christiana dementriou. bronya clyde. The student ministries and bible departments. and a bunch of anonymous givers.

We’ve had a lot of questions about the timeline for The Well Fund, and while we’re not entirely sure when we’re going to cut off donations. The goal is to raise the entire $5390—to build a well. Please bring your donation to The Call office.

Acting on Aids

February 7, 2007

The Geneva College chapter of Acting on AIDS has been active on our campus since spring semester 2005. Our mission is to change hearts on our campus, create awareness in our community, and advocate for the most innocent victims of HIV/AIDS around the world. Geneva College Acting on AIDS (AoA) is part of a larger, national AoA movement that is in partnership with World Vision, a Christian relief and development organization and the Coalition for Christian Colleges and Universities.

So, that is was AoA is in a nutshell. Now, for the past 2 years AoA has put on many programs that have helped educate Geneva about this pandemic. The Orange ORPHAN T-shirt Campaign has made its mark several times, there have been chapel speakers, benefit concerts, move discussions, fundraisers, forums, and AIDS Awareness Weeks which have all been a part of fulfilling our mission.

A look ahead at some upcoming, campus-wide programs: a Broken Bread Meal, a simulcast with a prominent person in society, and much more so stay tuned!

At the beginning of each fall semester we have a table for Cokes & Clubs, but that is not enough – we need YOUR HELP. With leaders graduating and moving on to the real world, we need people who would like to make a difference on this campus; those who have a passion for creating awareness, advocating for innocent victims, and being active in our community for the HIV/AIDS pandemic. We would love for you to help us and many others in this movement if you feel God tugging at your heart in this area. We hold meetings every Monday during the chapel slot (10:10-11:00) in Skye Lounge. If you are interested please prayerfully consider attending these meetings. Also, contact Katie Martin at kathleen.martin@geneva.edu.

So, if you have a passion for doing something about the global AIDS pandemic- let us know. Follow God’s calling and direction so we can work together with other campuses around the nation to help the affected HIV/AIDS victims and educate others about this pandemic.

Engaging Culture

February 5, 2007

Here’s a great piece by long-time culture. ish. contibutor Greg P. Veltman on engaging culture. It’s nine pages long, but you definitely won’t regret the read. Enjoy.

Engaging Culture by Greg P. Veltman
Greg’s Blog

The Well Fund

February 5, 2007

so, here’s an ambitious project, let’s raise over five grand in two weeks. not really intrigued? what if it was to build a well in Africa to help provide clean water to people who currently do not have it? that’s where you and the five grand both come into play.

five grand seems a bit daunting, but let’s break that down. with over fourteen hundred undergraduates as well as hundreds of faculty of staff that’s not much. we’re asking for around five bucks. sure you can give more and you can give less. whatever works for you, works for us. just give it to your RD or drop it off at the Call Office on the third floor of old main. make sure to put it in a sealed envelope with your name on it.

here’s a link to world vision (that’s who we’re going through for this). we’ll keep you updated on the progress. thanks for your help.

International Justice Mission at Geneva

January 29, 2007

A little girl sits and stares, her big brown eyes empty and unseeing. No tears fall because she has none left to give. Though not understanding what is happening to her, she knows enough. The bruises and soreness tell stories of months upon months of forced prostitution, of abuse when she does and doesn’t give in. Raped of her innocence, she is left broken.

You’ve heard the stories, you’ve seen the issues, you’ve experienced some of it. AIDS in Africa, forced labor in India, and sex trade in the United States are a few. Topping that off are child porn, genocide, kidnapping, forced migration, and murder of street children. The list is long.

The phrase Human Rights and the word Justice are thrown around. What do they mean? This is what students want to find out. Beginning a chapter of International Justice Mission (IJM) on our campus is one new effort to discover what justice is and how we can help it take place. Students who have a passion for the countless quiet sufferers are crying for justice and seeking God’s heart.

They are coming together in prayer, educating themselves on current Human Rights issues, and taking action by educating others, and raising money to free the many types of slaves around this world. This is the vision. Beginning this semester, IJM is an attempt at learning what it means to truly care for the widows, the orphans, and the beaten. If you are interested in advocating on their behalf, do it.

Human Rights are complicated and justice is a long process but do not let that scare you away. Learn with other students as they wrestle with being faithful in an area that is difficult to understand. Interested? Email smkunes@geneva.edu.