Friday, 30 July 2021

Humanity Care: UPGs and SDGs 14


Global Integration Updates 
Special News--August 2021
Issue 62
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 Global Integration Updates
Common Ground for the Common Good 
Be the people we need--Build the world we need

Special News--August 2021
Sustainable Development Progress Report 2021
For Better and for Worse

"In Panama City inequality is seen side by side. Panama, April 2020."
Photo: UNDP/Grey Díaz
UNDP Photos of the Year 2020

2020 brought us tragedy and peril. 2021 must be the year to change gear and put the world on track. We need to move from death to health; from disaster to reconstruction; from despair to hope; from business as usual to transformation. The Sustainable Development Goals are more important now than ever. Now is the time to secure the well-being of people, economies, societies and our planet. It is possible. So we must make it happen.  Together.” UN Secretary-General António Guterres remarks to Member States on Priorities for 2021  (28 January 2021)


In this Update we feature the latest progress report by the UN on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs, 2021). This Report provides important information on the status of the 17 SDGs and their 169 targets. How are we doing—for better and for worse--in our efforts to eradicate poverty in all its forms; promote peace, justice, and wellbeing for all; protect the planet, etc.?
In addition, we share three sources of information and perspectives to complement this Report from the UN Development Program (UNDP), World Bank, and Our World in Data. And to illustrate some of the real-world challenges—locally through globally--we have included several poignant images from the UNDP for reflection.
We encourage you to look over the Foreword of the SDG Report 2021 (page 2). From there, you may want to review the infographics in the Overview section (page 8 and following) and then probe further into this 68 page Report to consider the mixed progress of one or more of the specific SDGs. There is also a 
five minute overview video HERE. 

Based on the above materials, what are three signs-statistics of serious concern and three signs-statistics of significant hope? Stay informed. Stay involved. Be the people we need.

Covid Care. We also continue to share Reflections and Resources for Covid Care (click the link for access). These materials have been compiled over the past 18 months to support you, others in your life, and your work in mission and member care. We acknowledge that there are different views about this pandemic including how best to manage it and future health emergencies via science, public health policy, human rights principles, and international cooperation.

See these Global  Integration Updates:
March 2021: Global Trends–Perspectives and Priorities from the Sectors
August 2019: Progress Reports–Sustainable Development Goals
--June 2017: Doomsday–Next Stop, Global Dis-Integration?

Warm greetings,
Kelly and Michèle

--Share your comments and resources on our MCA Facebook page 
--Forward to your colleagues and networks (link to sign up is at the end).

Featured Resources
Sustainable Development Progress Report 2021
For Better and for Worse

Cover of the SDG Progress Report 2021

“The global community is at a critical moment in its pursuit of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). More than a year into the global pandemic, millions of lives have been lost, the human and economic toll has been unprecedented, and recovery efforts so far have been uneven, inequitable and insufficiently geared towards achieving sustainable development. The current crisis is threatening decades of development gains, further delaying the urgent transition to greener, more inclusive economies, and throwing progress on the SDGs even further off track.” Excerpt from the Foreword, SDG Report 2021

Sustainable Development Goals Report 2021. United Nations. We encourage you to look over the Foreword of the SDG Report 2021 by UN Secretary-General António Guterres (page 2, excerpts below). From there, you may want to review the infographics in the Overview section (page 8 and following) and then probe further into this 68 page Report to consider the mixed progress of one or more of the specific SDGs. Click HERE for the Extended ReportThere is also a five minute overview video HERE. Stay informed. Stay involved. Be the people we need.

“Had the paradigm shift envisioned by the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development been fully embraced over the past six years, the world would have been better prepared to face this crisis – with stronger health systems, expanded social protection coverage, the resilience that comes from more equal societies, and a healthier natural environment. Regrettably, the SDGs were already off track even before COVID-19 emerged. Progress had been made in poverty reduction, maternal and child health, access to electricity, and gender equality, but not enough to achieve the Goals by 2030. In other vital areas, including reducing inequality, lowering carbon emissions and tackling hunger, progress had either stalled or reversed.

As the pandemic continues to unfold, The Sustainable Development Goals Report 2021 outlines some significant impacts in many areas that are already apparent. The global extreme poverty rate rose for the first time in over 20 years, and 119 to 124 million people were pushed back into extreme poverty in 2020. There is a risk of a generational catastrophe regarding schooling, where an additional 101 million children have fallen below the minimum reading proficiency level, potentially wiping out two decades of education gains. Women have faced increased domestic violence, child marriage is projected to rise after a decline in recent years, and unpaid and underpaid care work is increasingly and disproportionately falling on the shoulders of women and girls, impacting educational and income opportunities and health. Notwithstanding the global economic slowdown, concentrations of major greenhouse gases continue to increase. With the global average temperature reaching about 1.2°C above pre-industrial levels, the climate crisis has well and truly arrived, and its impacts are being felt across the world. The pandemic has also brought immense financial challenges, especially for developing countries – with a significant rise in debt distress and dramatic decreases in foreign direct investment and trade….
The challenges are immense, but there are also reasons for hope. The COVID-19 crisis demonstrated inspiring community resilience, highlighted the Herculean work by essential workers in myriad fields and facilitated the rapid expansion of social protection, the acceleration of digital transformation and unprecedented worldwide collaboration on the development of vaccines. A brighter future is possible. We must use the crisis to transform our world, deliver on the 2030 Agenda and keep our promise to current and future generations.”

António Guterres, Secretary-General, United Nations

“Students plant mangroves, Cambodia, March 2020."
Photo: UNDP Cambodia/Manuth Buth 
UNDP Photos of the Year 2020

Going Further
More Perspectives and Data on Sustainable Development

A highly-instagrammed street stands shuttered and empty, Istanbul, March 2020."
Photo: UNDP Eurasia/Karen Cirillo 
UNDP Photos of the Year 2020

Human Development Report 2020: The next Frontier-Human Development and the Anthropocene. United Nations Development Program. “Thirty years ago, UNDP created a new way to conceive and measure progress. Instead of using growth in [Gross Domestic Product] as the sole measure of development, we ranked the world’s countries by their human development: by whether people in each country have the freedom and opportunity to live the lives they value. The 2020 Human Development Report (HDR) doubles down on the belief that people’s agency and empowerment can bring about the action we need if we are to live in balance with the planet in a fairer world. It shows that we are at an unprecedented moment in history, in which human activity has become a dominant force shaping the planet. These impacts interact with existing inequalities, threatening significant development reversals. Nothing short of a great transformation – in how we live, work and cooperate – is needed to change the path we are on. The Report explores how to jumpstart that transformation.” (quote from web site)

 Abdo Pharaon looks at ruins of his home and Beirut in the aftermath
of the 4 August explosion in Port of Beirut. Beirut, Lebanon, 6 August 2020.”
Photo: UNDP Lebanon/Rana Sweidan 
UNDP Photos of the Year 2020

Word Development Report 2021: Data for Better Lives. World Bank. “Today’s unprecedented growth of data and their ubiquity in our lives are signs that the data revolution is transforming the world. And yet much of the value of data remains untapped. Data collected for one purpose have the potential to generate economic and social value in applications far beyond those originally anticipated. But many barriers stand in the way, ranging from misaligned incentives and incompatible data systems to a fundamental lack of trust. World Development Report 2021: Data for Better Lives explores the tremendous potential of the changing data landscape to improve the lives of poor people, while also acknowledging its potential to open back doors that can harm individuals, businesses, and societies. To address this tension between the helpful and harmful potential of data, this Report calls for a new social contract that enables the use and reuse of data to create economic and social value, ensures equitable access to that value, and fosters trust that data will not be misused in harmful ways.” (quote from web site)

"Women repair a school in Yemen, March 2020."
Photo: UNDP Yemen 
UNDP Photos of the Year 2020

Our World in Data. “Poverty, disease, hunger, climate change, war, existential risks, and inequality: The world faces many great and terrifying problems. It is these large problems that our work at Our World in Data focuses on. Thanks to the work of thousands of researchers around the world who dedicate their lives to it, we often have a good understanding of how it is possible to make progress against the large problems we are facing. The world has the resources to do much better and reduce the suffering in the world. We believe that a key reason why we fail to achieve the progress we are capable of is that we do not make enough use of this existing research and data: the important knowledge is often stored in inaccessible databases, locked away behind paywalls and buried under jargon in academic papers. The goal of our work is to make the knowledge on the big problems accessible and understandable.” (quote from web site)

"The Noyemberyan forestry, Armenia, June 2020."
UNDP Armenia/Grant Sahakyan 
UNDP Photos of the Year 2020

Member Care Associates


Member Care Associates Inc. (MCA) is a non-profit, Christian organization working internationally from Geneva and the USA. MCA's involvement in Global Integration focuses on the wellbeing and effectiveness of personnel and their organizations across sectors (e.g., mission, humanitarian, peace, health, and development sectors) as well as global mental health and integrity/anti-corruption, all with a view towards collaboratively supporting sustainable development for all people and the planet. Our services include consultation, training, research, resource development, and publications.

Global Integration

Global Integration (GI) is a framework for actively and responsibly engaging in our world--locally to globally. It emphasizes connecting relationally and contributing relevantly on behalf of human wellbeing and the issues facing humanity, in light of our integrity, commitments, and core values (e.g., ethical, humanitarian, human rights, faith-based). GI encourages a variety of people to be at the “global tables” and in the "global trenches"--and everything in-between--in order to help research, shape, and monitor agendas, policies, and action for all people and the planet. It intentionally links building the world we need with being the people we need.
Our Global Integration Updates are designed to help shape and support the emerging diversity of global integrators who as learners-practitioners are committed to the "common ground for the common good."  2015-current (60+ issues). Some examples of foundational ones:

Doomsday?--June 2017
Living in Global Integrity--April 2017
Peace and Security--December 2016

Global Citizenship--June 2016
Faith-Based Partners in Transformation--August 2015

Global Pearl
The image at the top of the Update (global pearl) is a cover detail from our edited book, 
Global Member Care (volume 2): Crossing Sectors for Serving Humanity (2013). William Carey Library. 

Human progress never rolls in on wheels of inevitability;
it comes through the tireless efforts of men willing to be coworkers with God,
and without this hard work, time itself becomes an ally of the forces of social stagnation. 

Martin Luther King, Jr., 
Letter from a Birmingham Jail (April 1963)a
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Member Care Associates, Inc.

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Wednesday, 12 May 2021

Humanity Care: UPGs and SDGs 13

Integral Mission
Journeying into the UPG-SDG Domain 

In this entry we reconnect with the original purpose for the UPG-SDG focus of these entries and also share a few new resources. This is a journey into integral mission which historically has been part of the Church's work and witness over the centuries.

We launched this blog series in January 2018 and have periodically posted materials since then. Many of the materials are verbatim re-postings of our monthly Member Care Updates. The materials are from many sources and include resources, perspectives, news, stories, etc. Many can stir up sadness and disillusionment Others are more hopeful and inspirational.  

It would be helpful to see a conceptual grid emerge to help guide this venture into the UPG-SDG domain. One example could be using the 17 SDGs as a grid themselves, with applications/examples for different  UPGs.  Or vice versa, there could be a grid focusing on different UPGs and how SDGs are being implemented within them. Regardless of the grid, some good conceptual thinking and analyses are surely warranted for exploring and evaluating this integrative domain! For instance...wold it be possible to have a tangible albeit likely avant garde article on something like Doing Frontier Integral Mission Well: Perspectives and Practices for Sustainable Movements and  Development.

We continue on this integral mission journey with many others around the world and across the ages, emphasizing the person and work of Jesus Christ, ad majorem Dei gloriam.

Kelly and Michele

A Proposal--24 January 2018
We are considering a new series of blog entries (and/or perspectives/articles from various colleagues) that will look at the relationship between UPGs and SDGs: connecting points for collaboration, issues, and opportunities on behalf of some of the most vulnerable, overlooked, and often resilient people in the world. How does the global Church-Mission Community (CMC) involvement in the good news and good works especially on behalf of UPGs relate to the world community's efforts (spearheaded by the United Nations and Civil Society groups) to promote sustainable development especially via the SDGs. And vice versa.  What are some examples of collaboration or non-collaboration, and the results? TBD

Humanity Care—excerpts from Member Care Update, February 2017
“This Update features the newly expanded model for global member care. It emphasizes the missio Dei context for member care and adds a seventh sphere, Humanity Care….Humanity Care, reflects the growing interests and involvements in wellbeing for all people. It surrounds the other six spheres and is itself contained within the missio Dei, that is, the overall work of God in the world through Divine, secular, ecclesiastical, missiological, etc. means. Here is an abridged description of the seven spheres….

Sphere 7. Humanity Care: The Flow of Common Good

There is a tremendous need to address major problems affecting the wellbeing of people and the planet. Both member care and mission provide many opportunities for strategic involvement—at local to global levels—by Christian colleagues [from all backgrounds, across sectors, cultures, countries, etc.] who can leverage their character, competencies, and compassion. Those with member care responsibility in particular are encouraged to connect and contribute in our globalizing world in new ways for the common good while maintaining the focus on supporting the health, resiliency, and effectiveness of the diversity of mission personnel and their sending groups.”

Additional Resources--11 May 2021

Reimagining and Re-envisioning People Groups. Leonard N. Bartlotti. International Journal of Frontier Mission (July-December 2021).Rethinking people groups does not mean eliminating the concept but reimagining and re-envisioning it in light of twenty-first century realities. The essence of my discussion here is reflexive, consciously acknowledging our assumptions and preconceptions. It is also corrective, addressed not to critics but to those of us who embrace and advocate UPG missiology. In this article, I explore ways to reimagine people groups through an upgraded understanding of the concept itself and suggest steps to re-envision the UPG approach in order to maximize efforts to reach all peoples.” (quote from introduction)

Towards an Integral Mission. International Journal of Frontier Missions (April-June 2020). “Frontier missiology stands on the shoulders of spontaneous forums. Two consultations which resulted from these conversations recently published their compendiums, both significant for frontier missiology. This issue spotlights one convened by the Oxford Centre for Mission Studies (OCMS) in 2018, because we like the way it explored the intersection—a missiological gap— between Jesus movements, relief and development, and the least-reached peoples. Ten principles are addressed in their subsequent publication, Undivided Witness (ad, p. 92; book review, p. 106), and the publisher has generously given us permission to offer you an excerpt (p. 93). The second [compendium] publication is from the “Rethinking People Groups Forum,” which was sparked by discussions at ISFM 2018. Any attempt to clarify the global demographics of the remaining frontiers must address the emerging debate over the concept of “peoples.” After a year and a half of many virtual and face-to-face deliberations, Marv Newell, editor of the Evangelical Missions Quarterly (EMQ), agreed to publish an extensive compendium of those perspectives (now available online from MissioNexus).” (excerpt of the introduction to this journal topic by the editor, Brad Gill)

Undivided Witness: Jesus Followers, Community Development, and Least-Reached Communities
. Edited by David Greenlee, Mark Galpin, and Paul Bendor-Samuel. Regnum Books International (2020). Book review HERE. “Undivided Witness presents ten key principles linking community development and the emergence of vibrant communities of Jesus followers among the ‘least reached’. Twelve practitioners explore this uncharted missiological space, drawing on decades of serving and learning among communities in Africa, the Middle East, Europe, and South, Central and Southeast Asia.” (quote from website)


For God So Loved th World: The Church & the Sustainable Development Goals. Edited by Jorge H Barro, Júlio PTM Zabatiero and Welinton P da Silva. Regnum Books International (2021).  “What has poverty reduction, education, health, gender equality and environmental sustainability to do with the Church? What have these to do with God's mission? These are just some of the UN's 17 Sustainable Development Goals, set out in 2015 as "a blueprint to achieve a better and more sustainable future for all by 2030". In this remarkable book, 28 Brazilian specialists reflect on the strengths and weaknesses of each goal and their relation to the mission of God's people. Originally published in Portuguese, Regnum Books is delighted to bring this unique contribution, coming from the continent that introduced the global church to Missão Integral.” (quote from website)

Friday, 26 February 2021

Humanity Care: UPGs and SDGs 12


Member Care Updates

Special News--March 2021

Issue 143

Member Care Updates
Expanding the global impact of member care
Working together for wellbeing and effectiveness

Special News--March 2021
Global Trends
Applications for Mission and Member Care

Image courtesy and © 2016 ENOD

It is not for you to know the times or dates the Father has set by his own authority. But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth (Acts 1:7-8). This gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all the nations, and then the end will come (Matthew 24:14).

In this Update we focus on global trends—examples of perspectives and priorities from various sectors (part one) and mission/member care sources (part two). We do this with a view towards applications for mission and member care: the challenges and opportunities for seeing the good news and good works going forward among all nations and peoples (part three).
We encourage you to go over the trends and discuss them with colleagues. How can they inform your work in mission and member care? And your life and lifestyle? What other important trends do you see happening, including positive ones?! We also encourage a group of colleagues in the member care community to join together in developing, sharing, and updating an annotated list of member care trends and directions.

Keep in mind that when we talk about trends we are not simply talking about statistics but about major influences affecting real people on our beleaguered planet. It helps us to think of people and places we know and love, as a way to link with the trends in a more personal and practical way.

We also continue to include Perspectives and Resources for Covid Care (part four). These materials have been compiled over the past year to support you, others in your life, and your work in mission and member care. We also acknowledge that there are of course many views about this pandemic including how best to manage it and future pandemics via science, policy, and public cooperation.

Going further--See these Member Care Updates:

MC Centers/Hubs–Collaborating for Global Impact (March 2020)
Member Care and Unreached Peoples (April 2019)
Building Our Future Foundations Now!  (March 2017)
50+ Years of MC History: Our Foundations and Future (April 2015)

Warm greetings,
Kelly and Michèle

 --Share your comments and resources on our MCA Facebook page 
--Send us your ideas and resources for future MC Updates
--Forward to your colleagues and networks

Featured Resources
Global Trends
Applications for Mission and Member Care

Image courtesy and © 2018 ENOD

"To put it simply, the state of the planet is broken."

UN Secretary General António Guterres, 2 December 2020
Part One: Global Trends
Perspectives and Priorities from the Sectors

Ten Priorities for 2021. UN Secretary General António Guterres, UN General Assembly (28 January 2021). “…Excellencies, 2020 brought us tragedy and peril. 2021 must be the year to change gear and put the world on track. We need to move from death to health; from disaster to reconstruction; from despair to hope; from business as usual to transformation. The Sustainable Development Goals are more important now than ever. Now is the time to secure the well-being of people, economies, societies and our planet. It is possible. So we must make it happen. Together.” In addition to the text linked above, you can also watch the video HERE.

Here is a list of the 10 priorities presented by Guterres, summarized by the International Institute for Sustainable Development.
--Respond to COVID-19
--Start an inclusive and sustainable economic recovery
--Make peace with nature
--Tackle poverty and inequality
--Reverse the assault on human rights
--Gender equality, the greatest human rights challenge
--Heal geopolitical rifts
--Reverse the erosion of the nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation regime
--Seize the opportunities of digital technologies while protecting against their growing dangers
--Launch a reset for the 21st century

Image souurce: UN Department of Global Communications

The World in 2021: Ten Trends to Watch in the Coming Year. The Economist (November 2020). “The coming year promises to be particularly unpredictable, given the interactions between the pandemic, an uneven economic recovery and fractious geopolitics. This annual [issue] will, we hope, help you improve your odds as you navigate the risks and opportunities ahead. And it’s not all doom and gloom. Our special section, “Aftershocks”, considers some of the lessons, and chances for positive change, that have emerged from the crisis.” Each of the 10 trends summarized is linked to an article in this special issue (a subscription is required to read beyond the first two paragraphs of each article).

Ten Humanitarian Crises and Trends to Watch in 2021. The New Humanitarian (January 2021). “Our aim is to offer a forward-looking view of current and emerging issues that are likely to drive new humanitarian needs. While we point to some geographically specific crises, we also look at cross-cutting trends, from growing food insecurity to faltering peace deals. This list is informed by our reporting from humanitarian hotspots around the globe — more than 70 countries in 2020 — and our editors’ research and discussions with analysts, aid workers, and those affected by conflict and disasters. Here’s why the crises and trends listed below (in random order, as this is not a ranked list) have our attention — and should demand yours.” See also the crowd-sourced list of 10 humanitarian trends for 2021.

2020 Year in Review: The Impact of COVID-19 in 12 Charts, World Bank (6 languages). “This time last year, concepts such as “lockdowns,” “mask mandates” and “social distancing” were unknown to most of us. Today they are part of our everyday language as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to impact all aspects of our lives. Through the following 12 charts and graphics, we try to quantify and provide an overview of our colleagues’ research in the face of a truly unprecedented crisis.” Focus is on the economic-human impacts. 

Ten Global Health Trends to Track in 2021. World Health Organization (December 2020). “2020 was a devastating year for global health. A previously unknown virus raced around the world, rapidly emerging as one of its top killers, laying bare the inadequacies of health systems. Today, health services in all regions are struggling to both tackle COVID-19, and provide people with vital care….So in 2021, countries around the world will need to continue battle COVID-19 (albeit with the knowledge that effective tools are evolving). They will need to move swiftly to repair and reinforce their health systems so they can deliver these tools, and to address the key societal and environmental issues that result in some sections of the population suffering so much more than others….we will support them in building strong health systems and healthy populations. Here are 10 ways we will do this:”

World Report 2021. Human Rights Watch (December 2020).“This 31st annual World Report summarizes human rights conditions in nearly 100 countries and territories worldwide in 2020. It reflects extensive investigative work that Human Rights Watch staff conducted during the year, often in close partnership with domestic human rights activists.” It begins with an op-ed on “Redeeming a US Role in Human Rights”—note that we do not agree with all the assertions in this op-ed.

UN S-G Guterres Address, 22 February 2021 at the opening of UN Human Rights Council: “Human rights are our bloodline; they connect us to one another, as equals. Human rights are our lifeline; they are the pathway to resolving tensions and forging lasting peace. And, human rights are on the frontline; they are the building blocks of a world of dignity and opportunity for all – and they are under fire every day.”

Photography 4 HumanityHuman Rights Exhibit, UN (2021)

UN News: Global Perspective—Human Stories.  Peace and Security Section. Current and past brief reports on events and situations relating to peace/security around the world. With links to audios for News in Brief, interviews, and podcasts. See also the Global Peace Index 2020, Institute for Economics and Peace. Executive Summary on pages 2-4.

Making Peace with Nature: A Scientific Blueprint to Tackle the Climate, Biodiversity, and Pollution Emergencies (February 2020). UN Environment ProgrammeLinks to the Executive Summary, Key Messages, and the full Report are in the link above. Overview-promo video HERE (2 minutes).  Summary:
"--Climate change, biodiversity loss and pollution add up to three self-inflicted planetary crises that are closely interconnected and put the well-being of current and future generations at unacceptable risk.
--Ambitious and coordinated action by governments, businesses and people around the world can prevent and reverse the worst impacts of environmental decline by rapidly transforming key systems including energy, water and food so that our use of the land and oceans becomes sustainable.
--Transforming social and economic systems means improving our relationship with nature, understanding its value and putting that value at the heart of our decision making.” (excerpts from 
Key Messages)

Part Two: Global Trends
Perspectives and Priorities from Mission-Member Care

Image courtesy and © 2016 ENOD

“This is the crisis we’re in: God-light streamed into the world, but men and women everywhere ran for the darkness. They went for the darkness because they were not really interested in pleasing God. Everyone who makes a practice of doing evil, addicted to denial and illusion, hates God-light and won’t come near it, fearing a painful exposure. But anyone working and living in truth and reality welcomes God-light so the work can be seen for the God-work it is.” John 1:19-21, The Message 


The Status of Global Christianity 2021, Center for the Study of Global Christianity. “Every year in the International Bulletin of Mission Research we present an annual snapshot of global Christianity, a one-page version of which can be downloaded for free here. The table provides a statistical overview of the world’s 2.5 billion Christians and their activities.”

Seven trends from the Center’ annual report, outlined by Christian TrendWatcher:
--The world is becoming more religious, not less
--The global church is becoming more Evangelical and Charismatic
--The Global South is in the lead
--Cities are the growing mission field
 --Mission is becoming more indigenous and fragmented
--Christian resources are growing
--Integrity matters

COVID-19, Trends in Global Mission, and Faithful Witness. Paul Bendor-Samuel. Tansformation: “An International Journal of Holistic Mission Studies (November 2020). “Mission is shaped by the life and experience of the church, both past and present, and this in turn is the function of both the work of the Spirit of God and the interaction of the people of God with their contexts. In line with this position, we examine the impact of Covid-19, highlighting some elements of the global context of mission, trends in world Christianity and mission. We then explore how global mission is in a process of realignment that has the potential to be enhanced through embracing the conditions Covid-19 has imposed on us. Finally, we consider the need for deep reflection on our identity if we are to take the opportunity to bear faithful witness in this moment.”

Blessing the Planet—Blessing the PeoplesMember Care Update (January 2021), “In this Update we turn our attention to the responsibility to steward creation well--our living in harmony with nature and protecting the earth. In so doing we honor the Creator and seek to bless the entire planet and all the peoples, and hence as far as the curse is found. We feature the recent Special Address by UN Secretary-General António Guterres on the State of the Planet (part one). This 28 minute video is a good way to overview and probe the ongoing climate-environment concerns and crises, actions and debates…And then as you have time and interest, part two encourages us to go deeper, presenting several resources related to climate and the environment for perspectives and insights (faith-based, civil society, UN).”

 Global Treasures for a Global Field. Kelly O’Donnell. Member Care in India: Ministry Call to Home Call (2012). ”This article explores member care “treasures.” Treasures refer to the crucial directions and resources needed to support the diversity of Christian workers and senders around the world, both now and in the future. The focus on treasures is reflected in Christ’s conclusion to the Kingdom parables: “Therefore every scribe that has become a disciple of the kingdom of heaven is like the owner of the house that brings from his treasure new things and old things” (Matthew 13:52). Doing member care well, as disciples of the kingdom, thus involves the ongoing process of blending fresh, relevant approaches (new treasures) with foundational, relevant approaches (old treasures)….

The member care field therefore, while maintaining its core focus on supporting the diversity of mission/aid personnel, must expand into new international and cross-sector areas. Each of us for example, would do well to stay current with at least one related health area and/or international issue that we are particularly passionate about (including organizations, practitioners, resources etc related to the area/issue. We will need courage to face new challenges and a solid theology that sees God at work throughout the variety of human efforts and “treasures” around the world.”

Note: If you have recent examples of trends/core issues and future directions for member care, please let us know--articles/presentations with links.

Part Three: Global Trends
Applications for Mission and Member Care

Image source: United Nations Christian Association, Geneva

The end of all things is near; therefore, be of sound judgment and sober spirit for the purpose of prayer (1 Peter 4:7). For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work among you will complete it by the day of Christ Jesus (Philippians 1:6).

Take time to review the above trends and perspectives, including doing so with others.
--Are there other trends to include?
--What are some important applications for your life and work? 
--What are some important applications for your organization, for mission, and for member care?
--What kind of mechanism exists or could be developed within the global member care community to monitor, review, and discuss the practical implications-applications of global trends for both mission and member care?

For example, consider this application, stimulated by the response to the COVID-19 pandemic: Less travel, more telecare...and perhaps less activity, more prayer (including teleprayer).

Ethne Prayer "is a network of networks established in 2004 with...1,000+ members...Our Goal is to see Global Body of Christ  informed and effective in Prayer for Unreached Peoples Groups and Kingdom movements to see peoples and nations obedient to Christ."

International Prayer Connect “is a coalition of 4,000+ Christian prayer networks and organizations who share a common vision--to mobilize and equip worldwide prayer for the blessing, healing and transformation of the nations.”

See also: 
Sojourning with Prayer and PraiseMember Care Update (February 2021)

Part Four: Covid Care
Perspectives and Resources
Don't fear. Trust God. Do good.

Image courtesy and ©2021 JMLOD

For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Romans 8:38,39 NIV

Covid care: 
Promoting and maintaining resilience and wellbeing for all persons and peoples
(ranging from informal services to formal policies, local through global)
during the multi-faceted challenges of COVID-19 and beyond.


1. Perspectives
Pandemics, like many crises, bring out the best and the worst in us--our selfless and our selfish qualities. The reality of the uncertainties and anxieties of life, and indeed survival--existential risk, "mortality reality"--is heavy upon the world. Positively, the current COVID-19 pandemic certainly provides plenty of opportunities for us all--individually and collectively--to reflect on the types of people we want to be, the types of societies we need to build, and the types of changes we have to make.

We join together in solidarity with the world community's efforts, locally through globally, on behalf of covid-care and in hopes to stir up the heroic in all of us. We also note that the many overlapping problems in our world continue unabated--pandemics themselves--even as this covid pandemic dominates the center stage globally: multi-dimensional poverty, protracted violence, human rights violations, gross inequalities, racism, mental ill health, environmental degradation, etc. This is the ongoing, cascading context--full of challenges and opportunities--in which member care resources need to be provided and developed for workers and their sending groups around the world. And from our faith-based perspective, as co-workers with God engaged in the many areas of “
humanity care,” we live and work for God’s glory. 

Our recent Updates below are compiled for helping ourselves and others with covid care. Examples of issues/resources: anxiety, trauma, depression, confinement, loneliness, loss, grief, relationship strains, coping for children, work insecurities, spiritual struggles, uncertainty/concerns about what is going on, etc. Have a look!

2. Resources for Covid Care
--Sojourning with Prayer and Praise...during the pandemic and beyond
Member Care Update (February 2021)
--Grieving Well--Healing Well: Resources for Growing through Loss
Global Integration Update (November 2020)
--Tough Times: Tougher People:  Best selves--Better world
Global Integration Update (October 2020)
Uniting for Covid-Care: Real-Life Ordinary Heroes
Member Care Update (September 2020)
Doing Good: Positive Stories in the Pandemic
Member Care Update (August 2020)
Staying the Course in Global Member Care: Pandemics, Problems, and Beyond
Member Care Update (July 2020)
Managing Stress and COVID-Distress: Faith-Based Resources
Member Care Update (June 2020)
Staying Sane during COVID-19: Mental Health Resources 
Member Care Update (May 2020)
Confronting COVID-19: “Don’t Be Afraid” 
Member Care Update (April 2020)

See also these resources:

--Lausanne Global Analysis (January 2021):
>Building Hope and Resilience in the COVID-19 Storm
>Faith, Health, and Collaborative Love
--Morning Prayer during COVID-19, World Council of Churches
--2020 Year in Review: The Impact of COVID-19 in 12 Charts, World Bank (6 languages)
--Curated COVID-19 Resources, SentWell
Covid-19 Impact Survey (on missions, 141 organizations, USA based)
 Missio Nexus (Nov. 2020)
Covid Resources, Humanitarian Disaster Institute, Wheaton College
--Global Health COVID-19 Response FrameworkWorld Council of Churches (Nov 2020)
WHO COVID-19 Resources and Guidance, World Health Organization

Member Care Associates

Member Care Associates Inc. (MCA) is a Christian non-profit organization working internationally and across sectors. We focus on personnel development for mission, humanitarian, development, and health workers and their organizations; global mental health; ethics and good practice; and integrity/anti-corruption. Our services include consultation, training, research, developing resources, and publications.
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Our Special News-Updates 1) promote the wellbeing and effectiveness (WE) of staff and sending groups and 2) support the diversity of colleagues with member care responsibilities. The focus is on the mission sector with applications for/from the overlapping health, development, and humanitarian sectors.
Global Integration (GI) is a framework for responsibly and actively engaging in our world--collaborating locally through globally for God's glory. It encourages connecting relationally and contributing relevantly on behalf of human wellbeing and the issues facing humanity, in light of our integrity and core values (e.g., ethical, humanitarian, human rights, faith-based). See more perspectives about GI HERE.
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