Wednesday, December 06, 2006

World of Good Blogburst, Lutheran Style

Whew! I finally have managed to scrape myself off of the floor and get back to blogging after a long and annoying, but harmless illness. I'm sorry to have missed a World of Good (WOG) post or two, but I pledge to get back on it.

I have to admit I was uninspired this morning and sat down and noodled about for a bit with a couple of search terms until I found this one. The Evangelical Lutheran Church of America has several disaster relief efforts going on all the time. You can see their most recent campaigns here.

When I go to church and get the bulletin, there's sometimes an insert in the middle asking for financial or labor assistance with one charity or another. Like this one. I rarely give them a second thought outside of contributing from time to time. It just dawned on me that each one of them represents the World of Good. Behind each scrap of paper asking for your time in painting over graffitti or your money in rebuilding schools in some earthquake zone, there's a group of volunteers taking the time to organize and staff the effort. Time they could spend watching TV, reading a book or impersonating Paris Hilton at the local drag queen bar. The less said about the latter, the better. (Just kidding! Don't get so upset. Sheesh! These posts can't be all serious or no one will read them! :-) )

In any case, folks like the evangelical Lutherans have chosen to give their time to efforts like this.

Darfur has been described as one of the world''s worst humanitarian crises in recent times. Even with the presence of international peacekeeping forces from the African Union, fears continue to persist of the elimination of several ethnic groups by Arab militia groups backed by the Sudanese government.

For the Lutherans involved in this effort, this woman is a neighbor in need of help.

Fighting between rebel groups and the Janjaweed, a government-backed militia, have directly affected more than two million people...

The ELCA has committed $245,000 in response to the Action by Churches Together appeal for Darfur. These funds are added to the overall work of Norwegian Church Aid and Caritas Internationalis in the region.

A refugee camp.

Action by Churches Together member Norwegian Church Aid is working to provide adequate water and sanitation services Sudanese refugees in Chad. NCA is responsible for four of the 11 refugee camps in eastern Chad. As of March 2005, there were 72,927 in these four camps...

ELCA Presiding Bishop Mark Hanson issued a statement on May 19, 2006, on the Darfur peace process. In it he calls on ELCA members to both prayer and action.

"ELCA congregations and campuses can become communities of moral deliberation on this topic. Our Lutheran theology reminds us that God calls us to use our best abilities to understand the created and fallen world, respond to disasters with compassion and seek justice for all of God's children."

Donations from the Lutheran congregations in the US fund medical assistance and... of emergency shelters.

Sounds like the Lutherans are out there doing a World of Good to me. How about you?

For more WOG posts and a description of why we WOG, visit this post.


Anonymous said...

aww, may God bless our protestant brothers as they participate in also trying to ease the suffering in the world.

God bless!

Anonymous said...

Thanks for highlighting the work of ELCA Disaster Response! We depend on the partnership of Lutherans and other people of faith working together on behalf of our global sisters and brothers who struggle each day with disasters, including the silent disaster of chronic poverty. The needs are great, but I'm convinced that our collective abilities to respond are even greater!