Churches throughout the country will take part in 'Micah Sunday' on 18 October 2009, seeking to make a shared difference in the struggle against global poverty and to forge links between communities across the world.
Micah Challenge, a campaigning network of churches, has put together online resources to assist those taking part and is encouraging people to register so that a picture of participation can be built up.
This year the emphasis is on creating new links or building upon existing ones with a community in a low-income country, either through a personal presence (via a mission or development agency) or through a formal twinning arrangement.
The movement takes its name from a famous verse from the prophet Micah in the Hebrew scriptures, urging people to "love mercy, do justice, and walk humbly with your God."
The theme of the Sunday is ‘Play your part’, drawing upon the imagery of 1 Corinthians 12 in the New Testament, where the apostle Paul likens the church to an interdependent body sharing both joys and sorrows and establishing a pattern of mutual responsibility.
Andy Clasper, executive director of the anti-poverty NGO, explained: “There's tremendous power in the realisation that we are connected to others across the other side of the world and form part of the same body - all made in God’s image. We each have a critical role to play.”
The available materials include a four-minute video and accompanying booklet giving tips on living more simply, engaging with local MPs on poverty concerns, and bringing social justice into the mainstream of the church's agenda - including its worshipping life.
Micah Challenge believes such ties between church communities can strengthen the spiritual bond between them as well as providing a channel for addressing development needs.
Next year is the tenth anniversary of world leaders agreeing the United Nations' Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) to halve global poverty by 2015.
Micah Challenge is planning a year of action throughout 2010 to remind them that time is running out to reach the goals of providing food, medical care, clean water, access to markets and primary education to all people on the planet.
The Micah Sunday resources are available at: http://www.micahchallenge.org.uk/micahsunday/