The mission agency USPG has produced a Lent course for 2018 which looks at how Anglican Churches around the world are supporting global development. Entitled All Things Are Possible, the course has a focus on the United Nations' Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which were agreed by UN member countries in September 2015 to replace the Millennium Development Goals. The SDGs have been endorsed by Anglican leaders around the world.
“USPG and our global church partners are giving our full support to the SDGs,” USPG spokesman Tim Harford told ACNS. “In particular, we have been inspired by the growing understanding among governments, the UN and other actors that faith-based organisations have a key role to play in global development – something we have known for years!
“According to UN Development Programme administrator Helen Clark: ‘faith-based organisations . . . have an important role to play in reminding us to focus on what really matters to us as human beings in search of well-being’”.
All Things Are Possible is a five-week Lent study course which attempts to make clear the links between our faith and global development. “We want to suggest that it is only in God that there is any real hope for lasting change,” Harford said.
The Millennium Development Goals, the precursor to the SDGs, were a series of challenges which the UN asked its members to achieve by the year 2015. All 189 UN member states and numerous international organisations signed up. “Despite being somewhat idealistic in nature – for example, goal number one was ‘to eradicate extreme poverty and hunger’ – much progress could be reported by the time the MDG deadline was reached,” USPG says on its website.
The 17 SDGs are part of the UN’s 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, and have been categorised for simplicity under ‘Five Ps’: Prosperity, People, Planet, Peace and Partnership.
The USPG Lent course introduces the five Ps and explores how the perspective of faith can help churches and the world community to meet these goals.
Over five weeks, participants will explore the Five Ps, asking: What does it mean to prosper, what does it mean to fulfil our potential, what does it mean to care for the environment, what does it mean to love our neighbour, and what does it mean to live in partnership with God”.
All things are possible can be downloaded as a printable pdf. Free copies can also be ordered for individuals or churches. In addition, USPG has prepared a sermon on the SDGs with an accompanying PowerPoint presentation.