The G8 summit will be held in Scotland next July, when the world's most powerful nations will consider issues of poverty and inequality.
A new book being launched in Edinburgh today in preparation for the summit. 'Voices from the South' is a Lent study guide which will enable church groups to face the challenges of working to overcome poverty.
The book has been jointly published by Action of Churches Together in Scotland (ACTS) and Churches Together in Britain and Ireland (CTBI) in association with Christian Aid and SCIAF.
Speakers at the launch include the Revd John Humpheys, Convenor of ACTS Faith Studies Network, and former Moderator of the United Reformed Church in Wales; Roslyn Moore, parish officer for Scotland for SCIAF; and Ernie Ross MP for Dundee West and a founder member of the House of Commons All Party Poverty Group.
Voices from the South is a five-week study guide offers inspirational stories from developing countries, a 'voice from the South' in each session. The five sessions - poverty, education, health, trade and empowerment - examine some of the issues related to the United Nations Millennium Development Goals. They explore what the Bible has to say about poverty and justice. There is worship material, exercises and questions for group discussion.
Archbishop Mario Conti, Roman Catholic Archbishop of Glasgow, wrote in his foreword: "Voices from the South is a publication bringing new stories into our worldview, new challenges for those of us who are comfortable, and a new awareness of our part as the Body of Christ in the world today."
Edited by Kate Fenn-Tye, (formerly on the staff of ACTS), the co-authors are Romy Tiongco and Myrna Bajo. Romy co-founded an organization called the Muslim-Christian Agency for Rural Development, which has been a partner of Christian Aid since 1979. He worked in the Philippines before joining Christian Aid. Myrna Bajo was the co-founder of CARD - Community Action for Rural Development, a partner agency of Christian Aid in the Philippines. Myrna pioneered the training of Community-based Health Workers there and has been working with the indigenous people since 1974.
Mary Cullen, Head of Communications and Education for SCIAF said: "The G8 summit will be held in Scotland next July, when the world's most powerful nations will consider issues of poverty and inequality. It will also be ten years to 2015 - the target date for meeting the Millennium Development Goals, internationally agreed targets for halving world poverty. Unless there is a major commitment from the G8 countries, the targets, which include reducing child mortality by two thirds and ensuring all children go to school, will not be met.
"There will be a unique opportunity in 2005 to make a real difference to the lives of millions of the world's poorest people, over a billion of whom currently live on less than 70 pence a day.
"The Lent study guide will give church groups an opportunity to reflect together and consider how they might take action for change."
Voices from the South ISBN: 08516 93032 price £3.95, 64 pp is available from CTBI Publications, phone 01733 325 002 or via www.ctbi.org.uk
First posted LONDON - 6 September 2004 - 528 words