by Marilyn Grantham (From an article in Beatrice’s Hope, the newsletter of Hope Multipurpose, Inc., Spring 2007, updated February, 2008.) In 2000, as the result of an effort by the United Nations, 191 countries signed the Millennium Declaration, pledging a massive shared global mobilization against poverty. This historic covenant has eight measurable, interwoven goals to be completed by 2015 with the intent of reducing poverty by half. Although our government joined this effort, we are among the lowest contributors to international aid of any “developed” country – only 0.16% of our GNP annually. Many faith communities have endorsed the MDG campaign, among them Anglican Communion worldwide. The Episcopal Church in the USA is a member of Anglican Communion and in 2005 began asking individual congregations to pledge 0.7% of their annual budgets, beginning in 2006, for contributions to one or more charities that address one or more of the eight MDGs.
The Vestry, or board, of St. Matthew’s Episcopal Church, (the “home” of Hope Multipurpose, Inc., the parent organization of the Blue House), decided to make a 2006 MDG pledge and donated $2,175 to Hope Multipurpose/Blue House (HMI/BH).HMI/BH appears to more than meet the requirement to address one or more MDGs — addressing Goals 1, 2, 3, 6, and part of Goal 8 (develop decent and productive work for youth). St. Matthew’s also contacted the other 107 Episcopal Churches in Minnesota and asked that they consider contributing their MDG pledges to HMI/BH.Thus far, the Church of the Nativity in Burnsville responded with a gift of $1,435. The Episcopal Diocese of Minnesota voted at their annual convention in October 2006 to set aside 0.7% of their 2007 budget for the MDGs. This amounted to $15,000, supplemented by an additional $5,000 raised by a silent auction at the convention.$16,000 was contributed to several nonprofit organizations that are addressing one or more of the MDG goals.The remaining $4,000 of these funds was used for competitive grants, available to congregations that made their MDG pledge prior to May 1.
Since St. Matthew’s made their 2006 MDG commitment, they applied for one of the competitive grants and received an additional $750 for HMI/BH.During the church’s 2008 pledge drive, a commitment of $2,400 was made to St. Matthew’s Social Justice Ministry as a MDG commitment.At least some, if not all of this money is expected to come to HMI/BH. We’ll keep you posted on further news about MDGs. In the meantime, please look into the possibility that your faith community might also want to support this effort to reduce world poverty.