I will go: Empathise. Enable. Engage.
The bible says, Matthew 28:19-20 - 'Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptising them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.’
That is why we are here. Because it is also our motto, I will go, and in Scotland, we will add to I will go, when we say, let us do it ASAP. But what does ASAP stand for, apart for, as we know the meaning of, as soon as possible? I want to share with you what we mean when we say ASAP.
I am excited and grateful to share with you a new venture that the Scottish mission will be taking on as we move forward. This is a venture in partnership with ADRA UK, and with other ADRA partners elsewhere in the world. In November of 2021, we launched the idea with ADRA, and we call it the Africa Scotland Action Project, which is where ASAP comes from. We have twinned with 5 countries in southern Africa, and they are Lesotho, Eswatini, Namibia, Mozambique and Zambia. The reason for twinning with these countries is simple.
We would like our young people, and adults, to be part of a new venture that we hope will become the norm throughout the world, of working together with our counterparts elsewhere in the world, in order to make the world a better place. We would like to take on the responsibility, along with our partners on the other side of the world, to make the places where we live and work, a better place. We are a Christian organization entrusted to be stewards of God’s creation; recognizing climate change is no longer just an environmental issue, but increasingly an ethical problem.
ADRA-UK, ADRA AFRO Region and the Scottish Mission are aspiring to collaborate on a year-long environmental stewardship initiative pilot to strategically, and practically tackle the effects of climate change, while raising awareness of its effects and our responsibility as Christians. We want to align the values of this project with the strategic objectives of the Scottish Mission – to revive the concept of worldwide mission and sacrifice for mission as a way of life – and so we hope to become environmental stewards by doing this this.
So what do we have? We have the opportunity to work with our own church members primarily, and to act as God’s children, as a matter of ethical justice, to look after the planet God gave us to live on. This means that in our churches, our leaders will unpack with our members, the opportunities we have that we will be able to do.
We are thinking of making our buildings greener than what they currently are.
We are thinking of our communities where we live, what can be done to make them better places to be?
We are thinking of dealing with the problem of litter in our cities and in the countryside.
We are planning to plant many trees, to help create better atmosphere.
ASAP is meant to be a new way of thinking in which the whole church can actively take part. Plenty of Sabbath afternoon activities, lots of Sunday, or weekday activities can be thought up and done by our members, all in an effort to make the world a better place, and also to reach out to our communities.
What’s even better, we are twinned with 5 other countries in Southern Africa. We will be able to see what they are doing, and they will see what we do here in Scotland. We will be able to help them with resources, and they will be able to help us with the same. No longer is it just that individuals do things as lone workers, as islands, we do it together, and not only that, we do it together with young and old from other countries as well.
ASAP, what a wonderful idea that came into being during the last quarter of 2021. What a wonderful initiative to be shared here with you at the beginning of 2022.
May I challenge all of our Scottish Mission Members, that in our thinking, we start to change the mindset, we start to think ASAP, think God’s planet, we think what can we do. Jesus is coming soon, I know that, but why should we be happy with second best, whilst we are waiting for him to come back. God has given us a mandate to care for and look after the planet, this is our chance. Best thing is, that when we think like this, it opens up so many doors for us to become more acquainted with the members of our communities, the folks we are trying to reach with the good news that Jesus is coming back.