Monday, February 12, 2007

Amazing Grace Sunday and Beyond

I ran across a press release for a web campaign today sent out by Religion News Service. It was about an event this Sunday called Amazing Grace Sunday.

Two hundred years ago, British politician William Wilberforce and his band of loyal friends took on the most powerful forces of their day to end the slave trade. His mentor was John Newton, the slave-trader-turned-song-writer, who wrote the world’s most popular hymn, Amazing Grace.

This year is the 200th anniversary of the abolition of the slave trade. But the work of justice and mercy continues. 27 million men, women, and children are still enslaved around the globe.

How sweet the sound of freedom.

Join churches around the globe in singing Amazing Grace and in praying for the end of slavery once and for all.

When I looked around the website a little bit it became apparent that it was part of a very big movement a float in the Christian community. So much is on the site I want to take the next few days to explore it and share it with you. There is a movie coming out about the events that took place 200 years ago along with an effort to mobilize the Body of Christ to stop modern day slavery. You ask what is that? It is human trafficking. It is an enormous problem and until the last few years it was a deep dark secret people didn’t talk about and reporters didn’t report on.

Over the last eight and a half months as I have been the webmaster for Good News Now I have encountered story after story about human trafficking, a crime on humanity. I haven’t reported it because it is not good news, it is the worst of humanity. But this story is good news. It is time we took out heads out of the sand and admit there is slavery today in our world and we have the ability to do something about it.

From the Website Amazing Change: A Campaign to Carry on Wilberforce’s Vision of Mercy and Justice.

Ten Things You Can Do

How can you contribute to The Amazing Change? The ten examples below should give you some ideas — we would love to hear your suggestions as well!

  1. Sign the Petition. Become an abolitionist by signing The Petition to End Modern Day Slavery. Click Here To Print a Petition. Take the petition to your school, church, family, friends, et al., and then send it to us (mailing address provided on petition)
  2. See Amazing Grace. This film is a great introduction to the work of William Wilberforce, an original abolitionist. Learn how you can carry on his legacy.
  3. Raise funds to free slaves. Use the tools on this website, such as Loose Change to Loosen Chains, to start your own fundraising campaign.
  4. Educate yourself. Use the resources on the site to learn about the horrors of historical and modern day slavery.
  5. Show solidarity. Buy The Amazing Change t-shirt and tell friends and family about your mission to abolish slavery.
  6. Create a Clapham Circle. William Wilberforce was part of a group of friends and neighbors called the Clapham Circle. They met regularly to discuss ways to advance the cause of abolition. You can form your own Clapham Circle. Have weekly meetings with friends or neighbors in your community to discuss the issue of modern day slavery. Download tools from this website to facilitate your discussion.
  7. Blog. Write about modern day slavery and The Amazing Change in our online community or on your MySpace, Xanga or Facebook profile. Include a link to our website so friends can learn how to get involved.
  8. Ask others. Talk to leaders in your community, school or church about The Amazing Change. and encourage them to become involved.
  9. Read More. Read books about modern day slavery like Not for Sale by David Batstone.
  10. Volunteer. Pass on the legacy of William Wilberforce and donate your time to The Amazing Change by joining the street team, creating a Clapham Circle, or fundraising to free slaves.

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