The Liberia Council of Churches (LCC) in collaboration with the Lutheran World Federation (LWF) and other Christian denominations launch Waking the Giant initiative for churches across the country.
The initiative is a global effort of the LWF to build the capacity of churches to contribute to the 2030 U.N. Agenda for sustainable development. It is implemented in connection with global and local ecumenical structures.
Addressing the audience Thursday, October 25, at the official launch in Monrovia, the Secretary General of the LCC, Rev. Christopher W. Toe notes that in 2016 nations of the world gathered together at the United Nations and agreed on seventeen (17) goals to change the lives of the world’s inhabitants.
He says among nations of the world, nine countries, including Liberia took the lead, explaining that after the launch civil society gathered together in 2016 to work along with various governments in the implementation of the SDGs.
“Today the church has taken a different approach; they have played a vital role in transforming lives making sure that governance is upheld.” He notes.Rev. Toe explains the churches and the SDGs are important because the former plays a role in providing and advocating for global human values.
The LCC Secretary General continues that the agenda 2030 presents an important opportunity for churches to unlock their potentials in contributing to sustainable development, where they can play a key role in achieving SDGs, adding that it was against the backdrop that the Lutheran World Federation in Geneva Switzerland, with the World Council of Churches, including the action of churches called Act Alliance launch the waking the giant initiatives.
“Though we’re going to be partnering with other faith-based groups, civil society, but this is about the churches and our focus is on five goals despite the seventeen goals at the UN.”He names the five goals as Education, Health, Gender Equality, Reducing inequality, and Promoting Peace Justice and strong institutions.
LCC President Bishop Dr. Kortu Brown, says the decision is to focus on the five goals doesn’t necessarily mean the church is leaving the remaining 12 behind, as churches have already begun working in relations to the other SDGs.
He says no matter citizens’ affiliation with different denominations, the church must administer and bring healing to people.“Whatever we do, we must preach the gospel which means good news to the poor; it’s unfortunate that sometimes pastors get more good news for the rich instead of the poor”, observes Dr. Brown.
According to him, there are some pastors in the world today who are struggling for the rich, rather than the poor, and mixing up their mission as servants of God, noting that they must always stand on the side of the poor.
“Jesus Christ himself said it is hard for a rich man to enter heaven. Waking the Giant is about waking up the poor, it’s about focusing on the state of the people that God is concern about that we servants forget about”, he emphasizes.
The launch, which took place at the LCC Office down 15th Street Sinkor suburb of Monrovia, brought together officials of government, clergymen from the Christian community, and representatives from the Peace Building Office of Liberia, among others.
By Lewis S. Teh-Editing by Jonathan Browne