Aid Matters

A collection of resources for worship with stories, thoughts, readings, prayers and reflections relating mainly to Aid and Development and with special reference to litrature, literacy, education, books, publishing. A mix of human cries, stories, questions, prayers and comments from those on the receiving end, with scripture harnessed to informed development theory, to enrich worship, stimulate thought, feed the imagination, strengthen conviction, challenge assumptions and offer new insight leading to positive action though not necessarily of the kind usually expected.

Aim

To bring together a batch of resources for worship relating to the broad issues of aid and development by harnessing scripture, informed development theory, and the human cries, stories, questions, prayers and comments from those on the receiving end, with a view to enriching worship, stimulating thought, offering new insights and leading to positive action though not necessarily of the kind usually expected. 

Market

Private people at prayer, especially those who find specific material on this subject missing from their regular diet.

Aid and development workers with little first hand experience but who are often called upon to lead prayers in church groups and epilogues at conferences. 

Preachers and writers, especially those looking for Third World resources 'with a difference'. 

Teachers wanting to interest pupils in the human side of aid and development and at the same time to raise questions as well as to give encouragement.

Content

Eight main sections based on the Christian Year: Advent, Christmas to Lent, Lent, Holy Week, Easter, Easter to Pentecost (including Ascension), Pentecost, and post-Pentecost. 

Each section to consist of: 

an introductory theme and Bible Study (or exploration of a biblical word) of around 500 words to focus the material. 

a thought-provoking essay (a resource for discussion groups) of not more than 1,000 words, setting out issues, raising questions, focusing on theological factors, and either introducing some of the questions which the subsequent material will raise or reflecting on them afterwards. 

a variety of anecdotal material such as human stories, incidents, quotes, new pieces of work, problems being faced, people involved.

prayers, Bible Readings, suggestions for further reading, pointers to comparable secular material as a further aid to devotion, thoughts for meditation or reflection, and things to do.


Reviews

A wonderfully provocative collection of material — quotations, facts, extracts and essays — allowing the voice of the all-too-often voiceless to be heard. Alec Gilmore is keen to reveal the excellence of the developing world, and keen to use its voice to challenge our stereotypes.

Travel and tourism, repentance and culture, torture and theatre, Iiterature and aid — not all topics given equal airing in our churches! But there are some important messages here.

'Ten Commandments for Tourists' would be great in the June church magazine: 'Children in Need' could start an animated home group discussion; 'Who are the Poor?' provides the basis for a Bible study or an Advent sermon.

If you think that global concerns and issues of poverty and dependency have no place inside the church, then this is not for you.

But if you long for material to enrich your worship and teaching from a non-western perspective, if you want a story from another culture to illustrate that sermon, if you think your fellow church-members should be encouraged to think, as Christians, about charity and what exactly is done with that mission budget, if you want your thoughts provoked in your times of personal study and reflection — then Aid Matters is worth having.

I would urge every church leader encouraging their congregations in direct interaction with churches overseas to read it before they go any further. (Stephen Rand, of Tearfund, writing in the Baptist Times).

A marvellous book . . . It's a bit like a large box of assorted chocolates — every item is different, but each worth savouring . . . If you have a church project for the Third World in your church this is a resource book which will be invaluable in stimulating your reflection on what we do for the poor, and how and why we do it. (Pemier Radio).

One of the best resource books to be found on this complex subject. (College of Preachers’ Journal).

. . . at the hard core end of waking western Christians from comfort and indifference to aid issues. (Baptist Ministers’ Journal).

. . . provides much useful material for worship and for discussion groups, including some good Bible reflections. (Life and Work).

. . . raises some of the more tricky questions surrounding aid, charities, giving and partnership . . . switched-on house group leaders will find a wealth of material in it. (Methodist Recorder).

© Alec Gilmore 2017