The Community Development Project are the initiatives that are taken up usually by the social group or public welfare societies. These projects aim at serving as a sustainable and effective instrument to improve the quality of life and economic status of disadvantaged strata of people. These projects have two basic components: 1) the first emphasises on the development of the social infrastructure 2) improvising the access to basic health, education, and other social facilities. This report will analyse one of the significant Community Development Projects in Australia- the Lutheran World Federation.Here, a brief description of the following project will be provided. Moreover, the major principles and motives of the project will be given. Furthermore, the same will be evaluated based on the concept taught during the course. The report will conclude after enlisting some of the recommendations and future opportunities for the project.
The LWF is said to be a global communion that comprises 148 churches in 99 countries of the world representing more than 75 million Christians. It was established as federation in 1947 to confess, reconcile, reflect, and respond to mankind’s suffering after the World War II. The main aim of establishing this federation was to bring coordination between the international activities of the Lutheran Churches in order to establish a forum for discussion on organisational and theological issues. In addition to this, the LWF also aims at providing assistance in missionary activity, philanthropy, and exchange of professors and student (Women in Church and Society, 2018).
At present, the mission takes action on behalf of the churches that are its part in those areas that come under common interest, such as interfaith relations, ecumenical, theology, human rights, humanitarian assistance, communication, and other development work. In 1999, “Joint Declaration on the Doctrine of Justification” was signed by the federation with the Roman Catholic Church. This is the major step taken up in the direction of narrowing down the theological divide different faiths. It also declared that the mutual condemnations between the Roman Catholic Church and the Lutherans that were existing since the 16th century are now no longer applicable. LWF is the 9thlargest member of UNHCR. The development and humanitarian arm of the LWF is Department for World Service.
The federation offers a wide range of programmes to support people living in the urban and suburbs of different cities of the world in order to provide stability to their lives. The federation provide them assistance in mental health support, housing, emergency relief, and financial counselling. The vision of the LWF is “liberated by God’s grace, a communion in Christ living and working together for a peaceful and reconciled world.”LWF members strive to place their faith beyond and within the communion and look for God’s guidance to act. These actions and decisions can be associated with theological reflections, faith, deepening relationships, serving the needy people, and advocating for a reconciled and peaceful world (Cardenas, 2015).
The LWF share a common vision, values and purpose. Its main objective is to strengthen the relationship while building an inclusive, and respect communion. The federation promotes certain core values, namely dignity and justice, respect for diversity, compassion and commitment, transparency and accountability, and inclusion & participation. The LWF’s goals are aligned and relate to the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals. These goals covers a wide range of measures including ending hunger and poverty, promoting access to education and well-being, safe water and clean energy to everyone, working for equality, peace, and curb the negative effects of climate change. The sustainable goals invite the federation to get engaged with major actors to transform the social structures in order to bring a broader attention to the needy people and “leave no one behind.”
In addition to this, the federation also promotes women’s empowerment along with gender equality and justice. The Women in Church and Society (WICAS) ensures the full participation of females in the life of communion and at all levels of the federation. In order to promote gender justice, LWF approved Gender Justice Policy in 2013 so as to bring and establish equality between men and women through certain measures that promote dignity and justice (Women in Church and Society, 2018).
The LWF mission is based on the biblical model that points at eschatological reality of continuous reign of God in the life, death, and resurrection of Christ. It anticipates the basis for transformation, empowerment, and reconciliation. The LWF members strive to place their faith beyond and within the communion and look for God’s guidance to act. With time, there has been a large number of changes the world has witnessed(Cardenas, 2015). These changes have given birth to new challenges and factors that are affecting lives of people belonging to all economic and social class. Hence, it is needed that the federation reshapes its context of the mission based on both positive and negative implications for the people who are a part of God’s mission.
The IT revolution opened the gate for globalisation that has interlinked the world by virtue of improved communication and transportation. However, globalisation has affected the economy, culture, politics, people’s sense of morality and values. It has made people aware of human rights and how they are being abused. One drastic effect of globalisation is that it has widened the gulf between the nation and people in terms of wealth and power. The impoverished countries are facing side-effects of commodification of bodies and life, feminisation of poverty, and westernisation of their culture(Brienza&Morello, 2017). Globalisation has also contributed to major climate change in certain nation, thereby affecting the cropping pattern. As a result of which, the southern nations are not able to feed their people. The LWF mission challenges any kind of economic injustice and questions those views that evaluate humans based on their economic status or wealth or market value.
No doubt that the advances in scientific and technological knowledge have resulted in considerable amount of combat different life-threatening diseases, majority population are still struggling with health issues (Brown & Lambert, 2012). In impoverished countries, people are undergoing mental, physical, emotional, social, relational, and psychological illness. Majority of these illness are hidden. HIV/AIDS, malaria, Tuberculosis, and hepatitis are some of the devastating disease. The mission is making efforts to participate fully in improving the health of people by keeping the health issues as the urgent challenge.
In most part of the world, people are seeking spirituality as consequence of calamity and violence. Due to postmodernism, secularism, and market-driven thoughts, the churches have experienced decline in the membership. This is one of the greatest challenge the federation is facing as this is putting pressure on the theology of mission. In addition to this, large-scale migration of people within and across the countries in search of jobs and better quality of life has created an imbalance and infrastructure gap (Coenen&Haacker, 2013). Consequentially, people are forced to live in slums with lack of basic facilities. All this has resulted in global conflicts.
LWF mission is based on the Christian theology which is necessary for the contextual purpose. However, the theology should be challenged regularly and transformed as per the biblical references. It is important because the theology based on Christian traditions sharpens the mission’s analysis of the context (Li, 2014). It enables the church to ponder on the theology’s engagement in the world and foster the church’s understanding.
The major challenge face by the LWF and other community development programmes is the globalisation. With globalisation, the market mentality and consumerism thoughts have drastically affected the community. As the modern world is technology-driven, the violence has crossed the unprecedented ubiquity and intensity. It has increased the gap between the poor and the rich. The context of the missionary have changed. There is a strong need for the LWF to scrutinise, reshape, and inventory its mission and practices. They should be structured in a way that they aim at making them effective and relevant in order to address the today’s issues (Brienza&Morello, 2017). LWF is associating with the SDGs related platform like “Moral Imperative Working Group” in order to lower the rate of poverty and eradicate it completely by 2030. The federation should reaffirm its aims by emphasising on its new mission theology that participates “in breaking reign of God.” In other words, the federation should needs to scrutiny the missions and its practices. LWF should focus on strengthening the capacity of the agencies and mission departments and increase their competence in serving the population effectively.
Here, the community development project was elaborated in-depth. The learner can learn about the aims and functions of such projects. Majority of these projects are initiated to confess, reconcile, reflect, and respond to mankind’s suffering. This report analysed one of the significant Community Development Projects in Australia- the Lutheran World Federation.Here, a brief description of the following project was provided. Moreover, the major principles and motives of the project were given. Furthermore, the same was evaluated based on the concept taught during the course. The report concluded after enlisting some of the recommendations and future opportunities for the project.
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