THE 10-MINUTE SERVICE FOR SUNDAY 3 march 2013
Good morning Breege and good morning to all our listeners. My name is Murdoch MacKenzie and I am part of the Oban and Lorn Fairtrade Steering Group. This has been quite a week for Fairtrade as not only are we in the middle of Fairtrade Fortnight, but last Monday Scotland became a Fairtrade Nation. Wales became the first Fairtrade Nation in 2008 and now Scotland is the second.
So let us begin with a prayer of Thanksgiving.
Let us pray:
Almighty God we know that you hold the nations in the hollow of your hand and that the whole universe and everything in it is important to you. For you the powerless and the hungry are precious, the poor and those who are desperate in the midst of an unfair world. These are the people you love. These are the people who Jesus loves and we thank you that you require us to do good, to work for justice, to see that fair’s fair, to love kindness and to walk humbly with you, our God. Amen.
A reading from the Book of Amos Chapter 8. Let us listen to what God is saying to us today:
Hear this, you who trample upon the needy, and bring the poor of the land to an end, saying, "When will the new moon be over, that we may sell grain? And the sabbath, that we may offer wheat for sale, that we may make the ephah small and the shekel great, and deal deceitfully with false balances, that we may buy the poor for silver and the needy for a pair of sandals, and sell the refuse of the wheat?"
This is the word of Amos which is the word of God. Amen
This is what Fairtrade is all about. It is about the poor of the world receiving a fair deal, a fair reward for their labour and a fair price for their goods from the supermarkets and from each one of us. To qualify for Fair Trade Nation status, the Scottish Fair Trade Forum was required to demonstrate how Scotland had met a series of stringent criteria, including:
• All seven Scottish cities and at least 55 per cent of local authority areas to have Fairtrade status.
• All 32 local authorities areas and at least 55 per cent of towns with a population of 5,000 or more to have active Fair Trade groups working towards Fairtrade status.
• At least 60 per cent of higher education institutions to have active Fair Trade groups working towards Fairtrade status.
• Scottish Parliament and Scottish Government to use, promote and make available Fair Trade products internally, and to actively promote Fairtrade Fortnight each year.
• Fair Trade to be promoted in schools through the curriculum, procurement and other possible means.
• Schools, Further Education Institutions, Faith Groups, Trade Unions, business networks, voluntary and youth organisations to pledge to use and promote Fair Trade.
• 75 per cent of people to buy a Fair Trade product every year.
• 40 per cent of people to regularly buy Fairtrade products.
For the world and all its people
We address our prayers to God.
Confidently all can worship
In the presence of the Lord
All the powerless, all the hungry
Are most precious to their God
For the poor God has a purpose
For the desperate, a word.
Christ is here, and Christ is stronger
Than the strength of sin or sword.
God will fill the earth with justice
When our will and his accord
Confidently ALL can worship
In the presence of the Lord.
And that presence isn’t just in church on Sunday. It is in the Co-op and in Tesco on Monday and wherever else we may be. That’s where we worship God because God is everywhere.
So let’s sing the song: For the world and all its people.
Deep peace of the running wave to you
Deep peace of the shining stars to you
Deep peace of the flowing air to you
Deep peace of the silent earth to you
Deep peace of the Son of Peace to you.