Friday, March 6, 2009

Social Inclusion - Social Policy - Transforming Mission

I read a document from NTCOSS today (Northern Territory Council of Social Service) and here are some highlights:
* 'NTCOSS has identified three key areas for action [in the NT]: Indigineous disadvantage, housing shortage, and alcohol abuse.' We know that the housing shortage stems well beyond just the NT.
* 'Experience....suggests that developing local leadership is fundamental to achieving social inclusion outcomes at a local level.'
* 'Poor health is most likely to occur amongst people with low incomes, and those who feel that they have little stake in our society.'
* 'We must acknowledge the factors that are likely to see people end up in the criminal justice system, and address these through early intervention and prevention, thereby reducing the need for punitive measures in the long run.'

Deputy Prime Minister (Australia) Julia Gillard said this in Feb 2008, 'Our long term prosperity depends on securing the full participation - economic and social - of all Australians. We have to find new ways to support that participation. That is why social inclusion matters.'

A thought: In the church we talk about the transition from the old paradigm of 'Believe, Behave, Belong' to 'Belong, Believe, Behave'. We need to be inclusive of people, knowing at times the gospel of Jesus is still a challenge to a different lifestyle, a turning from self to God, a turning of sin to fullness of life. The Government is calling for this idea of 'social inclusion', maybe we should be calling for 'Church inclusion'? Lots to explore here. You can comment and unpack it there.

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