• Rev. John Martin

Covid 19- No time to put fair trade on hold

These are tough times for churches. Sunday 22nd March, 2020 marked the commencement of ‘doing Church differently’. Church leaders have performed splendidly in adapting to the new conditions with just a few days’ notice.

Whereas our current focus is on the needs of our own community, we cannot forget that this pandemic has affected the whole world.

In Australia we are relatively fortunate. Although people are anxious, many have lost their jobs or had hours reduced, some have died, for most there is some sort of safety net led by the billions of dollars made available through the Federal Government.

Christians are called to think globally. One of the best known and most loved Bible passages, central to our faith is John 3:16, the words of Jesus: “For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him may not perish but may have eternal life”.(NRSV)

It is good to be reminded that it says ‘God loved the world …’ not God loved Christians, or Australians. God’s love is for everyone. As St Augustine wrote: ‘God loves us all as if there is just one of us to love.’

The challenge for true discipleship is for us to see the world as God sees it, with eyes of love for all.

If COVID 19 is causing us strife, think of people in developing countries. For them life is precarious at the best of times and this pandemic has hit them hard.

By purchasing Fair Trade products, we can ensure that some of those people receive a living wage and work in good conditions.

The World Fair Trade Organisation, the global lead Fair Trade group, is sponsoring Planet Fair Trade to observe World Fair Trade Day on Saturday 9th May, 2020. Follow this link for ideas and information:


The Fair Trade Association Mother’s Day Shopping Guide doesn’t expire on Mother’s Day. As well as beautiful products to purchase, there is a list of members, who, in time can visit your Church to show and sell these beautiful Fair Trade Products.


What a way to celebrate the opening of our Churches to worship again. A global celebration by inviting a Fair Trade retailer to join your people. And to ensure you are using Fairtrade tea and coffee.

Meanwhile we are called to act and to pray:

Loving God, the Father who loves us all as if there is just one of us to love,

We bring to you our cries for the people of this world in the midst of this pandemic.

Many are anxious and afraid,

Many have had their lives disrupted.

We hold before you those who are sick with the virus

and those who lovingly and generously care for them.

We think of those who have died, often alone and isolated from the people they love.

We pray for families, so many, and so full of grief.

Lord, help us to look at the world with your eyes.

Help us with global vision to see …

those whose livelihood has disappeared with no financial safety net to catch them.

those who live in such crowded places that the possibility of isolation is a joke.

those who, having lost their employment, die as they return to their home village.

We thank you for global organisations who are helping where they can,

For the World Health Organisation and NGO groups.

We thank you the sparks of generosity experienced in unexpected places.

We thank you for the World Fair Trade Organisation and Fair Trade businesses.

Thank you that through the Fair Trade movement people are lifted out of poverty.

We think of those farmers and artisans, workers and their families who suffer through loss of business during this pandemic.

Help us to see them as you see them, with loving and caring eyes.

In the Name of the One who loves us all. AMEN

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