SERVICE (Social Action/Out Reach)
We are called to serve our St. Paul’s family and the greater community through Out Reach and Mission that helps to empower people as we strive for justice and peace among all people, respecting the dignity of every human being.
Potluck with a Purpose: Social Justice
November 17, 2013
By John Clarke (Rector)
The focus suggested by the Dream Dreams session of the Parish Festival: This Is YOUR Church is Social Justice rather than outreach alone. Our hope at this Potluck is developing a plan for responding to people in need whether they are our parishioners or others who come to us. It might also be wise to work with other organizations (churches, government, and others). Our discussion was around three questions – what is it like for the stranger to approach us; what is it like for our parishioners and; how to make it better for everyone?
The consensus was that we have three committees:
1. Congregational and Community needs.
2. World concerns such as relief efforts and the environment.
3. Fund raising to support the ministry of groups one and two.
There was a healthy discussion with lots of comments from several people. There was healthy listening too. Here are some of the comments that were recorded. Some of them overlap into the three committees.
The Committees are to be self starters, function by consensus and as a team.
Congregational and Community needs:
We recognize the need to work in tandem with the other Churches on Prince Street and in the province and diocese. We need coordination (coordinator/administrator). The developing of a greater knowledge of “the system” will benefit our efforts. Networking with others and the sharing of information will help.
We know that we can do the ministry we’ve been called to. We can work together and give real and material help to people. It is true that Madonna has done a great deal and she has a corporate memory, but we have the talents and abilities to continue the great work that has been done.
We are to remain good stewards of the funds and other offerings that have been entrusted to us.
We recognize that much of the work might be advocating on people’s behalf, helping them to work “the system.” It is importance that the first contact people have with us be good, respectful and genuine. Part of our ministry will be to give people hope and offer them morale and spiritual support. A sense of mentoring people could be continues. Perhaps we could think of ourselves as “navigators.” We also learnt the people from ages 18-30 are the largest growing group of users in social services.
World concerns such as relief efforts and the environment:
In recognition that our world is not perfect and the Church has a role and voice to help bring justice we will work with other Churches, government and others to make things better for everyone. There is a need to network with a variety of people and groups, to share information, working together and advocate on behalf of those in need and the Earth. Fair wages, affordable housing and the environment are a few of the things we are interested in considering.
One of the groups that we can approach is AIDS PEI and inquire if they want to continue in a close relationship with us.
Being good stewards implies a willingness to make our opinions known; that social justice, from time to time means action. God has blessed us with the talents and abilities needed to be bold enough to do what needs doing.
We will promote the work and ministry of the Primate’s World Relief and Development Fund (PWRDF).
Fund raising to support the ministry of groups one and two:
Being good stewards means raising the funds that are required to accomplish our ministries. We can work with others, we can network and share information regarding outside funding sources. We can fundraise within the parish. All the talents and abilities we need to be creative in our fundraising efforts we already possess.
We will consider the idea of tithing the Parish budget to our social justice efforts.
It was a good meeting. A count was not taken but a lot of people showed up (around 30). The first committee needs to get started… to be up and running, even if it’s bare bones, by January 1, 2014.
Notes from Out Reach Committee, February 25, 2014
Do we want a name change? Social Action Committee
John and Madonna will continue to respond
Regular Reporting to the Committee:
- How many people?
- What kind of help?
Ask Madonna to “mentor” someone
Principles for our Ministry
1. Christ Centered: who did Jesus help? – Help them.
2. Community Development: how we do what we do can positively impact the people we help and it helps develop St. Paul’s community.
3. The State: we have a role to play in addressing social just issues with the government and being advocates for the people identified in point 1.
4. Ecumenical and Inter-faith: we will continue to build upon the good tradition we have to have good relations with other faith groups.
5. Inform, Educate, Promote: issues of social action need to be brought to the members of the congregation (including the prayers).
Actions and commitments:
- Partnership: a conversation with Trinity and Zion to see if we can have even greater cooperation among these three churches.
- Planning needs to start for the Christmas hampers.
- Habitat for Humanity – we will build a picnic table or two.
- PWRDF: we will try and get regular bulletin announcements promoting the ministry of the PWRDF and to see if there a particular project we can do annual.
- Mothers Union – We will explore how the Mothers Union might be a useful organization to be involved with.
- Refugees – We explore the current situation with an eye to the possibility that St. Paul’s sponsor a family.
Our next meeting: March 25, 2014, 7:00 pm.
Social Justice Partners and Links
QUESTIONS to POSE to CANDIDATES in the FEDERAL ELECTION
We all have issues which we want to make candidates aware of. Here are some suggestions which the St. Paul’s Outreach and Social Justice Committee considers important, in that they are related to social justice and are areas in which the federal government can have impact.
❖ What policies and actions do you and your party advocate to improve the health-services system?
❖ What policies and actions do you and your party advocate to improve the lives of low-income families?
❖ What policies and actions do you and your party advocate to foster justice and well-being for Canada’s aboriginal peoples?
❖ What policies and actions do you and your party advocate to protect and sustain the environment?
❖ What policies and actions do you and your party advocate to ensure that all Canadians can have decent, affordable housing?
❖ What policies and actions do you and your party advocate to provide
(a) effective post-secondary education and training; and
(b) sustainable work opportunities?
❖ What policies and actions do you and your party advocate to make Canada a leader in effective foreign aid and international development?
❖ What policies and actions do you and your party advocate with regard to social security -- particularly employment insurance and pensions?
❖ What do you and your party think is wrong with Canada’s justice system, and how it can be improved?
❖ Even without the additional pressures to help people fleeing Syria and Iraq, Canada’s refugee and wider immigration system doesn’t appear to be meeting the need. What can we do to restore Canada’s traditional role as a welcoming nation?
See the Anglican Church's Election resource: www.anglican.ca/wp-content/uploads/2015-Election-Resource.pdf