“One of our basic confessions as Christians is that a light shines in the darkness and the darkness cannot, will not, shall not overcome it. This is a confession we have to make all the time, especially surrounded as we are with such despair and darkness and violence. This is not the same as optimism. Hope is different. Hope has a defiance to it. Hope is saying there’s something deeper, there’s something more powerful. And it will overcome the darkness”
— Nadia Bolz Weber
Comox United Church is committed to supporting social justice ministries in the local community as well as at national and international levels.
The overall goal of the Social Justice Group is “To promote and encourage Social Justice and Service by fostering a spirit of Outreach in the congregation, supporting ongoing programmes, and responding creatively to perceived and emerging needs.” The Group provides education for the congregation regarding social justice and service initiatives and programmes, and liaises with the Comox Valley Unitarian Fellowship and other local community groups (such as, Refugee Support groups, the Glacier Grannies, and the Mid-Islanders for Peace and Justice in the Middle East) to enable partnerships and coordination of activities.
Current and Ongoing Work
The Social Justice Group supports the Mission and Service Fund of the United Church of Canada by coordinating regular “Minute for Mission” presentations during the worship services. Information from the United Church of Canada regarding justice issues, invitations for action, and current disaster funding appeals are also posted in the newsletter and on the website.
The Group coordinates support for the church’s four annual offering appeals: the Emergency Relief Fund and the Aboriginal Healing Fund of the United Church of Canada; the local Food Bank; and Our Place ministry in Victoria.
The Group maintains bulletin board displays of topical issues (e.g., Climate change challenges, Indigenous advocacy, and Palestinian issues) and hosts a Fair Trade table each Sunday after the worship service, selling coffee, tea, chocolate, and olive oil. Want to know more about the Fair Trade items available? Click Here!
The Care-A-Van – Contributions of volunteer time, financial support, and material donations such as socks, toiletries, toques. Click here to learn more about the Care-A-Van project.
Healthy Babies programme – Contributions of high quality canned food and other non-perishable items for this outreach programme of the Comox Valley Family Services which provides education and support to low-income and "at risk" mothers to be and new parents. Click here for information about Comox Valley Family Services.
St. George's Soup Kitchen and Pantry – Contributions of volunteer time and financial support are provided for the lunchtime and pantry services operating out of St. George's United Church in Courtenay. Click here for information about St. George's Pantry.
St. Peter’s Unity Cupboard – Occasional financial contributions for this drop-in programme and food bank in Comox.
Coldest Night of the Year – Fundraising support and participation in the annual walk. Visit the CNOY website https://cnoy.org/location/comoxvalley for more information.
Collection baskets – In addition to the above ongoing projects, the Social Justice Group maintains a number of baskets in the lobby of the church to collect items for various agencies in our community:
· Toiletries – (soap, shampoo, razors, and other toiletry items) given to the Transition House and to St. George's Pantry.
· Used eye-glasses – given to local optometrists for donating to clinics in developing countries.
· Used postage stamps –given to the Canadian Cancer Society.
· Clothing bin – distributed to various recipients including the Care-a-Van, the Free Store at St. Peter's Anglican Church in Comox, and the Free Store at Northgate Foursquare Church in Courtenay.
(NOTE: Financial donations for any of the projects supported by the Social Justice Group can be mailed to the Church Office with a note in the memo line of the cheque indicating the project to be supported; online donations can be made by e-transfer to [email protected].)