(Update—September 26, 2020)
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.
Thanksgiving appeals—October 2020
The Social Justice Group invites you to consider making a special Thanksgiving gift this month. We are offering two options to support:
Food Bank Supporting the local Food Bank has been the focus for our annual Thanksgiving appeal for our congregation. You can donate directly to the Food Bank online (https://comoxvalleyfoodbank.ca/) or you can drop off a cheque at the church, specifying the Food Bank in the memo line.
Mission & Service Fund This year the United Church of Canada is inviting us to make a special Thanksgiving gift to the Mission & Service Fund to help people who need it most during the Covid-19 pandemic. By the end of 2020, 12,000 people per day living around the world could die from hunger because of the pandemic. Watch this short, inspiring video and consider making a donation online: https://www.united-church.ca/donate
Current, Ongoing Work
The Social Justice Group supports the Mission and Service Fund of the United Church of Canada by coordinating weekly “Minute for Ministry” presentations either during the worship service or posted in the church newsletter and on the website. 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 World Development and Relief Fund of the United Church of Canada; the Aboriginal Healing Fund; the local Food Bank; and the Our Place ministry in Victoria.
Past Work, which will resume when we gather again in person…
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 for the Care-A-Van website
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.
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 Free Store at Northgate Foursquare Church and the Care-a-Van; each fall there is usually a clothing drive to support the ministry of First United Church in Vancouver.
(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 ministry to be supported.)