Reported to the congregation February 24th by Lori Ann Livingston, Social Justice Coordinator.
On this past Saturday, I spent the day at the Mennonite Central Committee head office learning to become a facilitator for the Blanket Exercise. For those who don’t know what that is, it’s an agreed-upon interactive learning experience developed by Kairos that tells 400 years of colonialism and its impact on our Indigenous peoples.
I will now be able to participate as a volunteer to run these exercises in our community, either through Kairos or through the MCC. Beyond my own personal commitment to reconciliation, as you know, we are financially supporting Kairos this year, and have committed to doing more beyond writing a cheque.
Learning about our settler history and the generational trauma it has caused through the Blanket Exercise is one way to do that. We are hoping to do a Blanket Exercise in June, so watch for details about that closer to spring.
Our first cooking day was held in the kitchen of St. John the Evangelist Anglican Church. Three people attended, and we made Myrta’s lentil soup, a vegetable curry and pumpkin muffins. A lot of it. We left about a third of the food in the fridge in the Social Development Centre (their office is in the church).
No two cooking days are alike. It was good to have a small group for our first time using the St. John kitchen. We have to bring everything with us – the kitchen is not equipped with staples or pots or pans or large cooking utensils, the way Trinity was.
Our next cooking day is March 30, and we are hoping that Hameda Hejjo will instruct us on how to cook some of her favourite recipes.
The kitchen is also booked for these days: April 27, June 1, July 27, Aug. 24. Email firstname.lastname@example.org if you’re interested in participating.
Social Development Centre
In the past month, I attended, with Rev. Bill, a brainstorming round table hosted by the Social Development Centre, who is initiating a civic hub. We are also supporting the SDC financially and have committed to doing more with them beyond writing a cheque.
The meeting was an opportunity to share some of the feedback gathered by the SDC from grassroots organizations in the last 12 months, to revisit the language used to talk about the initiative, to sharpen up goals and objectives. New groups joined, and the work on the shared understanding of the purpose and vision for the Civic Hub continues. A few of us will meet this week to do some further brainstorming about communicating about the initiative, which is aimed to provide an umbrella organization for grassroots community groups to share resources, such as administration, space, grant-writing, communications support and so on.
On March 5 at 3 p.m. at Fresh Ground Café in Kitchener, Aleksandra from the SDC and Rev. Preston Parsons of St. John the Evangelist Anglican Church are going to meet with our social justice action group, to tell us more about the initiative and how we may help further their goals. Anyone else is welcome to join.
On March 6, 9:30-11:30 a.m. at Creekside Community Church in Waterloo, Christians Together Waterloo Region is meeting for the morning in partnership with Alpha Canada, Ending Poverty Together, the Global Leadership Summit, and a network of national student ministries.
The team at City Movement has mapped data on all Canadian Christian ministries from all streams (Catholic, evangelical, mainline, etc.). This includes all churches, shelters, group homes, camps, counselling offices. At this gathering, City Movement will:
• Present new data on the activities and trends of Christian ministries in the region;
• Introduce a new data-driven search engine called WayBase that has profiles for all 27,000 Christian ministries across Canada (including ours); there will be a demonstration of how it will let people easily find us and help us partner on causes;
• Show how working together can have a measurable impact on your community.
Register online if you’re interested in joining us.
Our theme for Lent is climate change, and we’re challenging you to go meatless twice a week through Lent.
I’m working with Vi and Barbara to organize a film series for every Tuesday through Lent, 6:30-8:30 p.m. at the church. These will be a meatless potluck meal, a film and a discussion if time allows.
· March 12: Beyond Crisis, presented by Transition KW.
· March 19: The Story of Stuff
· March 26: Do the Math, presented by Divest Waterloo
· April 2: Ed Burtynsky: Manufactured Landscapes
· April 9: Before the Flood
Bring your own dishes and utensils, and a meatless dish, and settle in to watch a compelling movie followed by a discussion.