December 2, 2018

Reported to the Congregation on December 2, by Lori-Ann Livingston-Breathwaite, Social Justice Coordinator

I’m Lori-Ann. I’m the first social justice coordinator under the new governance form. I thought I’d tell you a bit about what’s happened this year on the social justice front, and some ideas about how we’d like to move forward.

In the past month, I’ve put in about 16 hours in meetings, corresponding with prospective community partners and committee members, and also dealing with other requests for support.

I have formed a small but mighty group of people from the congregation who are interested in social justice, and I have also met with the worship and faith development coordinators, Barbara and Vi, to make sure that what we do in social justice is rooted in our faith and worship. You will see some interesting programming next year, and possibly a challenge during Lent, and maybe even some cooking. I know, big surprise there!

Last year at this time, we named three primary partners for 2018; those were:

1.     Kairos;

2.     Five Oaks Retreat Centre, and 

3.     Social Development Centre.

Each was recently given a donation of $1,000. For 2019, we have decided to continue supporting these three organizations with our annual donations.

In addition, six Sundays in 2018 specifically informed the congregation in order to establish or build relationships, with each speaker also receiving $1,000. The congregation also spent two Sundays learning about other ministries, laying the groundwork for Trinity’s plans for the future. These included the Toronto United Church Council tour of ministries in the GTA, and a workshop with Katja, Janet and Ron. The other services and workshops included:

  • Emmanuel UC Community Lunches presentation;

  • Waterloo Region Sexual Assault Support Centre;

  • Healing of the Seven Generations;

  • Social Development Centre, and

  • Reception House.

I would love to know what actions, big or small, you took after those services and workshops. I’d like to determine if those outreach Sundays were useful to you, or if they spurred you to action. It would help inform our path forward.

We have also fulfilled our commitment to the Mission and Service Fund. We have $500 remaining in our budget for 2018, and the committee has decided to allocate that to purchasing fleece blankets for the Y’s emergency shelter program.

Moving forward, we’d like to forge closer ties with St. Matthews. I can say honestly, I have gotten to know Pastor Sebastian fairly well, and I’ve entrusted him with Garrett on many occasions. They’re pretty good people, welcoming, and committed to service. But, in what other ways are we engaging with their outreach? Are you willing to volunteer for their events or initiatives? Are there community projects we can work on together?

We also have had a request from Rishan – I don’t have a lot of details yet, but you might remember that Trinity held money in an account and dispersed it for Rishan. Her cousin is in a refugee camp and she has approached us for sponsorship.