The Duncan United Church Social Justice and Outreach Team is guided by the values and philosophy of Micah 6:8 –
“..and what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God”.
Projects from the past and present
· Sponsorship of several Refugee families
· Lobbying the Government for a Homeless Shelter – Warmland Shelter
· Lobbying for access to health care in the valley for everyone – Walk in Clinic
· Support patient-centered care – “Everybody’s Guide to Health Care”, a guide to supporting the rights of the patient in the working partnership with health care professionals, family and friends.
· Our latest focus has been connecting with the elders of the Cowichan Tribes and learning about their ways through the Cowichan 101 program held here at the church facilitated by Social Planning Cowichan.
Each month on the second Sunday in Heritage Hall we serve a warm nutritious meal to approximately 100 people in our community. This dinner began over 17 years ago and is a huge support to those who struggle. Volunteers, prepare cook and serve the meal. It is a wonderful outreach to folks and gives us all a sense of community.
Meals on the Ground
A community run program held here at our church where meals are served three times a week to those living on the streets. Meals are provided by different groups and organizations in the community. Through donations from the Change for Change plate that goes out once a month, Duncan United provides one meal per month. Approximately 40 people are served a hot meal at these dinners.
Every January, a simple lunch of chili and a bun following the service reminds us of those in our community who do not have enough. All proceeds go to the Cowichan Valley Basket Society and the Canadian Food Grains Bank.
Through funding from the Victoria Presbytery Visioning Fund and with leadership from Social Planning Cowichan a group of folks from many different organizations and backgrounds come together once a month and meet with Cowichan Tribe elders to learn about the ways of the Cowichan people, their history, their language and their spirituality.
Mandate of the Social Justice & Outreach
· Increase understanding and promote collaboration for outreach and social justice issues at a local, national and international level.
· Act as an umbrella group for all outreach programs in collaboration with the Mission and Service Committee at Duncan United Church.
Roles and Responsibilities
· Retain clear communication between the Social Justice and Outreach Team and the Mission and Service Committee, the Unified Board and Ministerial Staff.
· Encourage participation of people of all generations and from all walks of life in the work of the Social Justice and Outreach Team.
· Build awareness of social justice issues in our church family and promote congregational activities that reach out to people in the world about us.
· Take a leadership role in advocating social justice issues within the Cowichan community and beyond.
· Foster community partnerships.
· Include components of world affairs in the work of the Social Justice and Outreach Team through organizations like Kairos.
· Support the day-to-day activities of the church, e.g.,
· Frozen meals, monthly dinner, vouchers, and sponsor advocacy initiatives.
· Provide opportunities that increase awareness of outreach at the local, national and global levels, e.g., (bulletin board, speakers, facilitated events).
· Participate in special events, encouraging community and ecumenical collaboration, e.g., World Food Day, Environment Sunday, Micah’s Meal and 10 Days for World Development.
· Provide financial support to agencies and groups through allotted budgets and funds received from fund raising and special appeals, e.g., Cowichan Food Basket, advocacy work.
· Collaborate with other groups and organizations in the community around outreach activities, e.g. churches, non-profits, individuals with interest and expertise in specific areas.
· Participate in Presbytery and Conference social justice events.
· Plan and coordinate time-limited projects, e.g. Refugee projects.
· Report regularly to the congregation highlighting the work and concerns of the Social Justice and Outreach Team.