Social Justice is a way of putting our faith into action and speaking with more than just words. In the belief that God's love for us calls us to look outward to the world, the Social Justice committee promotes action on Social Justice issues at local, national and international levels. We do this through education, outreach, and advocacy.
The outreach focus of the Social Justice committee is currently expressed through the Community Café , which takes place every Wednesday 2-4 pm and is open to all.
Education and advocacy action of the committee include:
Bloor Street also has a variety of related Social Justice groups, including the Refugee Outreach Project , and Jeremiah's Field , which works with refugees in our community, as well as the ToGoGo Grannies , which raises awareness and support for the Stephen Lewis Foundation's work in Africa.
Jeremiah's Field is a no-interest revolving loan fund which assists refugees of all faiths with funding for a variety of needs when other sources of funding are not available to them. The fund is administered by a committee of volunteers who meet once a month to review applications. Most loans do not exceed a few hundred dollars; the maximum we are able to loan to any is $1000.00. As a revolving loan fund we are dependent on repayment of loans by the refugee to continue to operate.
Then, in the midst of all this, their prophet, Jeremiah, was thrown into jail. While in jail, his cousin, came to ask if he would buy his field, since as a member of the family, Jeremiah had the right of inheritance. What a request! Why would anyone buy real estate in the middle of a war, especially a war they seemed to be losing.
Please note that only make payments to the government or a recognized institution, we don't make payments to individuals.
To apply to the Jeremiah's Field loan fund pleas fill out an application form and send it to Jeremiah's Field 300 Bloor St. West Toronto ON M5S 1W3 or e-mail it to us at Jeremiahsfield@yahoo.ca. Copies of our application form are available at the above address or can be downloaded from this webpage.
Once an application is received by Jeremiah's Field it is reviewed at the committee's monthly meeting. In order to be considered for a loan an applicant must be working at least part-time. Suitable applicants will be contacted to arrange an interview time and will be asked to submit a plan for repayment. After the interview the applicant will be notified as to the outcome. If the applicant is granted a loan they will paired with a member of the congregation. The member and the applicant will stay in regular contact for the duration of the loan. Please understand that our organization is made up entirely of volunteers and that the application process takes time, therefore we are unable to respond to emergencies.
Jeremiah's Field continues to welcome donations and volunteers to expand its work of providing loans to refugees. Donations can be made through Bloor St. United Church, please indicate that you wish the funds to be directed to Jeremiah's Field. For those who wish to volunteer their time please contact us at Jeremiahsfield@yahoo.ca .
The flooding in Pakistan has caused an unprecedented crisis in that country, with up to one fifth of the nation under water. The United Church of Canada, which has already provided $140,000 to address this crisis, is collecting additional donations for its Emergency Response Fund. The money collected will be used by the ACT Alliance, which is a network of 100 churches and church related organizations that work together to provide humanitarian assistance and long-term development. Donations collected prior to September 12th will be matched by the Government of Canada.
If you wish to donate through Bloor Street United Church, you can write a cheque to Bloor Street United Church, indicating that the funds are for the Pakistan Flood Relief Fund, and delivery it to the church by September 10th. The church will then send one cheque for all the donations to General Council. You will receive an income tax receipt for your donation. You can also send cheques directly to General Council, or donate online. Please go to this web site address for details on how to donate this way: http://www.united-church.ca/pakistan/howto This website also includes links for more information on the crisis in Pakistan.
The Community Café is open every Wednesday between 2 and 4 and is free for anyone who would like to join us. It is held in the Narthex of the Sanctuary, with the entrances open onto Bloor Street.
The Community Café first opened in February 2010, as an outreach initiative for our homeless and/or socially isolated neighbours. Since then the possibilities for the Café have expanded, still with the focus of providing a safe space for those who seek one.
We have generous regular volunteers, guests who come every week, others who return irregularly, and still others who appear only once for a hot cup of coffee and a snack, a conversation, or a silent moment in the sanctuary. The Café has become a place where worlds rub up against each other- where English language students from Japan play cards with a refugee from South America, or where a conversation about politics is next to a discussion of easy cooking tips. You are always welcome to come join our conversation over coffee, tea, and treats.
To provide a safe, inviting, and peaceful space to our local homeless and socially isolated neighbours, and to offer hospitality to anyone who seeks a silent space or community.
If you might be interested in volunteering at the Community Café, or donating food, please contact a member of the Social Justice committee or the staff support, Emily firstname.lastname@example.org.
Sometimes the end result of the waiting is not what families were hoping for.
Francisco recently received a phone call of thanks from a family that had been
refused status in Canada. The family members had been separated from each other,
and over a year ago, Francisco had helped gather financial support to enable
the children who were left behind to continue to live in the family home. When
the mother and other children eventually were turned down as refugee claimants
and had to return to Costa Rica, there was a place for them to return to: they
were not homeless. The family extends their thanks to Francisco, Bloor Street
United and all the individuals who helped in a small or big way to make their
time in Canada easier and their unintended return to Costa Rica less dangerous.
As a result of this help, the family is able to stay together and make a new
If you want to participate in the ROP work, speak with Sue Kaiser or Francisco Venegas ( email: email@example.com). We are looking for lots of ideas and skills.