Sharing an inclusive partnership with neighbours near and far, Bloor Street listens to the voices of concern, advocates for those having struggles and welcomes the opportunity to support faithful and courageous action to bring ease to difficult circumstances.
The Social Justice Committee, with input from the congregation and others, arranges educational events and the circulation of educational material on topics that the Committee believes are important to society and of interest to the congregation.
Reflections on a Trip to Palestine/Israel
Over the next months a number of people are going to reflect on their trips to Palestine–Israel. The most recent travellers in 2019 were Nora McKay, Nena Cervantes and Ron & Maure Kentner. In 2018 Randi Helmers and Martha ter Kuile travelled to the holy land. Over a number of years others from our congregation have joined George Bartlett and Marianna Harris on these trips.
Each month, following the themes of Kumi Now, there will be one or more personal reflections and specific information on the current topic. We listen to scripture in our services about the holy land in the time of Jesus. These reflections will look at the holy land as it exists at this time. It is beautiful in its geology, magnificent in its history but there are issues that need resolution.
The Kumi Now project is an attempt by many people and organizations to “stand firm in the face of oppression”, to seek justice and inclusion based on international law and to commit to non-violent resistance. Each week Kumi Now introduces a “different organization working to raise awareness about specific issues in Israel-Palestine”. The personal reflections will give you an account of what visitors saw and heard during their travels.
The Social Justice Committee and sub-Committees are active in many areas including the following:
- Togogos support grandmothers in Africa, who are raising grandchildren orphaned by AIDS, by raising money and awareness for the Stephen Lewis Foundation.
- The Refugee Outreach Program raises money each year to send refugee mothers and children to summer camp. They also collect toys for an annual Refugee Christmas Party.
- The Social Justice Committee collects funds and gifts each Advent Season for designated organizations and also raises funds in response to Relief Appeals through the United Church of Canada.
The Social Justice Committee, as part of its educational role, advises the congregation when there is a call to action on particular issues. This can include information about petitions, letter writing campaigns, demonstrations and lobbying of community or political leaders. If the Social Justice Committee or others within the congregation believe that Bloor Street United Church as a whole should advocate on a particular issue a proposal can be made to the Church Council for their consideration.