At Pacific Spirit United Church we strive to honour the ministry of justice and relationship with the wider world.
Living in right relationship, as a people of reconciliation with First Nations; working with compassion sponsoring refugees; supporting mission in the Downtown East Side; working to protect the environment, attentive to God’s creation.
Outreach Work and Partnerships
This shelter for women and children fleeing violent homes has been our partner for over 10 years (eg Back to School donations, Christmas gifts, ongoing donations). This is a very stressful time as residents must stay in their units, often with children. In communication with us, no clear needs have been identified at this time. They appreciate our caring and prayers. This is one of the shelters in Vancouver run by the Bloom Group.
The Most Comprehensive Plan Ever Proposed to Reverse Global Warming was a book introduced in 5 sessions in the fall, with hopes that attendees would get into action. The Pachamama Alliance who rolled out the book is an organization with stated goals ‘To bring forth an environmentally sustainable, spiritually fulfilling, socially just, human presence on this planet. The Drawdown Introductory Course is available on line (free) at https://www.pachamama.org/engage/drawdown with further information at https://bcdrawdown.org/ (excellent video suggestions). This Alliance currently has an inspirational series about resilience and hope in response to Covid-19. Interest in projects? Contact Jean McTavish.
Truth and Reconciliation
Truth precedes reconciliation and we are still learning the truth about our nation’s relationship with, and treatment of Canada’s First Nations. With other west-side churches, we have either held or participated in workshops, discussion groups, book studies, guest speakers, dialogues, and feasts. We also encourage people or arrange for groups to attend First Nations’ festivals, art shows, museum exhibits and music and dance performances. And- following our First Nations neighbours’ admonition to do our homework before asking questions, we use every opportunity to join with them in their events. You are welcome to take part in all of these activities!
More than Fair Trade coffee direct from the CCDA (http://cafejusticia.ca/campesino-committee-of-the-highlands-ccda) is currently well stocked and available for delivery by calling the church office or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. Coffee sales at Pacific Spirit United Church go directly to the farmers, an education fund for the children of the farmers, and other social justice initiatives in Guatemala as determined by the not-for-profit importing group BC CASA.
West Side Churches Refugee
This group of five west side congregations has teamed together to pool our resources- monetary and human- to sponsor refugees to Canada. Funds to do so are held in trust for each sponsorship and the committee as a whole decides on which cases we can successfully take on. To date we have sponsored about 56 people from 9 countries and we have applications to sponsor another 10 people in process. Our most recent newcomers arrived at the end of January… just in time to experience Covid-19! While English classes and socializing have been curbed severely, we continue to be in touch with them! They are well housed, safe and active on line like many of us. All donations of time, skills and, of course, money are most welcome!
Beacon * shining light on Dementia
Our church is entering a process to further our sense of inclusion and love by opening meaningful conversations about what it means to be a dementia-friendly community…in our care for one another, in our building’s accessibility and in our programming.
Here is a link to our ‘Resources for Further Exploration’ list that emerged from this ministry’s four information, education and exploration sessions held throughout 2020-2021.
First United Church
We continue to partner with this downtown mission who works with many other agencies to serve some of the poorest and most vulnerable people in our city. Through new “partnership circles” we are determining which area we would like to focus our work on: a) SRO’s (single room occupancy), b) Reconciliation, c) Homelessness or d) Drugs, Drug Policy and Clean Drug Supply. If you have a passion, an interest, or a calling to this work, talk to us.
Food Assistance Program
Though we are located in an affluent neighbourhood, hungry people still make their way to the church for help with food. We have $25 gift cards we have been able to offer people once every two months. It is not a lot, but it helps. If you would like to contribute to the funding of this local emergency work, please contact the church office.
How We Finance This Work
Our annual operating budget provides financial resources for overarching, ministry-wide initiatives such as Affirm, Reconciliation and Environmental Action. However, many of our projects rely on donations in response to specific campaigns at various times of the year – for example the Springhouse Christmas project, Focus on First, Refugee Sponsorship, and our Food Assistance program. Watch for these opportunities to support our many Outreach initiatives.