Outreach & Social Justice Update
As was highlighted in last month’s News from the Pews, each year we are asked by Diocese to consider a motion that is endorsed by the Bishops and Diocesan council, and speaks to a real and pressing issue they see in the community. We are asked to prayerfully consider and adopt practical actions specific to our context, to help create a more just society. This year, the diocese and our Bishops asked us to consider the continuing problems of racism faced in our society by black, indigenous, and other racialized people. The Trinity Church Outreach Committee had prepared the motion that was presented at this year’s vestry meeting in February, 2021:
“The parish of Trinity Church acknowledges that Anti-Black racism exists in our society and in our Church, and that it and all forms of racism against Black, Indigenous and other racialized people are a sin against God and against our neighbour. We commit ourselves to the recognition, dismantling, and elimination of Anti-Black and other forms of racism in our secular institutions, in our Church, and in ourselves, and to work for the full inclusion, participation and belongingness of Black, Indigenous and other racialized people in all sectors of our common life.
In light of this acknowledgment, and in keeping with this commitment, our parish undertakes to do the following:
Invite one or more speakers from a racialized community to speak on anti-racism.; and
Hold a follow-up discussion to learn how we can recognize and help confront racism in our community.”
At our vestry meeting we had a thoughtful discussion of the motion, facilitated by Bill White, and passed the motion unanimously. Now we begin the work of putting it into action beginning with arranging a speaker when restrictions allow and a follow-up discussion. There was also a resource list prepared by Ellen Cotton that was part of the final reminder about vestry meeting and we are attaching as a file again for those who would like build on what was talked about at the meeting. More information can also be found at https://www.toronto.anglican.ca/parish-life/diversity-resources/ .
Lenten Water Project
As was announced in the last News from the Pews and in our services since, this year our Lenten offering is for the Water Project that seeks to provide clean water for Indigenous communities in Ontario. We know that may people know of and are concerned with the lack of clean water in these communities. The Anglican Church of Canada, through the Primate’s World Relief and Development Fund has partnered with others for ten years now to work toward providing clean water, beginning in Pikangikumin Northern Ontario. Recently that partnership has been expanded to work with the Non-Governmental Organization, Water First. Water First works with the Indigenous communities to assist with water and to provide internships for young Indigenous men and women to be able have home grown assistance.
Water is a basic necessity of life, from drinking to cleaning and for indoor plumbing. Imagine for a moment if every drop of water that you used in a day had to be either boiled or bottled. This has been true in some Indigenous communities for decades now. Multiple generations have grown up without access to clean water. In some communities there has also been a lack of indoor plumbing, requiring young and old to either venture out in all types of weather conditions or use some method like a chamber pot. This is a matter of dignity for all.
You can submit your Lenten alms (donations) as you would your regular givings, by mail, e-transfer or online. In each case please note “water project” so that it goes to the right place in our accounts.
You can learn more about Water First here http://waterfirst.ngo/.