Our Social Justice Goals:
- To continue to reach out to the broader community through partnerships, to work on food security, homelessness, right relations with Aboriginal communities and other issues.
- To follow a practice of providing information, encouraging engagement and working together to help bring justice to the West Island, Canada, and other parts of the world.
- To continue to celebrate the many ways Cedar Parkers quietly share their time and skills with a wide variety of organizations within and beyond our walls.
In Matthew 25, Jesus gives us a short form of how best to act in our world: feed the hungry, shelter the homeless, welcome the stranger. Cedar Park United has been committed to social justice for decades and our Social Justice ministry has evolved from more traditional “charity based” models, to a framework based on empowerment and systemic justice. Recognizing that we can best support the work of systemic justice through partnerships with experts and advocacy groups, we encourage members of our faith community to become active with a variety of local, national and global social justice partner organizations.
Refugee Response: Cedar Park United welcomed a wonderful family from Syria in April 2018. Cedar Parkers of all ages participate annually in the Ride for Refuge. We also provide support to The Welcome Collective, in the form of specific small household goods* to help newly arrived families begin anew in Canada. In November 2020, CPU participated in The Welcome Collective’s Holiday Basket project. We collected new and gently used items requested by two families, including gift cards for groceries and presents requested by the children. In January 2021, CPU made a financial donation to The Welcome Collective on behalf of the congregation to support their valuable work.
*Please note that we collect specific items during a limited time period. We do not have storage or sorting capacity to accept items year-round.
Saint Columba House: This community centre in Point Saint Charles, a ministry of The United Church of Canada, empowers and involves citizens in groups and actions which directly impact their lives. A daily lunch programme provides food security and StCH offers a preschool, after-school activities for all ages, a bicycle shop, a summer day camp and much more. In addition to strong financial support, many Cedar Parkers have been involved over the years at StCH, as Board members and volunteers, and as donors of specific items for their programming. http://www.saintcolumbahouse.org/
Montreal City Mission: This United Church of Canada ministry believes that everyone has the right to authentic participation in community. MCM enables the journey from exclusion to community through a variety of programmes. For example, through their Seniors Mobile Legal Clinic and Just Solutions Clinic, MCM offers free legal information and assistance, rights advocacy and accompaniment to vulnerable and disadvantaged individuals and refugees. http://www.montrealcitymission.org/en/
Family Life Centre: This community outreach ministry for the West Island and off island West offers interactive workshops, and referrals to community services. As a founding member, CPU provides financial support, together with 7 other West Island churches, and volunteers. www.familylifecentre.ca
LGBTQ+ Youth and Seniors Centre: Serving the West Island by providing a safe and welcoming environment where lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning young people can meet, talk, get to know each other, ask questions and understand themselves better, the Centre offers group activities, workshops and programmes. Their aim is to promote understanding, help dispel ignorance and encourage the free exchange of words and ideas. For more info, please see http://www.lgbtqyouthcentre.ca
Action Réfugiés Montréal: Action Réfugiés Montreal is a strong voice for refugees in Montreal and beyond, seeking justice for asylum-seekers and refugees. ARM promotes partnerships among people in refugee and faith communities and society at large for mutual empowerment. Through its Detention, Sponsorship and Twinning programmes, ARM offers hope and assistance while raising awareness of refugee rights. CPU was assisted by ARM when we applied to sponsor a refugeed family from Syria. To learn more about ARM, speak with Paul Clarke or see their website: http://www.actionr.org/
Maison de la Gare: Established in Saint Louis, Senegal in 2006, Maison de la Gare is dedicated to helping the talibe street children become productive participants in Senegalese society. Because every child has the right to an education, emotional support and the carefree life of a child, Maison de la Gare works to return these rights to the talibe children. It supports over 200 children each day. MDG offers an international volunteer program. For further information, speak with Rod LeRoy. Their website is http://www.mdgsl.com/
Reconciliation Matters: Cedar Park United is committed to the long road of reconciliation with Canada’s First Nations in ways that reflect our Identity and Values. Recent activities include providing material support, including hand-knit scarves and cookies baked in the church kitchen for the First Nations and Inuit women and children involved with the Indigenous Housing Program at Chez Doris. In January 2021, CPU gave a monetary donation to their newly created indigenous outreach program where trained caseworkers travel to the homes of the housed clients. They offer a friendly listening ear and bring the women items they request (e.g. hygiene products, food items, clothing, etc) from donations they have in house.
Mission and Service: Cedar Park United has an enviable record of donations to the United Church of Canada’s M&S Fund which provides ongoing support of ministries’ and programs in Canada and around the world, such as:
- Global and Canadian justice initiatives
- Aboriginal ministries and right relations
- Community ministries
- Theological education
- Faith formation: youth, camping, intercultural engagement
- Support to remote ministries
- Innovation in communities of Faith
- Specific disaster relief funds.
Food Security: Food security means access to safe, nutritionally adequate food. Cedar Park United has a wide variety of programmes designed to combat food insecurity, encouraging the sharing of excess produce, supporting local food initiatives, and partnering with organizations in the larger community who are working to combat this problem. Our 2018 kitchen renovation enables us to share our space with more groups and expand and enhance our food-related ministries.
Seasons of Justice: when needs arise, we invite Cedar Parkers and friends to collect specific items requested by our social justice partners.
Green Church programme: In accordance with our Covenant with Creation, Cedar Park United strives to live with respect in creation by making every effort possible to practice responsible environmentalism by reusing, reducing, recycling, composting, redistributing, and continually seeking new ways to improve our environmental practices in our church home and in our community. CPU avoids the use of plastic water bottles, Styrofoam and plastics and asks our building users to make similar eco-friendly choices.
For further information or to offer assistance or suggestions for our Social Justice Ministry, please contact Paul Clarke, Social Justice Chair, or contact our Church Administrator (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Please hold all of our Social Justice partners and those with whom they minister in your prayers.
Financial donations are welcome directly to each organization.
Cedar Park United Church gratefully declines donations of household goods, books or clothing.