Seek justice...

Love kindness...

Walk humbly...

The Social Justice Team (SJT) of Lynn Valley United Church is a group of people who are passionate about advocacy, action and consideration for people who find themselves challenged by daily life- the ones who often have no voice to even ask for help.They raise awareness of social injustices locally, nationally and globally with the tenet that we are ALL God’s people. They are compassionate and have a passion for this work.

The team seeks ways to support the local community, national and international initiatives, sharing stories about their work as a means of inspiration, advocacy, and education.

At present, the Team is focussing on work in three key priority areas:

Reconciliation: This group takes seriously the 94 Calls to Action in the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s final report on the experience of indigenous peoples with the Residential Schools. We develop educational programs and conduct cultural immersion experiences to foster new understanding of contemporary colonialism and its ongoing systemic oppression of indigenous people. LVUC has partnered with other churches in Vancouver to participate in a variety of functions. We work with Reconciliation Matters (which is affiliated with St. Andrew’s Wesley). We have developed some ties with the Squamish and Teleil-Waututh Nations and have visited the Squamish Shaker Church and have had their Spiritual Leader conduct a sermon at LVUC.

Global Awareness: LVUC has a special relationship with the elementary school in Chwitiziribal, Guatemala, having visited there in March 2018 and fundraised for the re-building of the school with three other churches. This congregational tour led to ongoing programs of support with individual members of the congregation sponsoring scholarships, with the local community funding a daily lunch program. The team and the congregation worked diligently prior to and during the 2018 trip to visit Guatemala to learn about the injustices endured over the decades. Another trip is planned for March 24, 2023.

Local Needs: This group also heeds the call where local need arises. Our primary partner is First United Community Mission Society in Vancouver's Downtown Eastside, for which we have fundraised through activities such as Coldest Night of the Year as well as providing gifts in kind such as sock drives

Current Team

The team currently consists of Rev. Karen Millard Victoria Mah, Ray Boucher, Judith Clark, Joe Catlin (Chair), Marion Kirk and Jeanne Vallance.   Do you have a passion to "be the change you want to see in the world?"  If so, you are welcome to join us. Just contact one of the team members or the church office and indicate your desire to join.

Recent activites organized by the Social Justice and Outreach Team:

  • Truth and Reconciliation September 30, 2021 (video presentation)

    • Contributions to UCC Healing Fund $265

  • Fundraising support for First Forward campaign in December 2021

    • Presentation by Amanda Burroughs from First Dec. 5, 2021

    • Contributions through LVUC $1761 from 7 donors; others may have paid directly.

  • Coldest Night of the Year February 26, 2022

    • Lynn Valley Amblers: 7 team members, 70 donors

    • $5620 for First United Ministry Society (new record for our church)

  • Lenten Blessings Jar 2022 (we shared this with Finance Team.)

    • $1500 contributed to UCC Emergency Appeal for Ukraine

  • Ukraine Community Vigil  May 1, 2022

    • 75 attendees, 3 other churches participating. Funds raised by Maple Hope Foundation; official presence, additional church volunteers

  • Reconciliation event (Kairos Blanket exercise) Sept 30, 2022 led by Tsieil-Waututh Knowledge Keeper:

    • 27 attendees

  • Cleansing Ceremony with Tsleil-Waututh Knowledge Keeper on Sunday January 29, 2023 after church. This ceremony was conducted at LVUC to cleanse the banner that was produced from blanket fragments from the Kairos Blanket Exercise that was held on September 30, 2022.
  • Coldest Night of the Year February 25, 2023  The Coldest Night of the Year- is a moment when tens of thousands of Canadians step outside the warmth and comfort of home and shine a light of welcome and inclusion. Together, we collected donations that fund critical services to support the many programs offered by First United.
    • 22 participants (including 9 from Highlands); some walking downtown and some walking on North Shore route.
  • Guatemala pilgrimage March 24 - April 4/2023 went to the Land of the Mayan People with Lynn Valley United Church. For more information read news article titled Guatemala Pilgrimage.
  • 1st Annual Memorial Squamish Nation Youth Pow Wow 2023 July 14 -16, 2023. Eight people from Lynn Valley United Church attended.

Some of the events we are planing activities around for this year:

February 22 to April 6, 2023 Lenten Blessings Calendar - The Social Justice Team with Myrna’s assistance has produced a Blessings Calendar to help you get started and to encourage you to mark your blessings in a tangible way by making cash deposits into your own (virtual or actual) Blessings Jar. Proceeds will go toward Ukrainian relief.

July-Aug 2023:  Pride Week:  Have you ever heard the First Nations phrase "Two-Spirit", and wondered what it means?  If so, click on our Right Relationship to your left to find out more, along with other interesting events happening in the world of Reconciliation.

September 30 2023: National Day of Truth and Reconciliation (Orange Shirt Day) - Orange Shirt Day is a legacy of the St. Joseph Mission (SJM) residential school commemoration event held in Williams Lake, BC, Canada, in the spring of 2013.  It grew out of Phyllis' story of having her shiny new orange shirt taken away on her first day of school at the Mission, and it has become an opportunity to keep the discussion on all aspects of residential schools happening annually.  For more info, including Phyllis' story, please click on Right Relationships on your left.

More events will be announced as they are envisioned by our team and we decide on what activities we will be holding.

I want to join the Social Justice and Outreach Team please let me know how and what I can do to help?

Please share info about what you feel passionate about (such as the environment, helping refugees, homelessness, international aid, fundraising ideas, etc...).

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