Justice & Social Action
Justice requires a fair and inclusive public policy in pursuit of the public good. People ask for justice not charity because charity is humiliating. Everyone needs to experience the joy of giving to maintain dignity. Justice is a mutual relationship – a respect for one another.
Effective social action aims to build capacity in individuals and communities. It calls for the development of individual capabilities and it means fostering individual and community action for justice, compassion and the overall betterment of social life.
The life of Jesus focused on social ethics: the poor, women, the mentally ill and other oppressed groups. The St. Andrew’s-Wesley Justice and Social Action Ministry seeks justice for all and is committed to advocacy and social action within our community and the world. Our involvement includes: local, national and international projects.
The purpose of the annual Christmas project, The Empty Suitcase, is to assist women and children who, due to domestic violence, are forced to flee their homes at Christmas time to seek shelter in safe houses in Vancouver’s West End. Most often, they arrive with nothing but the clothes on their backs.
Many donate new items of pajamas, nightgowns, robes, slippers, socks, underwear, hats, gloves, scarves and toiletries. Others donate cash. Volunteers take the cash to Sears downtown store where management and enthusiastic staff help to make these funds stretch by seeking out the very best bargains. All of the donated and purchased articles are then distributed to Kate Booth House, Esther’s Place, and Vancouver Rape Relief Shelter well in time for Christmas morning, thus making the holiday season for the women and children in these shelters a little brighter.
Due to the caring and generous congregation of St. Andrew’s-Wesley and Sears downtown store, the Empty Suitcase project has been increasingly successful. The campaign is once again underway in November/December 2011. Tax receipts are issued for donations of $20 or more.
End Homelessness Now Action Group
The goal of St. Andrew's-Wesley End Homelessness Now Action Group is to take a proactive role in educating the public, business and community leaders and governments regarding the issues of homelessness and mental health. To that end, the outcomes of the Group are to:
- • arrange Supported Housing to stop homelessness
- • seek effective care and support for the homeless
- • spur our governments and our citizens to action
- • practice kindness and compassion
- • maintain a current website to inform the community
The group has organized and participated in the following public events on homelessness and mental health
- • Concert and CD Launch Fundraiser for First United Church Mission
- • Mayoral Candidates Debate
- • Public Forums on Homelessness
- • The Portland Experience
- • A Dialogue Towards Solutions
- • Stands for Housing
For more information visit our website at www.endhomelessnessnow.ca.
First United Mission
First United Church on East Hastings near Pender Street has been a part of Vancouver since its beginnings in the 1880’s, and has filled a need as a provider of care to the needy ever since the great depression of the 1930’s.
St. Andrews-Wesley is committed to assisting First United which is on the front lines of Vancouver’s Homeless people. It runs programs such as crisis intervention, housing referrals, health and wellness, advocacy, and community programs for residents of Vancouver's Downtown Eastside. It also acts as a shelter providing a warm place to sleep and provide three meals a day seven days a week.
Food for First
St. Andrews –Wesley congregation and Church School support First United Mission by collecting nonperishable food every Sunday, and conducting four food drives a year on the Sundays near Thanksgiving, Christmas, Easter, and Canada Day.
Suggested canned food includes the following:
- Protein: tuna, salmon, chicken, turkey, ham, meat and peanut butter
- Protein and Starch: pasta, macaroni and cheese, chucky soups, stew, pork and beans, chili, ravioli and oatmeal cereal
- Fruit and Vegetables: vitaminized fruit juice, peaches, fruit cocktail, apple sauce, peas, carrots or green beans
Watch for announcements in the Church Bullet for information and dates for the four major food drives. Thank you for your ongoing generous support.
First United Thrift Store
St. Andrew’s – Wesley supports the First United Thrift Store. We provide volunteers on Thursdays 10am-2pm and 1pm-5pm. More volunteers are needed for: selling, sorting (heavier work) and tagging. Both men and women are welcome to join us for this very important and rewarding experience.
St. Andrew’s – Wesley also collects: men’s and women’s, gently used seasonally appropriate clothing and accessories; house wares including dishes, linens, blankets and seasonal items. Items can be dropped off at the church office at 100 – 1022 Nelson Street or First United Thrift Store. Call the store manager, Leona, at 604-569-1117 to arrange a time for any drop off.
Contact Sharon MacKenzie (604-408-8426) for information about volunteering in the store.
Homes To Heal
Homes to Heal is designed to raise funds to supplement rent for young adults suffering mental illness. It is a safe place to call ‘home’ and work for a future. This is an ongoing project for the congregation. more...
Seniors’ Lunch is offered free on the Third Wednesday of each month. Our mandate is to reach out to seniors in the West End community around St. Andrew’s-Wesley Church by offering physical and spiritual sustenance. The church provides the meal, the space and the energetic volunteers who serve.
Along with food for the body, we also share the joy and food for the soul. Our team of twelve to fifteen volunteers bring warmth and welcome to our guests. Rev. Gary Paterson comes to uplift the senior guests as he visits, prays and speaks. We also offer wonderful live music or a sing along as the guests finish their meal with tea and coffee. Several of our own seniors contribute a lot by visiting with our guests.
The program has been in operation since May 2004, under the direction of John and Mae Pratt-Johnson. At present we are serving about 80 meals each month. Funding comes from the Rogers Fund and from a significant community donation.
WISH and BOYS R US - a joint project
W.I.S.H. (Women's Information Safe Haven) a shelter for women sex trade workers is open from 6 to 11 P.M six evenings a week. The women served range in age from 19 to 65 years of age. At WISH they have access to a warm caring environment, showers, laundry, an evening meal, skills training courses and other supports. The majority of the women helped by WISH have been the victims of some form of assault and were on the street from an average age of fourteen.
St. Andrew’s – Wesley supports this project by collecting and donating items as requested. At this time we are collecting: toiletries, cosmetics (new and gently used), mitts, socks and underwear.
Boys R Us is a Drop-in centre for male and transgendered sex trade workers in Vancouver. It provides a safe, confidential place for connecting with others and accessing resources such as health care, housing and other community services. It operates Tues-Thurs 7pm-9pm.
St. Andrew’s – Wesley supports this project year round by collecting and donating warm thick socks to help prevent foot infections and jelly beans which help curb the alcohol and drug cravings.
Collection baskets for these items are available in the hallway between the church sanctuary and the elevator. Thank you for your support.
Mission and Service Fund of the United Church of Canada
The United Church has a vision of how to participate in God’s mission in the world. The vision involves ministering in our own United Churches and in working with partners across the country and around the globe. It is dedicated to emergency–response and development around world and is funded by the Mission and Service Fund.
St Andrew’s-Wesley contributes to the United Church of Canada’s Mission and Service Fund. This fund cooperates with others in national and overseas partnerships. It is a people–centred fund serving projects for social action around the world as well as in our local community. The fund helps to support First United Church Mission as well as the Longhouse Native Ministry in Vancouver
A.M.E.S. Health clinic - A Lenten Project
The 2012 Guatemala Lenten Project will be announced in February 2012.
We ask for your help! Click on ‘Donate Now’ below and make a donation to A.M.E.S.
Support for Guatemala
Free Trade Coffee
Guatemala Free Trade Coffee, an organic coffee from worker owned cooperatives in Guatemala, is available at the information table in the church lobby every Sunday. Monies raised are donated to the projects in Guatemala supported by St. Andrew’s-Wesley.
DonationsWe welcome donations from the public to support our outreach projects. A tax donation will be issued for donations of more than $20.00