Social Justice & Outreach

The Word became flesh and blood, and moved into the neighbourhood. 
(John 1:14 – The Message)

 

At Islington United Church our practice of the Christian life extends well beyond our church doors. Our Social Justice Network “moves into the neighbourhood” offering charity, service, advocacy, and justice work to help our local community, our city, our country, and our mission partners abroad.  Each of our Social Justice & Outreach ministries is a self-sufficient group making a difference in people’s lives. Take some time to consider each one to see how you can help bring God’s message of healing and love to the world.   


“It is not the church of God that has a mission in the world,
but the God of mission that has a church in the world.”

 

Affirm Ministry

Islington United Church has always been a “welcoming” church and over the past several years has worked toward a new understanding of what welcoming means.  It has been preparing to become committed to Affirm, a national program of The United Church of Canada. Affirming reflects a journey for greater justice and compassion, to be more loving.  Islington United Church voted at a special meeting on April 8, 2018, to be designated an Affirm congregation followed by a service of commitment and celebration on June 3, 2018.

Our commitment in the years ahead will reflect a public, intentional and explicit commitment to diversity and inclusion; we will work toward ending discrimination against all peoples, seek to make a safe space that is inclusive, offer study, education and dialogue through workshops and partnerships.  For more information about our Affirm ministry please contact our church office at 416-239-1131 ext. 221 or by email at
office@islingtonunited.org.  
 

Interfaith Circle

Islington’s Interfaith Circle builds relationships of respect and trust by learning more about each other, demonstrating shared values and seeking justice and peace in our communities. There are many opportunities to become engaged in interfaith work – whether it is education, dialogue, advocacy or reflection. We offer a lecture series, share in meals, have conversations, support interfaith worship, participate in interfaith festivals, create art projects, and co-sponsor youth activities. We discover, celebrate and demonstrate respect for faith traditions through relationship. For more information, please contact Carol Wilson at cwilson@yorku.ca or Barbara Sheffield at b.sheffield@rogers.com
 

Mabelle Food Program

Our Mabelle Food Program operates in conjunction with Toronto’s Daily Bread Food Bank to provide a nutritious food package to low income households in our local community. The Mabelle Food Program is open every second Wednesday in the gymnasium at 49 Mabelle Avenue off Dundas Street near the church.  We need volunteers of all ages to help prepare and distribute food packages at the Food Program.  We also welcome donations of food which can be left in the Food Program boxes on the upper level outside the church office or in the narthex (i.e., the church’s front lobby).  If you’re a knitter, we invite you to join the group that provides handmade hats, scarves and mitts for our clients during the winter months.  For more information about the Mabelle Food Program please contact our church office at 416-239-1131 ext. 221 or email office@islingtonunited.org
 

Emergency Food Pantry

Not all needs for food and household supplies can be anticipated and sometimes unexpected events produce urgent needs for families or individuals within our community.  That’s why Islington United’s Emergency Food Pantry was established.  The Food Pantry operates 12 months of the year and is available to anyone needing help.  The Food Pantry volunteers monitor the Pantry’s use and replenish supplies as required.  For more information about Islington United’s Emergency Food Pantry please contact our church office at 416-239-1131 ext. 221 or email office@islingtonunited.org
 

Christmas Ministry

Islington United knows that Christmas can be a difficult time for many people.  Offerings of non-perishable food and money provide food and hospitality for our Mabelle Food Program clients all year through plus a little extra in the form of a gift card for personal shopping at Christmas.  Donations of new bath towels and money to purchase toiletries provide gifts for the residents at Youth Without Shelter in north Etobicoke.  All these are collected during the White Gift program leading up to the first Sunday of Advent.  For more information about our Christmas Ministry please contact the church office at 416-239-1131 ext. 221 or email office@islingtonunited.org
 

Wells in Zambia

Islington United’s LivingWater campaign was a multi-faceted, three-year fundraising program for the church’s spiritual engagement initiatives, church repairs and renovations, and our mission partners.  To date, Islington United has financed the drilling of three boreholes (wells) in Zambia through the auspices of our Mission & Service partner, People’s Action Forum. Clean, safe drinking water is now available to the community school and villagers of Namateba, the primary school and people in Chipo, and the residents of Hamulema village. The wells have contributed to improved hygiene and sanitation for everyone, have made it easier for young girls to attend school every day, and saved hours and kilometres of walking to carry water.  We now await news of more wells soon to be drilled in Zambia.  For more information about the LivingWater Wells in Zambia program, please contact Carole Bennett at carolebennett@sympatico.ca
 

Mission and Service

The God of mission has a church in the world and in the United Church that means that God’s mission is carried out within a community of faith and its neighbourhood and farther afield.  Islington United’s annual commitment to Mission & Service means we can be the hands and feet of Jesus in places we cannot go as individuals or even as a congregation. Our mission partners use every precious dollar to make a difference in people’s lives whether they live in a refugee camp in northwestern Kenya, or are homeless on the streets of St. John’s, Newfoundland, or need a hand-up in Toronto’s Jane Finch community. To learn more about Mission & Service and the work of our partners across Canada and around the world contact Carole Bennett at carolebennett@sympatico.ca


Islington United has a long history of support for Mission & Service. You may donate through our secure, online site by visiting the CanadaHelps page and selecting “Mission and Service (M&S) Fund” from the Fund pop-up menu. Please give generously in grateful thanks for all God has given you. Know that your gift will be greeted with profound thanks by the people who are served through Mission & Service:  God’s Mission – Our Gifts.
 

Out of the Cold Program

Toronto’s cold winter nights can be a serious challenge to our homeless.  A team of Islington United volunteers faithfully purchase the ingredients, prepare a hot supper and bagged lunch, and serve the homeless guests of the Out of the Cold program at All Saints – Kingsway Anglican Church on two Fridays every winter between November and April.  For more information about the Out of the Cold program, please contact the church office at 416-239-1131 ext. 221 or email office@islingtonunited.org
 

Refugee Support

Since 1979, Islington United’s Refugee Support Ministry has provided planning, fundraising, advocacy and hands-on support to help families from countries around the world to find a new life in Canada.  During this time, 100 people from across the globe have been brought to Canada and successfully integrated into our community.  To learn more about the challenging and rewarding work of Islington’s Refugee Support Ministry please contact our Church Office at 416-239-1131 Ext. 221 or by email at office@islingtonunited.org.
 

Right Relations Circle

Since the release of the 2015 Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) report, the descendants of Canadian settlers and recent newcomers have been challenged to change Canada’s relationship with our Indigenous peoples.  The TRC’s 94 Calls to Action touch many aspects of Canadian life, pointing the way to a transformed relationship whether it involves church, school, business, or community.

Islington United Church has embarked on a journey to learn more about Canada’s dark history and explore ways to embrace the reconciliation that the TRC advocates.  We engage in learning sessions, dialogue, and field trips; advocate for change with petitions and letter writing; and offer a meaningful worship service for the Indigenous Day of Prayer. For more information, please contact the Church Office at 416-239-1131 ext. 221 or
office@islingtonunited.org.



 

 


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