What do we mean by "Social Justice"?

Social justice refers to a fair and equitable division of resources, opportunities, and privileges in society. As Christians we emphasize the intrinsic value or worth of the individual. Gender inequality, racism, LGBTQ+ discrimination, and more broadly the social and economic inequities attributed to colonialism and environmentally unsustainable development, are frequent subjects of social justice advocacy.  In our parish we are attempting to address some of these issues through programs of outreach, awareness and action as follows.

Outreach

An “Outreach” Committee – formerly the “Missions and Outreach” – continues with ongoing activities, some right here on Salt Spring, and others nationally and internationally.  The Outreach Committee seeks to engage through increasing awareness and participation by parish members and others expressing the love of Jesus to our local community and beyond through:

  • monthly announcements to inform our congregation of actions and impact of the Primate’s World Relief and Development Fund (PWRDF) of the Anglican Church in Canada - click here - and other missions and outreach organizations,
  • special presentations to the congregation and our wider community minimally bi-annually, and
  • exploring media presentations of our work to engender interest/participation from others.

In the past and ongoing we have engaged in local initiatives such as:

  • strategically offering SMILE cards to homeless and others in need on Salt Spring,
  • contributing to the establishment of the Salt Spring laundry and shower facilities,
  • reaching our local homeless folk through sharing with other churches in delivering a community meal program, and
  • engaging with others in our community to provide resources to address mental illness issues, etc.

We continue to raise and provide financial assistance for national and international crises such as flood and drought relief, earthquake disasters, potable water supplies to first nations communities, etc. through the PWRDF of the Anglican Church in Canada, and through other specific programs where we know funds will be well-used and managed.

We seek to be positively visible in our Salt Spring Island community as caring activists expressing God’s love wherever there is social inequity.

If you would like to engage with the other like-minded members of the parish in outreach, please contact the committee chair Lynda Turner, Rev Gyllian or the church office.

Reconciliation with First Nations

We approach the subject of reconciliation with First Nations through humility, recognizing our limited knowledge and understanding.  We therefore seek first to increase our understandings of the lives of indigenous peoples as we wish to build a relationship based on mutual respect:

  • To educate ourselves about the history and cultures of first nations and colonization.
  • To educate ourselves and act on the recommendations of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of the Government of Canada and by supporting the processes initiated by the Anglican Church of Canada and other faith communities.
  • To begin to build relationships with local indigenous peoples rght here on and near Salt Spring Island.
  • To explore the spiritual dimensions of our respective communities.

If you would like to engage more directly with us in this journey, contact Ruth Seltner and/or Rev Gyllian, and take a look at the resources available through the Anglican Diocese of BC - click here and here

Faith and Climate Action

To start addressing this issue as a parish we carried out a virtual discussion group in 2022 with a number of parishioners on how we as Christians – and as a parish and individuals right here on Salt Spring Island – might respond to the “climate crisis”.  What in fact does our faith offer us?  Is our faith even relevant?  What does our faith ask of us?

We agreed that we must continue:

  • To educate ourselves on our individual and corporate response to climate change, climate justice, and sustainable living,
  • To learn how we can mitigate and adapt to a changing climate right here on Salt Spring Island,
  • To take actions relevant to our Salt Spring Island community such as: water conservation, reduce plastics, reducing our consumption of meat, etc.,
  • To collaborate in actions with other faith communities, and
  • To support and collaborate with existing local action groups, e.g. Transition Salt Spring, etc.

Through this we hope to increase our awareness of our responsibility as people of faith in addressing climate change, climate justice, and sustainable living on Salt Spring Island, and as individuals, do what we can to responsibly implement adaptation and mitigation measures within our home and our community.

Our reading list of faith and climate resources can be downloaded here.  The Anglican Church of Canada’s approach to climate action with links to related resources can be found - click here.

If you wish to engage with us in our parish in this subject area, please contact John Metzger or the church office.