Mission and Outreach Team
The purpose of this Leadership Team is to increase the congregation’s awareness of social, environmental and justice issues - local, provincial, national and international, and take appropriate action when possible.
· To increase awareness of social, environmental & justice issues.
· To recommend individual and/or congregational action on these issues.
· To promote the Mission and Service Fund within the congregation.
· To seek ways of co-operation with social agencies to meet the needs in our community.
· To develop a liaison with other churches and the broader community in Nanaimo, around joint outreach possibilities and programs.
To reach out with love and justice to the wider local community and to the world is a core value at Brechin United Church. The Mission & Outreach Leadership Team meets regularly to assess social justice issues and how we, as a community of faith can best respond. Three areas of opportunity are facilitated: information, education, and action.
The M&O team has assisted in bringing to life the Affirming Ministry Action Plan. The team continues to support and encourage the "Reaching Out" group (LGBTQ+ & Allies), and Brechin's participation in the annual Pride Parade.
Another primary focus is "connecting with First Nations in Nanaimo and district to explore together recommendations of the Truth & Reconciliation Commission and our living them out as a community of faith". Since the fall of 2018, our team has been planning and implementing Reconciliation workshops facilitated by Kathi Camilleri of Campbell River on V.I. Kathi is Indigenous and has been providing very helpful, relevant Reconciliation workshops for over 20 years. During the workshops, there was always emotional support (from FN Elders) for any who were in need of this. Often this included very helpful ceremonial cedar “brushing” during and after the workshops. There are 2 workshops in a series: Building Bridges followed by Paddling Together: both are powerful and informative. For 2018-2019 we partnered with Tillicum Lelum Aboriginal Friendship Centre to offer these workshops. 2020 onward, we are no longer partnering with Tillicum Lelum as Tillicum Lelum unfortunately, no longer has time to share in these events. (We were all very happy working together on these important events.) As of March 2020, these in-person workshops have been cancelled & postponed until after the Covid crisis is safely over.
In addition, the M&O team generates awareness of the ministries supported by the United Church's Mission & Service Fund with the regular Minute for Mission: in the past, these have been read out regularly (3x per month) at Sunday services. With our not meeting in person due to Covid, we are selecting a monthly UC of Canada Mission & Service video starting the 3rd Sunday in September, 2020.
The team also coordinates awareness and opportunity to support local outreach initiatives such as the Island Crisis Centre, Haven House, Loaves & Fishes, and other community service groups as need is identified. Globally, the team provides information on the United Church's Emergency Relief Fund and other appeals for support and/or active response by offering information and invitations to participate in social justice campaigns, climate change issues/concerns or petitions, etc. For more information, contact the church office (250-754-9212) and you will be directed to the chair of the M&O Leadership Team.