Outreach

Current Outreach:

Fruit Sunday: Members of our community are invited to bring fruit to Sunday Service the first Sunday of each  month The fruit is blessed at our Service and is delivered to Our Place Society’s Nutrition Bar on Monday morning.  Community members, from time to time, also help out in the Soup Kitchen or Nutrition Bar.

Meditation Circle: The focus of our weekly Meditation Circle is on service to humanity and the planet. Through the sharing of our collective conscious energies in meditating together and setting intentions we radiate outwards love, peace, and other positive attributes to the world. Donations to Oneness Wednesday (from March to August) will go to support Pierre Morais, a long term attendee of the Church of Truth, Community of Conscious Living in his journey to Prague to be a Keynote Speaker at the World Conference on Addition to share about the Fentanyl Crisis here in BC. For more info: http://cotvictoria.ca/oneness/

Recent Donations: $100 each month to Our Place, $300 to Cedar’s Recovery House, $400 for 16 Smile Cards to James Bay Project for Christmas Hamper Program re: Single Parents and/or Seniors.

Upcoming hosting of workshop at the Church of Truth:  Pachamama Alliance with Chris Bullock and Michael Tacon. Details: TBA and Pending

 

Outreach over time….

With Marie Logan’s help I was reminded of some of our really early activities involving the community.  We donated on a rotating basis to such groups as Aids Vancouver Island, the Victim Offender Reconciliation Program and the Bent Nail, which grew into Restore, and the Open Door and Upper Room which became Our Place.  We had a very strong Pastoral Care program in the early days which lasted several years and continued in later years with one of our Ministers and Board member, Joan Hopper, providing it for the community.  As far as our own community was concerned back then, Marie kept in touch with absent or sick members and often reported her findings in a portion of the newsletter she wrote called Marie’s Musings.

Beginning in 1987 we also had a very active Children’s Church under the leadership of Leanne Shillington for quite a few years.  Many families attended church during that time.

Donations of time and money have gone to the James Bay Community Project or the School fairly frequently.  Linda and Paul worked at planting and maintaining gardens for the Project and for many Christmases, gifts have gone to Seniors Baskets and/or Single Moms.  A long time ago some of us helped paint fences at the parking lot of the Project.  We have also given to the Munch Cart program at the school.

At least one Christmas we also collected personal hygiene items for Anawim House.  Internationally, we supported an orphanage in Haiti under a project called Embracing the World.  One summer a group of us worked one day at Woodwyn Farms helping to build an elaborate labrynth.

Over the years the church has offered its space free to the community for various events.  Many years ago there was a regular community kitchen here for people from the James Bay Community Project and we also donated money towards their groceries.  Various ongoing evening groups were offered to the public, such as World Religions and Silent Servers, a precursor to meditation evenings now on Wednesdays.  There were also wonderful music programs arranged on Sunday afternoons.  An example of another ongoing event offered here in 2009 was called “Our Authors Inspire Writers to be Authors”.

For many years individual members have helped out at the Soup Kitchen or the Nutrition Bar at Our Place.  As you know we have a monthly Fruit Sunday to collect fruit for the Nutrition Bar.  One year a group from the church volunteered to serve breakfast very early in the morning and the cost of the breakfast was donated by the Board.  Various tours of Our Place were offered to us because of our ongoing monthly donations.  One of our members donated pizza so some of us could participate in a pizza movie night with members of the Our Place family, where we were so warmly welcomed.

Back in 2007 for several days our church was home to the Maitreya Project’s Heart Shrine Relics Tour.  You wouldn’t believe how this place was transformed and how magical it appeared with gold colours everywhere.  What Linda wrote about it in on our website was “The public was invited to view a precious collection of sacred relics of the Buddha and many other Buddhist masters, which was touring the world.  Many people reported they found their experiences with the relics at our church to be very moving and inspiring.”  As I remember people were also offered a blessing from a Buddha during certain hours.  The tour was in aid of building two magnificent statues of Maitreya Buddha in India and the teachings were/are based on Loving Kindness.  It was quite an honour to be able to host this and volunteer here.  Linda may be able to give you more background if you’re interested as she was involved in bringing the tour here.

Oneness Wednesdays have been operating at our church for over seven years now and the premise is that everyone is welcome and that any donations received are shared between the church and outreach programs.  Recipients of these donations cover a broad range.  They have been, in no particular order, James Bay Community Project Food Garden, Garden Restoration and Kitchen Herb Garden; Kappasseni Project and White Lions Foundation, both in Africa; the Power of Hope; Our Place; Cridge Centre for the Family; Results Canada; Transition Victoria; Labryinths of Greater Victoria; Spring Ridge Commons; Victoria Society for Children with Autism; the Maitreya Project; Red Cross; First Nations Lunch/Snack Program and the Stephen Lewis Foundation.

In 2015 some members of our Talking Circle volunteered for a couple of days at the 89th Annual BC Elders Gathering where we were fortunate to meet many Elders and First Nations volunteers.

The Men’s Circle has also carried out fund-raising projects in support of girls’ human rights and also the Victoria Native Friendship Centre.

And finally, we’ve held many Clothing Exchanges over the years, although not recently, and there are always many items left over which are sorted and taken to the James Bay Community Closet, Women in Need, St. Vincent de Paul, Our Place, Eric Martin Hospital and the Mustard Seed.

In summary, it appears the Church has played an important and large role not only in our own community but also in reaching out to the larger community.

Lorna Rennie
Feb. 19, 2017