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.
Other Collections of Items: Especially during the Christmas Season, members of our community are invited to donate gifts of warm clothing items (Socks, in particular are constantly needed at this time of year. With the homeless being on their feet all day, socks are imperative for staying clean and healthy while living in the streets) and toiletry items for the inner city family at Our Place Society or non-perishable food for Mustard Seed Food Bank. In the past, we also have provided gifts or donations for Single Moms who attend the Super Single Mom’s Group at the James Bay Community Project and for Senior Baskets. We have a Clothing Exchange (generally once a year) and the clothes left over are donated to Our Place, James Bay Community Project, WIN, St. Vincent de Paul, Eric Martin Clothing Box For Out-Patients & Mustard Seed. Items remaining from our twice a year Garage Sales are often donated to the James Bay Thrift Shop and Mustard Seed Food Bank.
Oneness Wednesdays: In community partnership with a rich diversity of Victoria’s spiritual groups & individuals, the Church of Truth, Community of Conscious Living invites people of all faiths and beliefs to come together and experience the inherent Oneness of Humanity. Each Wednesday evening is honoured as a peaceful time for reflection or meditation in order to nurture the self and the whole of our global village. The sessions are free or by donation. Oneness Wednesday started in January 2008 with a varied offering of topics and facilitators [Listing-of-Oneness-Wednesdays. Individuals (Groups) we have partnered with include: Dr. Carol Douglas, Blair Little (SEQL), Brian Martin, Norm Smookler, Margo McLoughlin, June Swadron, Bhavananda and Raku Pope, Loni Bowers (Beyond War Canada), Christopher Bowers (Conversation Works), Moneca Gabriel, Esther Hart, Joy Emmanuel, Rev. Cedona Holly, Bob Winkenhower & D Joan Thomas, Nouk Sanchez and Tomas Viera (Take Me to the Truth), Yves Vial, Nancy Watters, Misha Gitberg, Michael Tacon (Well Foundation / Pachamama Alliance), Susan Neden (Victoria Vipassana Community), Beth Cruise (Canada Earth Institute), Betsy Nuse, Nathaniel Poole (Results Canada), Susan Blackwood, Gary Gaudet, Melanie and Pietro Abela ( The Arc Institute), Cheryalee Hutchison and Deb Morse, Ann Moffatt and Zsuzsa Harsman, Roland Guenther and Sanjara Omoniyi (www.sacred-relations.com and www.natures-mystery.com ), Don Morris, Paul Monfette, Renee Lindstrom, Judi Morin, Laurel Collins, Michele Favarge (BC Network for Compassionate Communication), Gertie Jocksch (Earth Literacies), Bill Wilson, D. Joan Thomas.
Half of the donations received at Oneness Wednesdays go toward Community Outreach. Early in 2009, the Church of Truth, Community of Conscious Living evenly distributed Oneness Wednesday Outreach donations to six organizations: Our Place Society: Mental Health Retreat, The Maitreya Project: Education, Stephen Lewis Foundation: Grandmothers to Grandmothers Campaign, Victoria Branch, Results Canada Education Fund: Micro-credit, The Kapasseni Project, and The Cridge Centre for the Family: Supportive Housing. [Details]. In 2010, donations from Oneness Wednesdays have been given to Embracing the World, Supporting Haitian Orphanage (see details below) James Bay Community Project: Food Garden Project and to Transition Victoria, In 2011, donations for Oneness Wednesdays have been given to Victoria Society from Children with Autism, Spring Ridge Commons, James Bay Community Project Food Garden Project, and The White Lions Foundation (Africa).
The Mystic Spiral: Beginning in 2010, the Church of Truth, Community of Conscious Living offered to the Victoria Community by donation mid-afternoon opportunity of fun group activity. On the 3rd Sunday of each month (excluding April due to our community’s AGM), we were either chanting, dancing, toning or singing and/or moving in the service of raising the vibration of universal consciousness. No experience was needed, just an open heart and adventurous spirit.
Movie Night: From time to time on a Friday evening, we will have Movie Night which is open to everyone by donation. To date, the following films have been shown: The Shift by Wayne Dyer and Amal.
Other Offerings: Our church community is very fortunate to have talented members who generously offer their skills and abilities. From time to time, The Church of Truth, Community of Conscious Living offers at cost or by donation workshops / events open to the our members and the general public Past workshops included: Mask-Making, Art Therapy and JAPA.
Compassion In Action Circle: Formed in 2010 for the purpose of serving others. This is a wonderful opportunity to express our compassion by taking heart-felt action. We met once a month on the last Sunday of each month in the Quiet Room and welcomed others to join us. Our initiatives included Fruit Sunday on the 1st Sunday of each month – We collect fruit (hand-held fruit, i.e. bananas are particularly appreciated) at Sunday Service for delivery the next day to Our Place Society’s Nutrition Bar.
Letter Writing Campaigns: One of our effective outreach efforts involves letter writing campaigns. Every now and then a political/social issue emerges that we feel requires our direct involvement.
For example: Reach Out and Write in Support of Queenswood
Elected representatives pay great attention to handwritten letters, and it can have an enormous impact if ten or twenty arrive on the right desk. We have written letters supporting environmental legislation and decrying funding cutbacks to marginalised people. In all our campaigns the desired effect has been achieved.
Regular Donations: Each month, the Church of Truth, Community of Conscious Living gives a $100 cheque to Our Place Society.
Special Donations Made in 2010:
In 2010, the Church of Truth, Community of Conscious Living made the following contributions:
- Munch Cart Program, a morning snack program at the James Bay Community School. [Details]
- Embracing the World, Supporting Haitian Orphanage, a project to establish an orphanage in Haiti by a renowned spiritual and humanitarian leader, Sri Mata Amritanandamayi Devi (Amma). [Details]
- THAW – Transform Homelessness Advocacy Watch Bringing all conflicting interests together peacefully to enjoy a picnic, music, food and conversation. Their goal was “to bring unity back into community”. They want to break through hostility and suspicion, recognizing that we are all fellow citizens and share space in a beautiful but crowded city. [Details]
Special Events We Have Hosted:
In the Summer of 2009, a Writer’s Group was formed at the Church of Truth, Community of Conscious Living and they decided to coordinate three free community-wide events “ Our Authors Inspire Writers to be Authors “ in the fall to celebrate authors, writing and publishing. [Details]
In August 2007, our community hosted the Maitreya Project’s Heart Shrine Relics Tour . This was a wonderful opportunity to view a precious collection of sacred relics of the Buddha and many other Buddhist masters which are currently touring the world. Many people reported that they found their experience with the relics at our Church to be very moving and inspiring. For a recap on the Heart Shrine Relic Tour in Victoria, please click [here]. For additional information on the Maitreya Project and the Heart Shrine Relics Tour, please visit: www.maitreyaproject.org