From Vision to Action:

a social justice journey

Voices for a Just Society

“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world.

Indeed it is the only thing that ever has.”

Margaret Mead

First Steps

  • —Shared our challenges and hopes for social justice.
  • Explored the potential for common ground.
  • Agreed we needed a vision and focus for our work.
  • Agreed it is important to have a few people in the congregation who are committed.
  • Agreed to be partners.
  • Realized that we need persistence and patience!

Our Hopes for Voices

TO BRING A LARGER VOICE

  • By educating each other; sharing the work we are doing; becoming more vocal; and developing the capacities of our own churches to have a larger voice.

GETTING OUR CONGREGATIONS INVOLVED

  • Work towards a ‘transformation of the heart’.
  • Help others realize that we need both charity and social justice to truly live out our faith.

Our Broad Priorities

  • Poverty reduction
  • Housing
  • Income Support

Our Vision

A growing community of faith-based groups in north Toronto working together for a just society by:

  • Strengthening and supporting relationships within our community
  • Learning and sharing to increase our knowledge of issues
  • Speaking with one voice
  • Acting together to address injustice

December 2010

Some of our Accomplishments

  • —Prepared information sheets on poverty, housing, support for disabled Ontarians, prison reform and income issues for the 2011 provincial election.
  • —Made multi-denominational team visits to MPPs.
  • —Developed position briefs on Drummond, SAR and Bill 32.
  • —Becoming known within our congregations as an important group for social justice.
  • —Speaking as individuals but with one voice.

Education

Some highlights:

  • —Life after Prison – John Howard Society
  • —Making a Difference – tips from Murray McAdam
  • —Food Security and Poverty
  • —Ontario Disability Support Program

Some Challenges

  • —Encouraging Voices members to actively participate in the ongoing work of the group.
  • Keeping our morale up and our frustration down during the very long and hard slogging that is systemic change.
  • —Encouraging more congregations to join with us.

The Value of Voices

  • —We are a unique collection of individuals passionate about righting the wrongs of society.
  • —We share the load and speak as one voice on issues that concern us.
  • —We are of value to our congregations, bringing them other perspectives and well-researched information on issues.
  • —Many of us have developed friendships with other like-minded people, an added joy that this work brings.

It is all good and worth keeping.

Just because we plant the seeds we cannot assume that the harvest is also our task. It may be the responsibility of others. But we can plant the seeds!