At the Heart of Justice

A space for ongoing conversation on justice issues. Also provides links for taking action and engaging deeper through the work of our church networks, ministries, and our partners.

Learn more about our Social Actions

Last updated: 
April 7, 2017

In the dark hours before sunrise, United Church minister Rev. Al drives through downtown Victoria greeting the city’s street community. He welcomes them with hot coffee, breakfast, and other necessities. The morning run lets Rev. Al and his team at the Dandelion Society plan their response to individual needs.

Doreen Kot and the folks at Parkdale United Church, are engaged in partnerships that effectively work to reduce poverty. One way...

Last updated: 
March 10, 2017

The gospel calls us to seek health and wholeness for all God’s people. In 2014 the church signed the Canadian Health Coalition (CHC) statement, Secure the Future of Medicare: A Call to Care, stating that health care in Canada is a fundamental right. We continue to support for Canada’s single-tier, publicly-funded, universal health care system.

A National Drug Plan...

Last updated: 
January 27, 2017

My name is Rachel Hearn and I was a camp counsellor at Welcome Friend’s Rainbow Camp for LGBTQ and Allied Youth ages 12-17 from 2013-2015. To say the least, it was a life-altering experience.

My studies in the Sexual Diversity Studies program at University of Toronto introduced me to Queer Theory which critiques all things oppressively normal. It resists the powerful institutions and social forces that try to fit us into a tiny box called “normal’...

Last updated: 
January 12, 2017

I am a racist – a recovering racist. My workplace has helped me open my heart and mind to how racism shaped me. As editor of the At the Heart of Justice blog, I was pleased to uplift the theme of racial justice. What I came to understand was that my pleasure reflected my White privilege — I could choose to focus on this issue.

Over the years I’ve worked with racialized staff. Our working relationships were sometimes difficult because of different perspectives and cultural norms. But I also came to recognize my racism — the belief that my way, or...

Last updated: 
December 6, 2016

Canada became my home at the age of five. I entered the Canadian education system as a kindergarten student. Although I felt some racial tension throughout elementary school, it was not until I reached high school that racism became bluntly obvious. Upon my acceptance into high school I was immediately placed into general level courses. This meant that I would be prepared to go to college but not university. This practice is called “tracking.” 

“Tracking” (sometimes called ‘streaming’) is a process of designating students for separate educational paths based on their academic...

Last updated: 
November 23, 2016

We stood in the hallway of a retreat centre and listened to our instructions. The animator would read us a question. If our answer was yes, we were to take a step forward. If our answer was no, we were to stay where we were.

The animator told us to move forward if this statement was true for us. “When I learn about our Canadian heritage or about ‘civilization’, I am shown that people of my colour made it what it is.”  I stepped forward.

She read: “I can do well in a challenging position without being called ‘a credit to my race’.”  I winced and stepped forward.

We...

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November 18, 2016

That our United Church of Canada is undergoing change goes without saying. As generational and demographic experiences of church have shifted, the church has been exploring many matters which centre on diversity and inclusivity.

Last updated: 
February 16, 2017

What does home mean to you?  Does it include a source of clean water? Perhaps a patch of grass or access to parkland?  Does it include safety and security – it will be there day after day to help keep you safe and secure from the elements? Does it mean connection to larger community or neighbourhood? Does it include a source of livelihood?  As people of faith we have affirmed that we live with respect IN creation, that “we cherish and respect the diversity of life and celebrate the beauty of the Earth. For us as members of one family, love and caring are the basis of our relationships with...

Last updated: 
November 2, 2016

These are my blessings: seven adopted First Nations children that have chosen me as their mom. Our family has included many children, including White, Asian, transgender, Two Spirit, and more. As a family we choose to celebrate our differences and learn from each other. Sadly, we have seen many who do not share our beliefs that everyone deserves to be treated with dignity and respect.

I have learned much from my diverse family. From my birth children who chose to share...

Last updated: 
October 26, 2016

He was beautiful to me. We exchanged knowing glances and I thought “he could be my son.” Then a subway authority officer stopped him, the twinkle left his eye, and my heart sank.  

I observed from a distance. I watched the youth slowly deflate as the subway authority reciprocally buffed up (clutching his club). I watched the boy carefully and respectfully go through all the steps we teach young black boys to get home safe...