Throughout the Bible we hear a message that we need to care for those on the margins of society and struggle for a just society that provides the necessities of life to all. We have stated that "the way our society treats the poor and oppressed is, for us, a test of God's redeeming presence and of human justice, and that therefore, the poor must have priority… over the wants of the rich."
The United Church responds to this need by calling for effective social programs, full employment, adequate incomes, fair taxation, and affordable housing for all. Our integrated focus on poverty, wealth, and ecological justice addresses how these social and economic concerns are interconnected with environmental ones.
Information and Action
- Child Poverty
Children are not an isolated group and poverty is not an isolated issue. Child poverty needs to be addressed through a comprehensive approach that supports the whole family.
- Housing Charter
At its General Council in August 2000, the United Church endorsed a Housing Charter and Housing Resolution to express our alarm and concern about the housing crisis in Canada.
- Canadian Poverty Reduction
The leaders of Canadian churches have been calling on the Canadian government to implement poverty reduction strategies.
Related Partners and Programs
The United Church works in partnership with organizations in Canada and around the world to address poverty, including the following:
- ACT Alliance (Action by Churches Together)
ACT is a global alliance of churches and related organizations working together to eradicate poverty, injustice, and the abuse of human rights in diverse ways, including emergency response work.
- ASTHA Sansthan (India)
ASTHA Sansthan works with the impoverished, women, and the marginalized as they strengthen their voices and create social change.
- Canada without Poverty
Canada without Poverty has worked for over 35 years to end poverty through raising awareness and working to change public policy.
- Make Poverty History
Make Poverty History is a coalition mobilizing Canadians to end poverty in Canada and globally through education and action.
- South African Council of Churches (South Africa)
The council works for equitable land reform and the eradication of poverty through advocacy for a people's budget that prioritizes the needs of the poor.
United Church communities work on issues of poverty and affordable housing through a variety of initiatives at the local and regional level. Here follow a few examples from several conferences:
- Community Ministries
The United Church of Canada works through a wide variety of community ministries across Canada, some of which are featured on the Connecting United Church Ministries page.
Wesley Urban Ministries is one of the United Church's largest and most diverse community ministries, providing shelter, food, knowledge, and skills to the most marginalized people in Hamilton.
The Children and Youth at Risk project is examining the child welfare system in order to help develop national standards.
Two inner-city ministries—Regina Anti-Poverty Ministry and River Bend Inner City Ministry—have advocated with the provincial government to raise the minimum wage, ensure affordable housing, and address other poverty-related issues.
- Manitoba and Northwestern Ontario
A joint project between United and Anglican churches, St. Matthew's Maryland Community Ministry has programs in North Winnipeg that meet basic needs, facilitate personal transformation, and act for social change.
For more information on initiatives in your local area, please contact your local Conference office.
Background, Resources, and Links
For more information, contact: