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Social Justice Group

Living our Commitment 

We highly recommend a book called ‘Unsettling the Settler Within’ by Paulette Regan, who has taught at the University of Victoria and is currently the Director of Research for the Truth and Reconciliation Commission. We think this book will help us all get ready for the final national TRC event planned for Vancouver in the fall of 2013 and it addresses the question of how to build relationships based on trust. Click here to read the first two chapters of the book.

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The pursuit of justice within our parish and throughout the world is the crux of our concern because the God of the Bible cares about the earth in all its munificence and the people in all their diversity. We interest ourselves in the systems that shape communities and our lives together. God cares about justice and so must the church.

What we Do

Click here to read about the introduction of Fair Trade coffee, tea, and sugar at St. James'.

We meet the first Tuesday of each month after the 6 pm Mass for a potluck dinner followed by a meeting in the Bishops’ Room. Everyone is welcome.

We support the Street Outreach Initiative of St. James' by organizing volunteers to greet and be present with “street involved” people at every Sunday coffee hour. We continue to recruit volunteers for this ministry and we provide training for those who are interested.

We cooperate and join in with other doings for social good in our neighbourhood—like those of the Carnegie Centre Action Group, DERA, and the DTES Women’s Centre, St. Paul’s Catholic Church, and First United Mission. We stay in contact with the Pivot Legal Society which represents the legal interests of the Sidewalk People. Some of us also belong to Streams of Justice which meets weekly at the Grandview Calvary Baptist Church. Most of us are supporters of the Council of Canadians. We see the importance of cooperation in our pursuits of justice through effective community organizing and we are working with other likeminded organizations in founding Metro Vancouver Alliance, a broad-base community alliance for social change.

We send out letters over matters of concern like the Tar Sands, Canada’s participation in the occupation of Afghanistan. We write position papers. We write position papers and our name appears with hundreds of others who support the Poverty Reduction Plan of the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives. Poverty is deep in the Downtown Eastside of this fabulously wealthy city. We ask why this is so and join the many others who work for solutions. Child poverty is at a shameful number. The minimum wage is the lowest in Canada.

We take seriously that faith is not primarily about belief, but about “beloving God.” The pursuit of justice is in doing that. We attempt to hold the tension between corrosive cynicism and irrelevant idealism. We live in the tragic gap between reality, the world as it is, and what we know is possible. 

In June 2008, the Streams of Justice group came to St. James' to perform their play, Trouble in Paradise, which was about homelessness in Vancouver. The play was followed by a forum in which many parishioners contributed suggestions for our mission objectives.

Click here for interesting information about addictions.