[The St. James’ Street Outreach Initiative has benefited greatly from this program.]
care + share has been helping to fund a wide variety of ministries in our diocese since 2011. The ministries are supported for a two-year period to help them to expand and strengthen their work. Every two years Synod selects and affirms from one to three recipients of the care + share donations for the next two-year cycle. At our 2019 Synod, a resolution was passed with an overwhelming majority to confirm the Urban Aboriginal Ministry (UAM) as the recipient of the care + share donations for January 1, 2020 to December 31, 2021.
UAM had its beginnings a few years ago when Vivian Seegers began helping fellow First Nation’s people who she knew were in need. In 2013, this informal ministry was formalized by the formation of the Urban Aboriginal Ministry. The now, Rev. Vivian Seegers, has been joined by volunteers both clergy and laity from her parish of St. Mary Magdalene and from other parishes around the diocese to expand the reach of the ministry. UAM reaches out to First Nations people from across Canada who are living here in Vancouver. These individuals sometimes find themselves in desperate situations and need support and help. The distance between their hometowns and villages and Vancouver causes a disconnect from community and culture and they need a space where they can feel connected and supported. UAM aims to provide a space to meet the mental, physical, emotional and spiritual needs of each individual through a variety of means. These include events throughout the year that help people reconnect with their cultural heritage and native spirituality. UAM also provides practical assistance such as directing people to resources and assisting them to obtain needs like detox facilities, social services, housing and medical assistance as well as occasional “hands-on” help with basic life events like moving into housing, or providing transportation to medical appointments etc.
The need is great, and UAM was chosen as the sole beneficiary of care + share for this 2020 – 2021 cycle to help UAM expand to meet the needs of more of our First Nations brothers and sisters. Towards that end the Mission and Ministry Development team of the diocese are launching a “mini-campaign” during the season of Advent 2019 to encourage the members of our diocese to support the care + share program. Although UAM will be the recipient during the next two-year funding cycle we hope that your participation now will contribute to a pattern of generosity that will enable future ministries from around the diocese to also flourish through care+share.
care + share is entirely funded by donations from individuals and parishes, so the supported ministries don’t receive a set amount — instead they receive whatever voluntary contributions are given by you. The diocese supports care + share by paying all overhead for fundraising and administration from the diocesan budget, so that 100% of all donations to care + share go to the ministries being supported.
To help tell the care + share story our diocesan communications team have produced a video. The longer version is available here with this news post and a shorter version highlighting UAM is available here on the care+share homepage. Support for care + share is an important part of our joint ministry as a diocese and we hope you will all take the time to watch the video, and that it will help you to prayerfully consider your financial support for this vital program.
On October 31, a letter signed by Archbishop Skelton and Reverend Seegers was circulated to the clergy and lay leaders of every parish in our diocese asking that they support and promote the care+share Advent 2019 Campaign. The email with the letter also contained a link to the short version of the promotional video.
As we enter Advent in a few weeks and make ourselves ready to celebrate the gift of the coming of the Christ Child into our needy world, we invite you to include an ongoing gift to care+share as a part of your financial stewardship.
To GIVE by credit card please click this link which goes to the GIVE – Diocesan Programs in this website’s header click the dropdown box and select care+share
To GIVE by PAD or cheque please contact Rachel Taylor