Category Archives: Social Justice and Action

Advent Unwrapped – Love






Welcome to Advent Unwrapped 2016!

Christmas is the season of giving! This year our local partner organization, The Shelbourne Community Kitchen, has been selected to receive our Advent Gifts of food and money. We can all help by donating items of healthy food every Sunday in Advent. Please put your donations in the big red shopping cart in the Narthex and you will find festive envelopes in the pews for gifts of money.

During Advent we will unwrap the themes of Hope, Peace, Joy, and Love. We will discover a new perspective through the eyes of the participants at the S

helbourne Community Kitchen. The “Kitchen” is a Local Mission project of St. Aidan’s, where, in partnership with other churches and associations in the immediate neighbourhood, we work to provide a resource for low-income families and individuals to increase their food security.  See more at


Christian love is not about warm feelings and personal preferences; it is about understanding and cherishing the interrelations that connect us all. Love is welcoming a stranger and accepting an old friend for who they really are. Love is looking out for our neighbours as we would look out for ourselves.

The Shelbourne Community Kitchen brings love to program participants.

In the words of a couple of Shelbourne Community Kitchen participants:

  • “Aside from feeding the physical body with nutritious and natural foods, the emotional part of me is always feeling supported. I look forward each time to stop by, even after not needing the services right now. Thank you for all you do! Please! Continue to fund this program. It was vital to me while getting back on my feet.”
  • “Warm, welcoming and inclusive environment.

Event – March 29, 2016













February 14, 2016

10 am Worship Theme: Spirituality and the Paris Climate Agreement with guest speaker ELIZABETH MAY, MP

11:30 am Workshop and Q&A with Elizabeth May

Eating and sharing together at the Welcome Table – make your own lunch at the sandwich station!

February 21, 2016

10 am Worship Theme: Introduction to Pope Francis’ Encyclical “On the Care of Our Common Home”

11:30 am DVD Showing – A Sea Change, Imagine a World Without Fish

Sea Change follows the journey of retired history teacher Sven Huseby on his quest to discover what is happening to the worlds oceans.

Eating and sharing at the Welcome Table

February 28: no event due to St. Aidan’s AGM 

March 6, 2016

10 am.Worship Theme – Earth, Air, Water, Fire and Climate Change

11:30 am DVD Showing – Taking Root: The Vision of Wangari Maathai

The dramatic story of Kenyan Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Wangari Maathai whose simple act of planting trees grew into a nationwide movement to safeguard the environment, protect human rights, and defend democracy

Eating and sharing together at the Welcome Table

March 13, 2016

10 am Worship Theme –  A Spiritual Imperative: Caring for our Common Home

11:30 am DVD Showing – This Changes Everything

Inspired by Naomi Klein’s international non-fiction bestseller This Changes Everything, the film presents seven powerful portraits of communities on the front lines, from Montana’s Powder River Basin to the Alberta Tar Sands, from the coast of South India to Beijing and beyond. Interwoven with these stories of struggle is Klein’s narration, connecting the carbon in the air with the economic system that put it there.

Eating and sharing together at the Welcome Table

Advent Givings of Love

Today, we light the candle of Love.

Love is in the air in our neighbourhood. Big things are happening in a small kitchen in a rented house on Shelbourne Street. The small, three bedroom house has become a hub for cooking meals, growing food and developing relationships in a safe and welcoming environment. This ”little house that could” is the Shelbourne Community Kitchen at 3541 Shelbourne.

Community Kitchen Christmas

Many people who live on a low-income experience isolation and loneliness. The Shelbourne Community Kitchen, in partnership with St. Aidan’s United Church, St. Luke’s Anglican Church, The Lutheran Church of the Cross, Mt. Tolmie Community Association and Camosun Community Association, has opened up a space in our neighbourhood where Love can grow. It is best said in the words of Athena, a participant in the kitchen and garden programs. Athena says, “What I get here is something I don’t get anywhere else; love, respect and friendship. I’m learning ‘how to cook it’, ‘how to grow it’ and how to keep myself healthy on a small income.”

We can continue to make a difference in the lives of Athena and the other participants with our donations. We can donate healthy food, money and most importantly our talents and volunteer time. Volunteers play a vital role in every aspect of the Shelbourne Community Kitchen and there are a number of ways to get involved. We currently need volunteers who can help with cooking, occasional day-care, gardening, administration, and minor house maintenance.

Please see our website for more information and sign up on-line for our monthly newsletter!

Advent Givings of Joy

Christmas is the season of giving! This year our local partner organization, the Shelbourne Community Kitchen, has been selected to receive our Advent Gifts of Hope, Peace, Joy and Love. Today, as we light the Advent candle of Joy, let us think of the joy that the cooking and gardening programs bring to the many participants at the Shelbourne Community Kitchen.

People who participate in Shelbourne Community Kitchen programs:

  • Work in small groups to learn to cook meals together, eat together and clean up together
  • Work in small groups to learn to grow and harvest food together in two neighbourhood vegetable gardens
  • Learn about accessing community resources, including community chaplaincy
  • Access an emergency food pantry

We have HOPE that people in our neighbourhood will have enough to eat, will find PEACE and safety in small community groups and feel JOY in creating their own food security through learning to cook and grow vegetables.

We can all help by donating items of food each Sunday in Advent. Donations of money towards food vouchers are also welcome.   Items currently needed are:

  • Pasta Sauce
  • Brown Rice and Cereal
  • Canned meat, fish and vegetables
  • Canned lentil, chick peas and mixed beans
  • Peanut butter
  • Salad greens and cucumbers

For information on the Shelbourne Community Kitchen see

Advent Givings of Peace

St. Aidan’s and our partner, the Shelbourne Community Kitchen, are dedicated to creating a sense of community for those neighbours who are living in poverty by providing access to nutritious, affordable food and programming in a safe and welcoming place. The Shelbourne Community Kitchen Pantry provides healthy, nutritious food and a small monthly food voucher from Fairway to provide for individual food needs. We can all help by donating items of food each Sunday in Advent. There is a big red grocery cart in the Narthex where you can put your food donations. Donations of money are also welcome. The money will be used to provide a little more generous food voucher in January when things are particularly difficult.

The items currently of most need at the Community Kitchen are:

• Pasta Sauce
• Brown Rice and Cereal
• Canned Meat, fish and vegetables
• Canned lentils, chick peas and mixed beans
• Coffee
• Peanut Butter
• Cucumbers and salad greens

For more information see

Did You Know? Out of the Rain

Once a month, the Social Justice Team at St. Aidan’s, led by Doreen Lovely, prepares a simple meal of soup, vegetables and baking for Out of the Rain youth.

Out of the Rain is a coalition of community agencies, faith- based organizations, businesses, and individual volunteers who work together to provide the physical space, professional support and food for the operation of the shelter. The shelter rotates among host sites in the community in an effort to maximize community resources to meet the needs of homeless youth.

Read Up On: Refugees

Refugees are in the news and on our minds. The library has some resources in books, magazines and DVDs. Here are a few of them.

At the border called hope: where refugees are neighbours, by Leddy. Her experiences working with refugees at Romero House in Toronto, plus a look at what they face dealing with Canada’s immigration … before CSIS. SOCIAL ISSUES Led

The Other face of God [DVD]: when the stranger calls us home (Epiphany Explorations), by Leddy. By telling us individual stories of refugees from places like Guatemala and Somalia, Leddy shows us that acts of kindness – both received and returned – are a perfect way to help us all learn the meaning of compassion in a world full of conflict.

They poured fire on us from the sky, by Deng. Three boys flee the horrific violence of Sudan’s civil war and become known as some of the Lost Boys. OTHER LANDS Den

God grew tired of us [DVD]. The story of the Lost Boys trying to rebuild their lives in a new land. DVD ANF God

The good lie [DVD]. The story of three boys and one girl, who spent 13 years in a refugee camp and were then sponsored to relocate in the US. DVD Goo PG13

Syria’s good guys, inside a forgotten revolution. New Internationalist Magazine, Special feature issue. Sept 2015

The crossing: my journey to the shattered heart of Syria, by Yazbik. Highly recommended by New Internationalist as the best book on Syria after the uprising against Assad. OTHER LANDS Yaz.