We are called into bold discipleship that leads to daring justice!

People walking together with light bulbs symbolizing ideas
Credit: iStock/Rudzhan Nagiev

We seek God’s vision for the world where human dignity is defended, creation is mended, and gifts are shared for the good of all.

In and with God,
   we can direct our lives toward right relationship

with each other and with God.
We can discover our place as one strand in the web of life.
We can grow in wisdom and compassion.
We can recognize all people as kin.
We can accept our mortality and finitude, not as a curse,
but as a challenge to make our lives and choices matter.

—Song of Faith

What We Believe

Government officials, elected and non-elected, have responsibilities to listen and engage with their communities to ensure that government decisions have the community’s best interests at the forefront. Unfortunately, the loudest voices can often represent corporate interests—rather than those who most need justice and equity.

When people of faith build relationships with elected officials and structures, we can collaboratively create a vision of Canadian society

  • that honours diversity, opposes hate and xenophobia, and is open to people fleeing persecution;
  • that leads a movement of healing and protecting places and people being negatively affected by climate change, in our own communities and around the world;
  • that leads with integrity in the international community—Canada’s global relationships must demonstrate an unwavering commitment to human rights, dignity, and international law;
  • that individually and collectively lives out in action the belief that all human beings are created in the image of God, equal, and infinitely precious.

What You Can Do

Work with political leaders to uphold the values listed above in political discourse, legislation, and practice, by calling on our governments and those around the world to act decisively.

  • Individually, you can write your elected officials regarding issues important to you and your community (letter-writing guidelines are provided in the downloads, below).
  • Visit the Act Now section of the United Church’s website for timely opportunities to take action.
  • Educate yourself on what the United Church of Canada says about a variety of justice issues:
    • Read current information about long-term justice initiatives of the United Church.
    • Visit the United Church Commons, a Public Document Library accessible to anyone. The Commons is a central place for the United Church’s official documents and files, including current and historically significant social policies.
  • Find at least two others and meet with your elected official (guidelines on how to secure a meeting can be found in the downloads, below).
  • Collaborate with other communities of faith to host All Candidates meetings during any election (a guide to planning meetings can be found in the downloads, below).
  • Create and share relevant questions for people in your community to ask candidates (an example of creating faith-based questions can be found in the downloads, below)

Background

In a democracy, public witness and political engagement enable us to influence the way we live and ensure a common sharing of resources for all. The ways of doing this work are often characterized in the following three ways:

  • Prophetic: Much public witness draws on the biblical prophetic tradition of speaking truth about the state of society/world and calling for change and transformation to promote life and peace. Isaiah, Micah, Ezekiel, Amos, and Jesus are examples for us.
  • Political: This word comes from the Greek root polis, which refers to the building up of life, health, and sustainability of the city, our communities, and all within them.
  • Partisan: Refers to taking sides with a particular person, party, or cause. As a church, we seek to work with those who are negatively affected by government policies, but remain non-partisan regarding the democratic government of our country. As a registered charity regulated by Canada Revenue Agency, the United Church must remain non-partisan. (Details on how to be non-partisan can be found in the Political Activity Guidelines in the downloads, below.) Nationally, regionally, and locally, the church advocates and comments on particular policies based on our principles but does not advocate for or comment on particular political parties.

Resources

  • Advocacy Toolkit, Citizens for Public Justice: CPJ’s Advocacy Toolkit is designed to help you engage in and influence the legislative process. This guide provides tools for people with various levels of ability and offers guidance beyond what you will find here. It takes you deeper into different methods of advocacy, when to use each, and how to voice concerns most effectively.
  • Engaging with Elected Officials, KAIROS Canada: Some additional wisdom on what to consider in writing your letter, sample agendas, and note taking templates for meeting with an elected official.

Want to know more? Want to tell us what has worked for you? E-mail 

justice@united-church.ca

 

Downloads

Attachment Size Type
Organize an All-Candidates Meeting 163.53 KB PDF
Political Activity Guidelines 473.65 KB PDF
Writing for Action Guidelines 257.22 KB PDF
Meeting Effectively with Elected Officials 164.78 KB Word
Sample Candidate Questions 41.17 KB Word