JUSTICE AND PEACE ACTIVITIES AT THE CHURCH OF OUR SAVIOUR
Despite huge challenges this past pastoral year, the COS Justice and Peace group continued its dedication to looking for ways to be of service and support to our parish, the volunteer community as well as our primary outreach program, the Hand in Hand Refugee Project.
Because of the many restrictions this past year due to COVID, our events had to be adapted in ways that were safely compatible with governmental health guidelines. While having to abandon our larger gatherings like the Soul Kitchen, which were regular evenings where volunteers and refugees prepare and share multi-cultural dinners together, we found other creative possibilities to continue hosting events that connected, served, and brought joy to many people.
Some highlights this past year with the help of our volunteers included a joyful Sinterklaas afternoon with gifts for refugee children in the church, Participation in the UN Commemoration Day for Human Rights, the COS Key Connection, a concert for refugees in the church by an Afghan singer and Iranian flutist which created a peaceful ambiance for those in attendance.
The Praat Café continued in modified form, linking volunteers and refugees meeting informally in small groups to improve conversational language skills while having fun together, as well as the Buddy Project which gives support, friendship, and connection during challenges of social distancing.
The main coordination team of the Justice and Peace group (Dianne, Anthony, and Saki) will be meeting in October to discuss and brainstorm new initiatives for the coming year. We hope that past initiatives can safely resume – such as the Soul Kitchen dinners and bus trips.
The Justice and Peace group is looking for new coordinators to manage project initiatives: namely, for Amnesty International and Green initiatives.
The next Justice and Peace meeting will be on 26 October, and new participants are welcome to join to learn more about our upcoming initiatives.
For more information: Dianne Luping (Justice and Peace coordination) firstname.lastname@example.org
Anthony Heinsbroek (Refugee project coordination) email@example.com
Saki Lee (Refugee project volunteer coordinator) firstname.lastname@example.org