We love this statement from the United Church of Canada:
"Following the example of Jesus, we believe that we strengthen one another to work through God's grace, for a better world."
In the Justice Peace and Social Action group, we are guided by McKillop's values of welcoming, nurturing, affirming, diversity, social justice, and spirituality. We see in Jesus' words and examples that the pursuit of social justice is an important path in living the faith we share.
What We Do
The United Church of Canada, McKillop, and JPSA have worked for three decades in support of the LGBTQ community in the continuing quest for justice and equality. McKillop took the step of formally becoming an Affirming Congregation in 2010. The United Church has also been deeply committed to the Truth and Reconciliation process with Indigenous Peoples in no small part because of the Church's involvement with Residential Schools. JPSA has taken an active role in both McKillop and the wider community with our involvement with KAIROS, The Blanket Exercise, Living into Right Relations, and other activities.
JPSA organizes events and activities which focus on social justice themes as our congregation and local community wrestle with various challenges. We invite our fellow congregation members and the general public to join us in our own exploration, learning, and understanding.
We took action in response to First Nations cry from the heart that "without Truth there can be no Reconciliation". Recently, our speakers have included academics such as Dr. James Daschuk, author of "Clearing the Plains", and Dr. Linda Many Guns, creator of a presentation on the symbolism, architecture, and design of Blackfoot Crossing Historic Park.
We were honoured when Director of the Sik-Ooh-Kotoki Friendship Centre, Travis Plaited Hair, led a discussion following our showing of two NFB films about his father, the Blackfoot Elder, Pete Standing Alone.
With legislation in the works for Medical Assistance in Dying (MAiD), we brought together an expert panel to explore end-of-life issues. Another evening, our focus was on living our faith 24/7 with speakers including a United Church minister, a Lutheran pastor, a Muslim, and a member of a Roman Catholic parish. Our documentary film series has focused on social justice topics such as the opioid crisis, child poverty, homelessness, misogyny, and the environment. JPSA was involved with addressing issues of child poverty through the Child Well-Being Initiative sponsored by the United Church Women in Alberta and NWT.
Community outreach is important to us. Our activities are varied as we have partnered with other local churches to sponsor and support a multi-generation Syrian refugee family, participated in the start up of Environment Lethbridge, organized a day-trip to Blackfoot Crossing, and visited the Blackfoot Family Lodge Society to view the art exhibit "The Blackfoot Story".
We know that, as individuals, we are moved to learn and grow through a variety of types of experiences.
We meet one evening a month and enjoy snacks and fellowship before we start our meeting. When an event is coming up, we see way more of each other as we plan, organize, attend, host, clean up, and have fun doing it all.