Social Justice

Social Justice and Outreach

Click here for a history of social action over our church’s 126-year history.

Poverty

On the first Sunday of each month, the congregation collects used clothing and household items that are taken to the New Horizon Thrift Store in James Street North. New Horizons provides accessible and affordable shopping and an opportunity for people to gain work skills and develop relationships. New Horizons is a project of the nearby Welcome Inn Community Centre and profits from the store support the other outreach work of Welcome Inn.

On the second Sunday of each month, the congregation collects food donations for the Neighbour to Neighbour Centre on Athens Street on the Mountain. The church also delivers a box of produce from Plan B Organic Farms to Neighbour to Neighbour each week. The centre provides a range of services for one of the poorest areas of the Mountain, including a food bank.

Fair Trade

On the third Sunday of each month, after the church service, members of our fair trade task force sell fair trade coffee, cocoa, hot chocolate and other products that ensure a fair price and other benefits to the people who grow these crops. Read our brochure on why fair trade is needed. Contact person is Peter Wickett.

Special Projects

The congregation holds periodic special collections or events to support two other projects:

Food4Kids is a Hamilton and Halton charity that provides packages of healthy food for children 5 to 14 who have limited or no access to food each weekend. The food is placed in the backpacks of identified children to avoid any stigma about hunger or receiving help.

Project Harvest is a Canadian charity that empowers rural women in Guatemala to grow vegetables and raise small animals to provide food for their families year round.

Welcoming Congregation

In 1998, we unanimously voted to become a congregation that welcomes and supports gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender persons.  Click here for more information.

Environment

In 2003, our congregation became one of the first Unitarian Universalist Green Sanctuaries in North America. The Green Sanctuary program recognizes congregations that have completed a range of activities that raise environmental awareness, make their buildings more sustainable and engage in environmental outreach projects. In 2013, the congregation installed solar panels on its sanctuary roof. The same year, we were co-winner of Hamilton’s Green Sacred Spaces award, awarded to faith communities that demonstrate a commitment to the care of the environment. In 2014, the congregation was invited to make a presentation at the Canadian Unitarian Council annual conference and meeting on the many steps we have been taken to upgrade our building to use less energy and water and reduce our impact on the environment.

Blooms for Africa

Many members of the congregation either work actively with, or support, Blooms for Africa. Blooms for Africa is part of the Grandmothers to Grandmothers Campaign of the Stephen Lewis Foundation, created to respond to the HIV/AIDS crisis in Africa. Blooms was formed by a group of Hamilton and Burlington women in 2007 and holds its meetings at the church. It organizes garden tours and other events to raise awareness and money for the foundation, which in turn supports grandmothers and orphans in Africa.