The Mission & Social Action Committee of Charleswood United Church is tasked with demonstrating our faith in our local community and beyond. Our role is to raise awareness of the needs and injustices in the world and to help church members understand and address them in a caring and supportive way.
Your participation in this rewarding and fulfilling ministry is always welcome. We share our time and talent to support:
Click on the box to reveal more information about each ministry.
This organization represents four ministries that are supported by the United Church in Winnipeg. These are Oak Table, Northend Stella, St. Matthews Maryland and West Broadway Community Services. Each United Church in Winnipeg focuses on one or two of these ministries; ours are St. Matthew’s Maryland and Oak Table. http://1justcity.ca/
This outreach ministry serves families and individuals in Winnipeg’s West End. Programs include a drop–in centre, food bank, referrals for health care, education, housing and social assistance, an Artist’s Circle, family events, community clean-ups, community gardens, Nutrition Bingo, and a new program to help people learn skills that would enable them to enter the work force.The congregation supports this Ministry by providing sandwiches and coffee once a month for their drop–in program, supplying ingredients and volunteers for their Nutrition Bingo, a game that encourages healthy eating; contributing refreshments, toys and volunteers for their Christmas Open House, and helping with an event called “Soup and Stories”.
The committee also manages the “Pantry Box” by the front door of our church which is a place for church members to deposit non perishable food and Canadian Tire money at their convenience. These donations are distributed to St. Matthew’s Maryland on a regular basis.
How You Can Help:
- Volunteer to prepare a loaf of sandwiches for St. Matthew’s–Maryland Drop–in Centre.
- Watch for announcements at church and on this website requesting support for specific projects.
- Donate food items and Canadian Tire money to the Pantry Box.
- Deliver food items to the attended recipients as required.
This outreach ministry located at Augustine United Church serves those in the Osborne community with mental health, addictions and housing concerns. From Monday to Thursday they serve lunch, offer pastoral care and counseling, and provide access to computers, phones, newspapers, and information about community services. On Wednesdays they offer art classes and during holidays they host several special events for the community.
This local chapter of Project Ploughshares works for peace from a faith perspective, while working to create a peaceful society by motivating and educating members and the community.Their events include an annual Sing for Peace concert at Crescent Fort Rouge church around Remembrance Day, an annual Toy Store Inspection, where they try to encourage purchasing non-violent toys for Christmas, and the annual Eco-Friendly Dinner.
They support education through the Peace Banner project, a Peace Resource for teachers, and a Remembrance Day resource that can be used in the schools. They also produce a quarterly newsletter called Peace Projections.
This Community Nutrition Centre offers a hot breakfast to the low income and homeless people in downtown Winnipeg. Located at 364 Furby St., they offer a subsidized breakfast, a low cost grocery program and Agape Table for Kids offers market quality produce to families in need as well as education for those families.
As a First Nations Theological Centre, this school prepares spiritual leaders for ministry and provides cross cultural education for the larger community. They offer continuing educational programs, facilitate retreats, and programs that reflect First Nations culture.
This organization works with Winnipeg inner city individuals who are in need and unable to function due to alcoholism, chemical dependency, abuse, or homelessness. The project assists those individuals through crisis periods and helps them make the best possible use of rehabilitation and support services that exist in Winnipeg.
Our church collects men’s socks and underwear in the Sox Box and delivers them to the Main Street Project. In the fall of 2012 nine huge bags of new socks and men’s underwear were donated to Main Street Project by our congregation.
HOW YOU CAN HELP
- Deposit gently used or new underwear or socks in the bin at the north end of the Narthex
This Manitoba Housing development in the Charleswood community offers a clothing depot, parenting programs, crafts, seasonal events and a community kitchen. Our church has provided help to the community in many ways over the years.
This organization works in the affected areas of Africa and Asia diagnosing, treating, rehabilitating and teaching people to live with the effects of leprosy. Stamps are collected in the “Stamp Jar” at the back of the sanctuary to sell for proceeds that are sent to the Leprosy Mission.
HOW YOU CAN HELP
Save all your postage stamps, postcards and old envelopes (circa 1950 or earlier) with the stamp intact; include the cancellation where possible. Deposit in the Stamp Box.
Under the direction of the Christmas Hamper Committee, Charleswood United Church supplies, packs and delivers food and toys to needy families whose names are provided by the Christmas Cheer Board. Our dedicated knitters provide hundreds of toques, mittens, scarves and sweaters to include in these hampers.
HOW YOU CAN HELP
- Donate Christmas hamper items
- Pack and deliver Christmas hampers
- Pick up wool at the church office or supply your own, to knit mitts, hats for the Christmas Hampers.
- Donate wool for the use of our knitters
The Rummage Sale in the spring is one of our largest projects. Because the whole church helps with set-up, selling and donating articles, it is an excellent fund raiser. It is also a great way to get to know people in the congregation. Any unsold articles are welcomed at other charities and ministries in Winnipeg.
HOW YOU CAN HELP
- Start a box or bag to collect your gently used items
- Watch for announcements as to dates of upcoming events
- Tell your friends about the upcoming sale
- Offer your gift of time during the set-up & clean-up
- Volunteer at the rummage sale
In the fall, we have an annual Clothing Drive during which winter clothing, boots, backpacks, mittens & toques are collected and distributed to various Winnipeg agencies.
How You Can Help:
- Start a box or bag to collect your gently used clean clothing
- Watch for announcements as to dates of upcoming clothing drives
- Sort, pack and deliver clothing
2020 marks the 21st anniversary of the CREST program, made up of 3 Charleswood churches sponsoring refugee families to Winnipeg – Gloria Dei Lutheran, Charleswood United and Charleswood Mennonite. The acronym CREST stands for Charleswood Refugee Ecumenical Sponsorship Team.
Each participating church puts between $3,000-$5,000 into the CREST treasury each year, along with individual donations and fund raisers like our annual Pancake breakfast. These funds build up the necessary reserves to sponsor a family for one year, estimated at $15,000-$20,000, depending upon the family size.
Helping the refugees with housing, providing furnishings and clothing, applying for government programs such as SIN, Manitoba Health and Child Tax Credit, getting them into ESL classes and dealing with rent, utilities, home maintenance, etc. is shared among CREST members. Often people from our congregations are recruited to befriend the refugees, take them to appointments, etc. Ongoing support may be needed for up to 5 years.
We were relatively inactive in 2019. We have agreed to sponsor a family of eight Yazidi refugees, coordinated with Operation Ezra, who have arranged sponsorship of several Yazidi families over the past several years. We expect the family sometime in 2020.
We are developing a relationship with the small Yazidi community. Land was provided for growing produce, with some of the finished product being sold at market gardens at CUC in the fall. Thanks to Michael Wilson and Bo Wohlers for their leadership.
In February, we welcomed Seida Idris to Canada from Ethiopia. She is the wife of Mehamedsalih who had been waiting for her for 3 years. In December they had a baby, Ahmed. We have been helping this family with new housing and with baby things. Seida has very little facility in English so communication is mostly with signs and smiles. She attended some English classes before the baby came.
Financial support for the Syrian Alalou family ended in early 2017. Sabri, the father, has had challenges with employment due to mediocre English, while Kafa, the mother, looks after their two young children.
Two of our Christmas hampers went to these families along with knitted items and a financial donation.
The Soto Payares family arrived in 2013 and some of us were invited to attend their Canadian citizenship ceremony in spring 2019 – a proud moment for the family!
We have been blessed by the many contributions from members of our congregations – many thanks for your ongoing support. Furnishings, clothing, and financial donations are always welcome, although space constraints remain a consideration. CREST has a bank account but cannot issue charitable receipts so please make cheques payable to Charleswood United Church marked CREST donation, and a tax receipt can be provided.
The benefits that CREST offers to refugees coming to Canada are obvious. The benefits in getting to work with church members from other denominations are a valuable side benefit as well. Please join with us as we joyfully follow Christ’s mandate to be our brother’s keeper.
Donations to this worthy fund supports ministry and charitable services across Canada and around the globe. The Mission & Service Fund is the only fund in which members and friends of the United Church pool their givings. Charleswood United Church members are faithful contributors to this fund making it possible for the national church to be more effective in its ministry.
Some other organizations which are supported on an occasional basis are:
Rossbrook House www.rossbrookhouse.ca/
Willow Place www.willowplaceshelter.ca/
Winnipeg Harvest www.winnipegharvest.org/
Lighthouse Mission www.lighthousemission.ca/
Siloam Mission www.siloam.ca/
Habitat for Humanity www.habitat.mb.ca/
Knowles Centre www.knowlescentre.org/
South Winnipeg Family Information Centre www.swfic.org/
RAY | Resource Assistance for Youth www.rayinc.ca/
West Central Women’s Resource Centre http://wcwrc.ca/