OUTREACH MINISTRY: Support Beyond Our Doors

Barrhaven United’s Outreach Ministry endeavours to carry out the first part of our church’s Mission Statement: "Following Jesus Christ, our mission is to offer compassion and love to those in need, ..." and to "do justice, and to love kindness and to walk humbly with your God." (Micah 6:8, RSV)

We see our Outreach Ministry as the hands that reach out beyond the doors of our church to support those trying to cope with life’s challenges and to make a contribution to the development of effective solutions to those challenges.

Our Outreach Ministry comprises a small team of dedicated BUC members, our youth, our UCW, Vacation Bible School and everyone else in the congregation – we are all called to do this work, in whatever way we are able. All are welcome to join us!

Current Outreach Activities Include:

Mission and Service (M & S) Fund

The M & S Fund is the main source of funds for all work of the United Church of Canada. M & S supports global mission and service; community and justice work in Canada; UCC theological education and ministry support; faith formation in UCC ministries for children, youth, Aboriginal peoples, French, intercultural and diverse ministries; local UCC ministries and leadership of the 13 UCC Conferences. Individual congregations financially support this important fund with annual contributions.

Food Security

The Barrhaven Food Cupboard was one of the key Outreach activities of our church for many years. Started in members' homes in the early 1980's, it is currently housed in the church basement. In the mid 2000's, we reached out to make the Food Cupboard a truly Barrhaven community effort. In May 2012, the first community Board of Directors was elected. The Board has just obtained the federal government's charitable status designation.

We also support the Canadian Foodgrains Bank through special Outreach offerings.

Right Relations with Aboriginal Peoples

Inspired by the United Church’s support for the Truth and Reconciliation Commission and focus on developing right relations with Aboriginal peoples, the Outreach team is on a journey of learning about the history of contact in Canada between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal peoples, its impacts, and how to build new relationships. We try to attend as many local events as we can and to support ecumenical networking endeavours, such as the new Ottawa Right Relations Network. Activities include the annual Kairos Canada Covenant Chain Link event, which focuses on building bridges of understanding between Aboriginal and Non-Aboriginal peoples through respectful relationships and education; the Truth and Reconciliation Commission event in Montreal in April 2013 and in Edmonton in March 2014; and gatherings in support of First Nations children’s rights organised by the First Nations Child and Family Caring Society. Our special Outreach offerings have supported several Aboriginal organizations, including the First Nations Child and Family Caring Society, Minwaashin Lodge, and Tungasuvvungat Inuit.

In spring 2014, we also supported our youth who joined a group from across Ottawa on an amazing cultural exchange to Haida Gwaii, British Columbia, organized by Ottawa Presbytery of the United Church of Canada.

Housing and Poverty

Barrhaven Non-profit Housing Inc, which built and manages the Steepleview Crossing housing units on our land, beside the church, is another of our early Outreach activities. Steepleview includes barrier-free units, units for lower income families and individuals, and others for those with environmental sensitivities.

BUC is a founding member of Ottawa’s Multi-faith Housing Initiative (MHI), which owns and manages 45 units of affordable housing. In addition to supporting MHI through special Outreach offerings, several church members are active volunteers with day-to-day MHI activities, including tenant relations and painting apartments.

Our special Outreach offerings also support housing-related organizations, such as Nelson House (a shelter for women and children fleeing abuse) and Bruce House (residential support for people living with HIV/AIDS).

Our church’s “white gifts” during Advent, special offerings, and volunteers support three local ministries to socially and economically disadvantaged families and individuals: Centre 507 downtown, the Carlington Community Chaplaincy off Merivale Road, and the Ottawa West End Community Chaplaincy in the Pinecrest area.

Lastly, the members of the congregation have shared their time and serving skills at Parkale United’s In from the Cold Saturday dinners.

Other

We promote the "specialness" of our Earth home with annual Earth Day walks in the woods. Our special Outreach offerings have supported Tucker House, a local environmental educational organization. For a number of years, the Sunday School has supported a foster child through Plan Canada. Our church provides space and volunteers for several Blood Donor Clinics a year. Our special Outreach offerings support Hospice Care Ottawa, which provides palliative and end-of-life care.

Contact :: Outreach