Since 2011, the diocesan care + share program has been helping to fund a wide variety of ministries in our diocese. The ministries supported by care + share are selected from existing ministries in the diocese and are supported for a two-year period to help them to expand and strengthen their work. Since care + share is entirely funded by donations from individuals and parishes, the supported ministries don’t receive set “funding” — instead they receive whatever voluntary contributions are given. The diocese
supports care + share by paying all overhead for fundraising and administration from the diocesan budget, so that 100% of all donations to care + share go to the ministries being supported.
Every two years Synod selects and affirms the recipients of the care + share donations for the next two-year cycle. The 2019 Synod held May 24 and 25 passed a resolution confirming that the Urban Aboriginal Ministry (UAM) be the recipient of the care + share donations for January 1, 2020 to December 31, 2021. This resolution passed with an overwhelming majority.
UAM had its beginnings a few years ago when Vivian Seegers began helping fellow First Nation’s people who she knew were in need. In 2013, this informal ministry was formalized by the formation of the Urban Aboriginal Ministry. The now, Rev. Vivian Seegers, has been joined by volunteers both clergy and laity from her parish of St. Mary Magdalene and from other parishes around the diocese to expand the reach of the ministry. UAM reaches out to First Nations people from across Canada who are living here in Vancouver. These individuals sometimes find themselves in desperate situations and need support and help. The distance between their hometowns and villages and Vancouver causes a disconnect from community and culture and they need a space where they can feel connected and supported. UAM aims to provide a space to meet the mental, physical, emotional and spiritual needs of each individual through a variety of means. These include events throughout the year that help people reconnect with their cultural heritage and native spirituality. UAM also provides practical assistance such as directing people to resources and assisting them to obtain needs like detox facilities, social services, housing and medical assistance as well as occasional “hands-on” help with basic life events like moving into housing, or providing transportation to medical appointments etc.
The need is great, and UAM was chosen as the sole beneficiary of care + share for this 2020 – 2021 cycle to help UAM expand to meet the needs of more of our First Nations brothers and sisters. Towards that end the Mission and Ministry Development team of the diocese under the oversight of the Rev. Tellison Glover and Archbishop Skelton are launching a “mini-campaign” during the season of Advent 2019 to encourage the members of our diocese to support the care + share program. Although UAM will be the recipients during the next two year funding cycle it is important to note that robust participation for care+share now will contribute to a pattern of generosity that will enable future ministries to develop and flourish through care+share.
Advent is a very busy time of year — especially for clergy — so, we hope each parish will identify one person in the parish to act as a short-term “ambassador” to help tell the story and encourage the members of their parish to be generous.
More information about opportunities to participate in the care+share “mini-campaign” will be circulated throughout the fall through diocesan and parish communications. To help get the care+share message out to our community and beyond, documentary filmmaker, Cliff Caprani of All Saints’, Ladner and diocesan Communications Officer, Randy Murray are preparing a film that celebrates the history of care+share and the ministries that have been supported, and also provides a look at the ministry of the newest care+share recipient Urban Aboriginal Ministry. EDITOR