Thirty-eight people from 19 different groups including 15 religious communities attended the most recent JPIC Ontario Networking Meeting November 21-22, 2018 at the Providence Spirituality Centre in Kingston. Jennifer Henry, the Executive Director of Kairos, gave a theological/activist reflection on how to choose priorities in this time of limited capacity and great needs. She outlined a framework for thinking about our advocacy commitments. Jennifer presented a new way of expressing solidarity, a paradigm change: not as collaborators (to be the voice of the voiceless) but as allies (making room for the voice of the voiceless, turning up the volume of marginalized voices). At the end of the first day, participants shared their reflections on some questions in light of their awareness of “the signs of the times,” and their ministry priorities. They also discussed about ways of improving communication between the Ontario JPIC Network and the CRC leadership.
The second day started with a panel on how to do justice work in the context of religious communities. Speakers shared their experience with organizational transformation of justice work, looking at issues of ecological justice, poverty and homelessness, and First Nations reconciliation and peace.
- Marion Sheridan, from the Sisters of St. Martha of Antigonish (Nova Scotia), and Amy Brierley, a lay staff person, spoke about restructuring their Social Justice work and how they deal with systemic change.
- Parish priest and Oblate Father Richard Beaudette OMI shared about a project growing out of the CRC Workshop content. He talked about his involvement with indigenous people to respond to the Truth and Reconciliation process in Canada.
- Sister Pauline Lally from the Sisters of Providence presented on how they began a new project using the example of Peace Quest. Founded a century after the First World War, Peace Quest is a catalyst and forum to engage Canadians in discussing important questions of peace and war.
- Paul Baines shared his experiences as the Blue Community Coordinator, hired by the Federation of the Sisters of St. Joseph to research the sacredness of water, water resources and the necessity of protecting it in Canada and abroad as a sacred gift and human right.
In the afternoon, there was more space for participants to connect with others at the workshop who are working on similar issues and themes. People left the workshop inspired to keep moving forward, with some new tools and methods.
Some photos of the meeting