Church launches social justice campaign

A Prince George church is hoping to raise awareness of social justice with a virtual campaign this week.

Our Saviour's Lutheran Church is hosting 6 Days for Social Justice, an online forum for all residents of Prince George, running from Jan. 25 through Jan. 30.

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"At a time when hate, intolerance and dehumanizing attitudes are creeping into the mainstream, we need to remember connections, caring and respect, especially for the marginalized, keeps us civil," Kathie Scouten, an organizer of the event, said.

The focus is on issues surrounding the community of LGBTQ2SIA+ (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, Two Spirit, Intersex, Asexual).

"We're having to be creative as a church about how we keep our community going and we've been particularly engaged in social justice work and we 're looking to become the first affirming congregation in Prince George of the LGBTQ community," Scouten said. "So this activity really came together as we were thinking of ways we could engage the broader community in social justice issues that a lot of people are concerned about."

With the intention of reaching out to the entire Prince George community, an online event was ideal during the pandemic.

"We're hoping what we've planned will bring connection around social justice issues that are real and present here in Prince George," Scouten said. 

The first way to reach out and raise awareness includes accessing a free kit that includes origami paper, a meditational booklet, tea lights and a sticker.

"We invite anyone to drop by Our Saviour's Lutheran Church (3590 Dufferin Ave.) to pick up a kit," Scouten said. "Contents of these kits are themed around six social justice issues and each one of those is matched to a rainbow colour. We're kind of bookending these social justice issues LGTBQ, plus affirming spaces and then on Saturday the themed social justice issue is around the transgender community." 

People can also create their own kits with tea lights and paper - six colours is ideal. The digital booklet available at https://www.craft.do/s/rHKyLt3oMwxFLo.

The second part of the event is a musical meditation known as Taiza that will happen from 7:15 p.m. for 15 minutes each evening from Monday to Saturday on Facebook Live.

"People can join in for that activity as well," Scouten said.

For each day of the event, there is a suggested action people can take to help raise awareness and that information can be found in the digital booklet, she added. 

"We need to remember for all these marginalized groups Prince George is there home as well," Scouten said. "We need to come together and raise awareness and be sure that we're embracing everyone as part of our community and sometimes, especially over the past several months have been really tough, I think, as we look out into the wider world as some of these issues are creeping into our communities and we need to stand up and say it's not okay."

Register at https://www.oursaviourslutheran.ca/.

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