Our Mission Statement
As disciples of Jesus Christ, we celebrate God's presence through worship, seeking justice, and serving our community with compassion.
Our Vision Statement
Making a difference by supporting our members, connecting with our community, and serving our world.
Ebenezer is involved in a wide range of Justice and Outreach programs. Here are brief descriptions of the ones we currently support.
We are excited about the activities that are planned for this year. Check which ones you want to add to your calendar.
Do you have difficulty staying informed about current social issues? Here are some recent articles or comments that may be of interest.
Ebenezer is fortunate to have many partners sharing our desire to improve the world and our local community. Here is information about the organizations that are our partners.
Do you have an idea or comment about Justice and Outreach issues? Here are the members of ourTeam who look forward to your suggestions. Please feel free to contact them any time.
Got a question? Maybe it has been asked already. Check this section for answers to frequently asked questions about Justice and Outreach.
Blue Door is the largest emergency housing provider in York Region. Since November 2020, and through the months of November to May, Ebenezer United Church has hosted the Blue Door Out of the Cold program three nights a week in the church. Guests of Out of the Cold may have a catered evening meal, a safe and warm place to sleep, breakfast and a bagged lunch. Blue Door administers all aspects of the program, and the service remained open throughout the time of COVID 19 safety precautions, strictly observing Public Health guidelines and protocols.
The Coldest Night of the Year is an annual walk that is held across Canada to raise money for local charities serving people who are experiencing hurt, hunger and homelessness. In February of 2022, the enthusiastic team of Ebenezer Rocks participated in this event, and raised over $5000.
The Markham Stouffville Crisis Pregnancy Centre (MSCPC) is a charitable organization serving over 100 families in the southern area of York Region and is dedicated to offering loving, factual and practical support and services to all individuals involved in crisis pregnancy, post-abortion or single parenting situations. Ebenezer provides baby supplies, formula, clothes and supplies for the mothers as well financial contributions.
Camp Scugog offers an outdoor camping experience for children, youth and mothers. Scugog's safe, fun and diverse community is specifically designed to address the needs of those affected by poverty and other barriers. Ebenezer provides financial support for campers and Leaders-in-traning as well as contributions of clothing, blankets, craft supplies, games and other camp supplies.
Ebenezer collects non-perishable food items and financial donations for Agincourt Community Services Food Bank and the Markham Food Bank.
Ebenezer supports several refugee families through financial donations as well as support as they adapt to their new country.
Many members of Ebenezer contribute books, CDs, DVDs and video cassettes to our lending library. These are available to anyone to enjoy, share and borrow from the library.
Should Food Be a Human Right?
Food insecurity is largely about the struggle to afford food. Insufficient social assistance, increases in the number of low-wage, part-time, or contract jobs, and a lack of affordable housing have created financial constraints that make it more and more difficult to eat. Proof, a food-insecurity research group at the University of Toronto, breaks down the problem a few ways. Worrying that you’ll run out of provisions before you manage to buy more is “marginally food insecure.” According to Proof’s analysis of the most recent nationwide data from Statistics Canada, about 580,000 households fell into that category in 2012. If you compromise on the quality or quantity of your portions, you’re “moderately food insecure.” That category includes 786,100 households. Another 336,700 are severely food insecure—that means they skip meals or spend days without eating. All this adds up to 1.7 million households, which translates to nearly 4 million Canadians. That’s a conservative estimate, because some provinces and territories can, and have, opted out of more recent StatsCan surveys. The surveys also miss the most at risk: incarcerated people, remote rural residents, people living on-reserve, the homeless.
STATSCAN Report on Poverty
The number of Canadians living below the poverty line has never been lower, new numbers from Statistics Canada suggest. The data agency released its Canadian Income Survey for 2017 on Tuesday, a tally of how Canadians from different demographic groups were doing that year compared to how they were doing in previous years. Overall, the median income, after taxes, for Canadian families rose by 3.3 per cent to $59,800. That figure comes on the heels of two years of flat growth.
While fewer Canadians overall are now living below what the government deems to be below the poverty line, not all demographic groups are moving up at the same speed. The number of children living below it has fallen precipitously in recent years. In 2017, 622,000 children — nine per cent of all children — were living below the poverty line. In 2016, the figure was 755,000 children, or 11 per cent of all of them. In 2015, it was 900,000. The proportion peaked in 2012 when 15 per cent were officially considered poor — more than a million children.
The complete article Should Food be a Human Right? is in the current edition of Walrus Magazine or is available here:
Further information about the Statscan report on poverty is available here:
Every year, faith-based organizations across Toronto and the GTA open their doors to men and women experiencing homelessness during the cold winter months. Each site is open one night per week, and the program is made possible through volunteers, with over 3,000 people donating their time each year.
Originally intended as an emergency measure to prevent homeless death, the program is now a staple service for men and women experiencing homelessness in Toronto. OOTC sites provide a warm, safe place for guests to spend the night, along with a nutritious, hot meal which is open to all community members to attend, and a set number of mats to sleep on. Overnight guests receive a hot breakfast in the morning and TTC tokens. Select sites offer donated clothing rooms, legal clinics and laundry facilities.
The Markham Stouffville Crisis Pregnancy Centre (MSCPC) is a charitable organization serving the southern area of York Region. Their dedicated and caring staff offer loving, factual and practical support and services to all individuals involved in crisis pregnancy, post-abortion or single parenting situations.
The MSCPC organization is based on principles of love, mercy, grace, kindness and compassion. They are committed to offering free and confidential services before, during and after unplanned pregnancies.
Camp Scugog has offered incredible programming to children, youth and mothers affected by poverty since 1931. In fact, they are one of the oldest camps in Canada! At Scugog, each camper is cared for as an individual which is guaranteed through an overall ratio of two campers for every one staff member.
They believe that camp should provide a safe environment where meaningful relationships are formed and fun and adventure are encouraged. Campers develop new friendships and are given the opportunity to try many new activities where they learn to appreciate nature and are challenged to be the best version of themselves.
Four days a week, Agincourt Community Services Association food bank provides an emergency food supplement to community members in need of food service access. Clients are asked to call prior to their visit. Appointments are taken on Tuesdays between 9am and 5pm in order for the food bank to effectively respond to client need. The food bank is located in the Dorset Park Community Hub at 1911 Kennedy Rd, Unit 105.
The Markham Food Bank has been Assisting the Community Since 1984 It is committed to creating a welcoming environment of fairness and equality for everyone that walks through their doors.
When visiting the Markham Food Bank, you will receive seven to 10 days worth of nutritious food. This will include canned/packaged food as well as fresh foods like milk, fresh fruits and vegetables or meat when available. They try to give some choice in the food provided based on Canada's Food Guide.
Ralph is a long time member of Ebenezer and has a deep passion for assisting others in our local community and around the world. He has served on several not-for-profit Boards and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
Diane is a long time (33 years) member of Ebenezer and has served on many committees and projects. She leads Ebenezer’s support for the Crisis Pregnancy Centre as well as the Book Club which provides loans through KIVA to women in third world countries. Additionally, Diane provides “backup” piano playing for Sunday service and presents Minutes For Mission each month. She cares very deeply about service to the world, the community and our church.
Jane is a life-long member of the United Church of Canada and has attended Ebenezer for the past twelve years. She is a member of the Prayers of the People group and has served on various vision task groups. She is committed to reaching out to the community and supporting members of Ebenezer.
Marilyn is a long time member of Ebenezer who sings alto in the choir, is part of the KIT (Keep in touch) program and is a member of the Ministry and Personnel committee. As part of the Justice & Outreach Committee Marilyn hopes to make a small difference in the lives of people in our church community and beyond.
Please speak to a member of the Justice and Outreach team who will be happy to discuss volunteer opportunities.
Prior to the pandemic, Ebenezer was host for the Out of the Cold program twice each year at Knox United Church in Scarborough. Currently, we are involved with the Blue Door / Out of the Cold Program detailed above.
Please talk to a member of the Justice and Outraech team for more information.
presented by the Justice & Outreach Committee.. We thank Ann Douglas for providing. this wonderful talk.