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A rabbi, a deacon, and a minister walk into a…. no wait, that’s the start of another story. Here’s a much better one (but don’t worry, it still involves a rabbi, a deacon and a minister – and a whole lot of lay people!)

April 10 marked the latest meeting of the recently formed and still-evolving North Shore Justice Working Group (JWG), a collaborative action group representing a growing number of faith communities in North and West Vancouver, including members of St. Catherine's. 

The group is multi-faceted, to say the least. There are lay and ordained members. There are people passionate about topics as diverse as local poverty, food security and pipeline issues. There is currently representation from Anglican, Lutheran, Roman Catholic, United Church and Jewish communities, with other interfaith members welcome to join. 

Any differences, though, are dwarfed by what is held in common – a strong desire to help usher in change where it’s most needed, and to translate faith into action. Given this shared vision, the April 10 discussion at St. Andrew’s United proved very productive, with the different faith representatives agreeing that the first issues to be studied and tackled will be child poverty on the North Shore and the oil pipeline debate. Co-chairs to spearhead these topics stepped forward, and will meet in the coming weeks with other interested members to detail an action plan and also investigate potential partnerships with other environmental, social action, and First Nations groups.

Another key mandate identified by the North Shore JWG is to gather and disseminate well-researched information (regarding these and other topics of concern) as a way to raise awareness in members’ faith communities, workplaces, and other circles.

Many members of the North Shore JWG are actively involved in the newly launched Metro Vancouver Alliance (MVA), an organization that represents dozens of local faith, labour and community groups. Given this collaboration, there will be many future opportunities to work as a combined force to address matters of poverty, transportation, affordable housing and social isolation, matters identified by the wide-ranging MVA membership as top priorities for the Lower Mainland.

Are you interested in joining with other like-minded people to work towards a world that reflects your deepest faith convictions? You are warmly invited to attend. For more information about the North Shore JWG, please email Andrew Wilhelm-Boyles at If you are specifically interested in the oil pipeline issue, contact Elizabeth Mathers ( To learn more about the topic of child poverty, contact Kate Lunn ( 

How wonderful it is that nobody need wait a single moment before starting to improve the world.- Anne Frank

 - Peggy Trendell-Jensen