Louise MacRae has put her passion for justice to work for the Regional Synod of Canada (RSC). MacRae, a member at Westdale Reformed Church in Hamilton, Ontario, is the RSC's representative on the Canadian Council of Churches' Commission on Justice and Peace.
The Canadian Council of Churches (CCC) is the largest ecumenical body in Canada, and the Commission on Justice and Peace provides a forum for churches across the country to work together to address social justice issues.
Since 22 denominations are represented in the CCC and on the commission, MacRae says they obviously don't agree on everything. But the commission has gone through a strategic planning process to pinpoint common denominators, and their work is now focused in these areas: theological reflection, poverty in Canada, human trafficking, and the 2010 G8 summit that will be held in Ontario.
The group has secondary priorities related to biotechnology, anti-racism, the Safe Third Country Agreement, and Project Plowshares.
Working groups within the commission gather people with expertise and interests and passion in a certain area. They then work to develop position papers, to request meetings with politicians or decision-making bodies, or to make recommendations that the broader body of the CCC needs to speak to.
"At this past meeting that we had we met with politicians, and a number of the Canadian politicians--members of our federal Parliament--said that the religious body is a very powerful force, but we're not very unified," MacRae says. "If as a faith-based community we were able to unify our efforts and were able to come together and make suggestions to affect government policy, we would have a tremendous voice."
MacRae says local churches could get involved by sending advocacy letters or by providing volunteers for the commission's working groups. To learn more, visit the commission's website: www.ccc-cce.ca/english/justice.