“Those who have a voice must speak for those who are voiceless” St. Oscar Romero
“The Will of God will never take you where the Grace of God will not help you” Billy Graham
Do you ever marvel at the Gift of the League in your life and ask What God’s mission is for you? I certainly have, and I am often amazed how God has used me and taught me His will. Having previously served as Vancouver Diocesan Resolution Chair, hosting resolution workshops and a support group gave me some knowledge and experience in what was expected of me in this role. My support group saw two resolutions become policy – Archived National Resolution 2012.01 Criminalization of the Purchasing of Sex and Protection of Victims of Prostitution (Nordic Model of Law) and Provincial 2013.01 Protection and Care of Sexually Exploited Children (safe facilities for children who are too young to go to Covenant house). Both require our attention to this day, and I am actively working with groups to educate.
As leaders, we know that writing and presenting resolutions gives voice to the voiceless and is our first step for religious freedom. Our resolutions present our concerns and solutions on how we want an issue addressed. It is now up to our members to become educated and write/visit their MLA’s and MP’s to support what has been presented. The government wants and needs to know how many people feel a certain way prior to spending money on new policies. Our new law “Protection of Communities and Exploited Persons Act” was created based on 31,000 Canadians answering an online survey. This large a response was unheard of. Imagine we had over 85,000 members at that time. This week a young high school student named Jonathan, is taking 165,000 signatures to Government to ask for Canada to establish policy regarding food waste. Today a Member of Parliament from Langley presented a Petition in the House of Commons from Families for Justice regarding cannabis. Our members’ letters and visits are effective tools as they continue to support resolutions and bring awareness to issues which assist in establishing policy in government. Education on how and where to write letters is important to their success. Please continue to highlight to all members the Personal Letter Writing Guide #173 on the National Website. Letting your MP or MLA know how and why you feel a certain way and asking a question on where the member stands will ensure you will receive an answer. Educating members on the power of their voice is where I feel we need to focus our attention. Workshops, Guest speakers and Letter Writing courses are all great resources. I will ask for councils’ input later in communique.
At National Convention, Cathy Bouchard was installed as our Resolution Chair. Cathy immediately reached out to all the ten provinces and military ordinate resolution chairs, asking for our input into planning for the future. She also requested that we each share our tools and resources around resolutions. Cathy’s initiatives not only made me feel supported but also a valuable member on the team.
Also, at our National Convention we received the results from the hard work of the Strategic Planning Committee and now have a vision and goals for the next five years. This vision would not have been possible without servant leaders working together as a team, and the valuable input of all members. Two women who served on a sub-committee were amazed their input had become part of the vision. To quote one of them “they listened to us”. They felt part of the team.
In my first communique I shared both Provincial and National Resolutions with you. My energy and focus have now turned to taking the important step of presenting resolutions to our provincial government. I have visited my local MLA, Mike Farnsworth’s office, to request and ensure his support for our visit and will also visit other MLA’s in my area. Once a date for the visit has been established, I will invite other groups including Knights of Columbus, Anglican Women’s Group, Ukrainian Women’s Group and all of you, who may wish to attend. I understand that cost of ferry may prohibit you but know that you are welcome.
I have begun looking for relevant resolutions to present and that is where I ask for your help. It is my goal to present resolutions reflecting the areas of concern from all over the province. I am asking that each diocese reach out to every council asking for their input. I realize many councils do not have a resolutions chair, so I will it leave it up to you on how to accomplish this. My goal is that we have 100% participation. I feel there are a few key issues that will come to light, but I believe by asking each council you will realize you are a vital important valued member of our provincial team. My hope is that by doing this you will also realize that you do not need to have a resolutions chair to become actively involved.
I ask for your response by November 30th. I will follow up with a list of resolutions that will be presented in my next communique.
I am looking forward to hearing about all the wonderful actions taken in the Annual Reports.
If I can be of any assistance on any matter, please do not hesitate to contact me.