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Hello everyone, 

Upcoming Events:

·     Friday November 30th – Come and help decorate for Advent if this interests you. We will meet at 10:00 in the Sanctuary.

 ·        ADVENT POTLUCK:Mark on your calendars - our next Potluck lunchand Advent event on Sunday following the church service.  We will be starting the Advent prayer tree, by making origami decorations and writing Advent prayers to hang on it. 

Tanya has asked to remind you that she is still collecting bottles for her vet bills. If you have any to give her you can call and she will pick them up.  Or you could bring them to the church on Sunday mornings for her.

ADVENT RESOURCES

The BC Synod webpage has several really good suggestions for daily Advent meditations.

Lutherans connect is a good one at [email protected] . 

I’ve attached the Fall Newsletter from MVA below. See you Sunday! Lin  Fall Newsletter from Metro Vancouver Alliance:

You may have forgotten that we belong to the MVA and Gail Berger is our representative. I thought you might like to know what they have been doing this year! You may find something you would be interested in participating in. 

MVA on CBC!

Thank you to Paul Clark who represented MVA in an interview about social isolation this Wednesday! Did you catch the interview? Check it out here: Click on November 21st Early edition and skip to 2:16!

A big win! 

Government of British Columbia has kept its promise to MVA leaders to legislate a poverty reduction strategy!

In 2017, John Horgan and Andrew Weaver stood before 800 MVA leaders and committed to legislate a poverty reduction strategy. This week, the legislation passed unanimously!Congratulations to MVA leaders, BC Poverty Reduction Coalition and the thousands of British Columbians who worked tirelessly for over a decade to make this happen! A huge win for the common good. Now the real work continues in encouraging a bold and comprehensive plan to be announced next year!

MVA Members Meet with Minister of Finance Carole James

MVA leaders have met with Minister of Finance Carole James twice this year to follow-up on the commitments made by party leaders at our election accountability assembly.  The government has invested significantly in housing and is on track to fulfill the commitment to invest 3 billion in 10,000 units of affordable housing, which meets the definition of 30% of income or assistance rates. MVA leaders continue to hold the government accountable to the promises made to us on affordable housing, poverty reduction plan, affordable and accessible transit and community health care. 

Community Land Trusts

The affordable housing team is currently researching the potential of community land trusts to secure land for non-market affordable housing.  We will be engaging our member organizations to listen to the impacts of unaffordable or inappropriate housing on our families and communities and engaging leaders in an educational civic academy on Community Land Trusts in 2019.Audrey Guay from St. James Anglican Church has secured funding to begin organizing with MVA on this project. Welcome to the organizing team, Audrey!

MVA Research Action teams

Our research action teams continue to research and develop policy proposals on the issues that have the most impact on our members -  affordable housing, affordable and accessible transit, social inclusion, economic justice and community healthcare. Please check www.metvanalliance.org/calendar to join these research teams.

Leadership Training

MVA trained 85 Civil society leaders through leadership institutes in 2018.  Metro Vancouver Alliance is hosting a 5 day community organizing training May 13-19, 2019.  MVA leaders will join a cohort of leaders from across the Pacific Northwest to learn and implement the principles of organizing that the IAF has developed over 80 years. 

Municipal Election Meetings

Burnaby MVA organizations followed up on the municipal election by meeting with Mayor-elect Mike Hurley within 11 days of the election.  Mr. Hurley agreed to support MVA’s slate of issues with particular interest in implementing the living wage for City of Burnaby employees, supporting community land trusts for affordable housing, and free transit fares for children and youth. MVA’s Burnaby Chair, Denis Boko from CUPE 23 is organizing a cluster of organizations in Burnaby to act locally for the common good.  Leaders in other municipalities are encouraged to follow this example to gain commitments from other mayors to support our shared priorities across the lower mainland.

What’s next for 2019

On September 8th, MVA Leaders gathered for a retreat to evaluate the past work and explore our collective vision for the future. We identified our values and reminded ourselves of our relational, learning and action-oriented focus as we work together as civil society organizations for the common good. Our key strengths are building relationships across sectors, holding large public actions and campaigning on important issues. We tend to focus on political action, and have a lot of action coming up this Fall as we continue to follow up on our provincial accountability assembly and meeting with candidates for the municipal election.  While political action is important, we would like to strengthen our action teams by engaging in deeper listening insider our member organizations, and building understanding and relationships between us. We reached consensus to plan next year around 3 key areas:

BUILDING DEEPER CONNECTIONS WITHIN ORGANIZATIONS MVA

Leaders identified internal organizing and relationship building as both a strength and weakness of our current structure. Leaders have a desire for more opportunities to relate with each other within organizations and between organizations.  We proposed 3 ways to work on this into 2019 - host a table talk discussion for your members, build a core team, and attend the faith, labour or community caucus meeting.

Building a Core Team

A core team is a collective of leaders within an organization that have been through the IAF leadership training and are implementing the practices by connecting with your members, identifying leaders and strengthening the culture of your organization.  We will be having quarterly trainings for core team members throughout 2019. Would you like to join this cohort starting in January? email [email protected]

Host an MVA Table Talk discussion!

Our housing, transit, social inclusion, economic justice and community healthcare teams research action teams are hard at work but in order to understand the impacts of these issues, we need to hear from your members! Research action teams will be connecting back to member organizations to ensure our community experience is reflected in policy development.  Our affordable housing team is ready to come to your organization at your request now. Host a meeting with one of our research action teams is a great way of engaging your members on their interests!

Labour Caucus:  Nov 8th - Next meeting Feb 2019.

After an energizing first meeting, Stephen von Sychowski, President of VDLC and Kari Michaels, Executive Vice-President BCGEU chaired the Labour Caucus meeting on November 8th at VDLC. We identifed shared values that we want to share with the other caucuses and discussed best practices for connecting with our members in 2019. We will meet in early February 2019.

Faith Caucus : Early 2019

We will be convening the first MVA Faith Caucus in early 2019. Would you like to attend or be part of the planning team? [email protected]

Community Caucus : Early 2019

If you would like to help plan the caucus of community organizations , please email [email protected]

2. FINANCIAL SUSTAINABILITY

Hundreds of volunteers have been involved in MVA this year from our 50+ member organizations but we have only 1 paid staff member.  This is not a sustainable situation, so the next few months are dedicated to organizing funding to hire a second organizer and admin support.  This means upping our budget to invest in our work to act meaningfully for the common good in Vancouver. We are evaluating the financial future of MVA and how we can work together towards a healthy budget in 2019 and beyond. We have been saying we need a second organizer for over 5 years and this is the year we will put serious steps in place raise the money for it.  A fundraising campaign will launch before the end of the year. If you want to build your fundraising skills, we've got lots of workshops planned to share knowledge between our members on how to raise money for organizations and projects. Here's what we have coming up:

How to Raise Money for Anything with fundraising expert Bob Connolly Friday November 30, 2018 - RSVP Congregational Finances with expert Bob Connolly  Friday November 30, 2018 - RSVP3.

EXPANDING DIVERSITY OF ORGANIZATIONS

Mapping our membership and expanding our membership to truly reflect all people who make up our communities is a key priority for 2018.  Although our organizations have diverse memberships, it tends to be the same people who regularly attend MVA events. We collectively voiced that we need to prioritize welcoming new people from different perspectives into our work and decision making and will be making a plan at our coming meetings to think about how to do this in each of our actions in the coming year.Deepening the work we've started on decolonizing our training curriculum, building relationships with indigenous advisors and welcoming change to the way we've always done things.  We are in a process of evaluating how we teach and practice organizing on Coast Salish Territory alongside our sister organization Greater Victoria Acting Together who is undergoing a similar transformation.  Many of our members are reading the TRC 94 Calls to Action and are implementing the recommendations in their congregations, unions, community groups and neighbourhoods. If you would like to be involved in taking this project further, please email [email protected] to be put in touch with the team lead.

Dec 11th Strategy Meeting - VCC

Do you want to contribute your skills and ideas on the MVA team in 2019? Help us plan a powerful listening campaign to deeply engage our members so we can win on our issues.With momentum, Metro Vancouver Alliance http://www.metvanalliance.org/