The Commission on Justice and Peace

Contents

Peace is a dynamic state of well-being and harmony—right relationships among people and nature where there is no fear. Nothing and no one is excluded from God’s vision of peace; it includes all nations, cultures, and peoples, the whole inhabited Earth, indeed the whole cosmos. The quest for peace is at the heart of ecumenism and the shared path of reconciliation, of walking one another home.

Principles of Peace (May 2018) Tweet

Current Program Priorities (2018-21)

Addressing poverty has long been a priority of Canadian churches.

The Commission is addressing the priority of poverty in two ways:

  • Engaging with the Government of Canada’s “Canadian Poverty Reduction Strategy”; and
  • Animating the Commission’s “Healing Poverty” resource and research on the Churches’ role in poverty.

Militarism

There have been several engagements urging the Government of Canada to sign and ratify the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW). In 2019 Canada joined the “Arms Trade Treaty”. The Commission is monitoring implementation.

Palestine/Israel

The Commission has been reviewing the positions of the Council’s various member churches on the Middle East peace crisis to better understand how The Canadian Council of Churches can contribute to a just peace for Israel and Palestine.

The Commission is engaged in relationship-building, listening, and learning with the intent of encouraging the Council to live into its commitments to reconciliation more deeply.  It is calling on the Government of Canada to implement the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.

Addressing Climate Change has been identified as urgent and a crisis. There is growing awareness of and energy for engaging climate change in the wider society, led in many cases by the voices of youth. Awareness and energy about climate change is also becoming increasingly clear in CCC faith communities as elsewhere.

The Commission reflects theologically on the unjust allocation of resources and its role in limiting dignified choices. It is exploring the intersections between poverty, racism, sexism, climate justice, and other factors as they relate to Indigenous Peoples, refugees, trafficked persons, and other marginalized persons/groups.

The Commission is actively listening to emerging issues that surround justice and peace, and sharing how denominations are engaging these issues.  We are a space where information is shared across denominations and for ecumenical collaboration.

We also have a working group!

As a commission of The Canadian Council of Churches, the CJP periodically convenes working groups to engage timely and important matters related to social justice and peace. We currently have one working group addressing sexual exploitation in Canada.
Sexual Exploitation

Recent Highlights and Resources
of the Commission on Justice and Peace

General Secretary Peter Noteboom speaks at a peaceful protest of the Safe Third Country Agreement in Toronto, November 2019
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Challenging the Safe Third Country Agreement (STCA)

Since 2017, the Council has partnered with Amnesty International Canada and the Canadian Council for Refugee to launch and sustain a legal appeal of the Canadian Federal Government’s Safe Third Country Agreement (STCA) with the US. Developments are ongoing; find up-to-date information here.

Featured above: CCC General Secretary Peter Noteboom speaks at a rally in support of a court challenge of the STCA in November 2019.

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The cover of Healing Poverty, a reflection on poverty by the CCC
Spring 2019

Healing Poverty

A reflection for communities of faith seeking to respond faithfully to poverty in Canada. Find the full resource here.
Spring 2019
May 2018

Principles of Peace

A comprehensive synthesis of what members of the Council have learned in 75 years of working together about God’s vision for peace and right relationship between God, humanity, and all of creation. Find the full resource here.
May 2018

Purpose of the Commission on Justice and Peace

The purpose of the Commission on Justice and Peace is to provide a forum for Christian churches to:

  • share information and concerns among those involved in ecumenical work on peace and social justice in Canada and the world;
  • reflect biblically and theologically on peace and social justice;
  • facilitate the cooperation of the churches in peace and justice concerns; and
  • assist the Council and its member churches in their advocacy efforts where appropriate.
November 2019 - The Commission gathers twice a year in person and several times a year by videoconference.
November 2019 - The Commission gathers twice a year in person and several times a year by videoconference.

Current Members

Denominational Appointments

  • Anglican Church of Canada: Ryan Weston
  • Archdiocese of Canada of the Orthodox Church in America: Emanuel Kolyvas & Rev. Ryan Bishop
  • Armenian Holy Apostolic Church, Canadian Diocese: Levon Petrosyan
  • Canadian Baptists of Western Canada: Jodi Spargur
  • Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops: Patrick Fletcher, Donna Geernaert, & Irving Papineau
  • Canadian Yearly Meeting of the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers): Carol Dixon
  • Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in Canada: Rachel Pellet
  • Christian Reformed Church in North America – Canada: Mike Hogeterp
  • The Coptic Orthodox Church of Canada: Fr. Kyrillos Fakhouri
  • Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church of Canada: Alemayehu Zenebe
  • Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada: Paul Gehrs
  • Greek Orthodox Metropolis of Toronto (Canada): Peter Avgeropoulos
  • The Mar Thoma Syrian Church: Varghese K. Abraham, Mr Alexander P Alexander & Dr. Anil M Varghese
  • Mennonite Church Canada: Derek Cook
  • The Presbyterian Church in Canada: Allyson Carr
  • The Salvation Army: Estee Lau & Jim Champ
  • Ukrainian Orthodox Church of Canada: Walter Makarenko
  • The United Church of Canada: Beth Baskin & Vicki Obedkoff

Affiliate Members

  • Citizens for Public Justice: Brad Wassink & Willard Metzger

Observers

  • The Christian and Missionary Alliance in Canada: Joanne Beach
  • Canadian Bible Society: Rupen Das

Other Organizations

  • KAIROS: Canadian Ecumenical Justice Initiatives: Shannon Neufeldt, Ed Bianchi, Jennifer Henry

CCC Staff & Executive

  • CCC President (ex officio): Stephen Kendall
  • CCC General Secretary (ex officio): Peter Noteboom
  • CCC Vice President: Kathy Vandergrift
  • CCC staff (Associate Secretary): Jonathan Schmidt
  • CCC Staff (Sexual Exploitation Working Group): Michelle Miller
  • CCC – Project Ploughshares: Cesar Jaramillo & Kelsey Gallagher
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