Second justice camp to focus on advocacy

Preparations are now underway for a second “justice camp” directed at youth and adults.

The camp, an ecumenical initiative, will be held at St. Paul’s University in Ottawa, May 8-14. The theme is advocacy — Seeking Justice Engaging the Powers.

Participants at the advocacy justice camp will explore how “Christians can engage government, media and corporations to advance the cause of social justice in a manner consistent with the Gospel of Jesus Christ,” said Rev. Peter John Hobbs of the diocese of Ottawa, a member of the organising committee.

Issues such as affordable housing, international development, urban and rural poverty, indigenous justice and ecology will be explored by participants as they engage with activist, journalists and politicians during planned exposure visits in and around Ottawa.

This second camp is an initiative of the Eco-Justice Committee of the Anglican Church of Canada and the Primate’s World Relief and Development Fund (PWRDF). It follows a successful first camp on food and justice held in Winnipeg last August. That camp brought together 45 participants and “achieved the 50/50 principle of half local, half from away, half under age 30 and half over,” said Mr. Hobbs.

Other partner organizations are the diocese of Ottawa, the Canadian Food Grains Bank, and the Mennonite Central Committee.

Arrangements are being made with St. Paul’s University to give academic credits to students who attend the camp. The registration fees are $300, which includes food, accommodation and materials.

The justice camp idea came from members of the Eco-Justice Committee reflecting on how they might capture the enthusiasm, energy and idealism of young people for the Anglican church’s ministry of peace and justice.

Archbishop Andrew Hutchison, Primate of the Anglican Church of Canada, has endorsed the justice camps. Plans for future camps are being made in other diocese.

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