CACG - Calgary Alliance for the Common Good

Mental Wellness, Social Isolation, Climate Hub & Truth & Reconciliation

November 4, 2019

November Newsletter for CACG is now available. Check out the upcoming events and help St. David's take an active role in this valuable resource. ACTS wishes to thank St. David's Foundation for their generous contribution to our 2019 and 2020 membership. https://www.calgarycommongood.org/events

A Special Invitation to CACG from Pat F. October 1, 2019

Hello,  

You may know that St. David’s is beginning its fourth year of being a member of the Calgary Alliance for the Common Good ( CACG).  The organization has about 27 members including other churches, synagogues, a Transit union, organizations concerned about poverty, etc.  CACG tackles large societal problems that a single organization would have difficulty with.  For example, it was successful in working with the City of Calgary to broaden a program that will provide some funding and vet contractors who can assist with home repairs, house and lawn care which can enable independent living for seniors.  This will be implemented this fall.   

Last October the Calgary Alliance for the Common Good held an Action Assembly at the B’Nai Tikvah temple to increase its profile with local and provincial politicians.  St. David’s sent 13 representatives who were part of a 200 member audience.  We were able to have the politicians commit to the Calgary Alliance’s project for seniors as mentioned in the previous paragraph.   

On Thursday, October 17, 6:40 pm at Knox United Church, The Calgary Alliance is hosting a Founding Assembly similar to last year`s Action Assembly.  The purpose again is a public coming-out of the Alliance to politicians who can help the Alliance to achieve other big goals. 

Currently the focus is fourfold:

1.      Truth and Reconciliation

2.      Addictions and Mental Health

3.      Reducing social isolation

4.      Concerns about the Environment  

Again we would like to support this Founding Assembly by having as many St. David`s members as possible attend the evening.  We don`t need to do anything except show up.  We can work out the details of ride sharing when we know who and how many people will attend this meeting.  Last year it was very interesting experience and proved to be very successful.   

Please join me in supporting the Alliance and commit to attending the meeting.  If you attend the Book Study, Wayne Holst will tell you about the Assembly and will also be taking names.  Or, you can commit to attending the Assembly by replying to this email by October 13 so that we can travel together.  If there is interest, perhaps we could have an early supper and attend after that.   

So, the key dates are October 13 to respond to me or Wayne Holst and October 17 to attend the meeting.  Call me at (403) 282-0051 if you have any questions or just get back to me by email.   Thanks so much! 

Pat

An Update from Pat, Sherri and Marlene: September, 2019

Hello and Happy Late Summer! 

Our Seniors committee met this week to re-ignite our fall focus on ourselves – seniors at St. David’s!! Based on the results of our Continuing the Conversation activity we held this past March, here is a bit of an update.   The top issue expressed by over half of you was the need to find trusted and qualified contractors to help you with minor repairs, housekeeping, yard and garden work and with shoveling in the winter. This need is being addressed by the City of Calgary in conjunction with the Calgary Alliance for the Common Good ( CACG).  It is a project that we have been working on with CACG for the past two years.  A pilot for the program has been conducted by the City and we anticipate a roll-out this quarter.  Our committee will ensure that you have the information that you will need to see if you are eligible for the program to assist you in accessing it.  Stay tuned! 

The second top need expressed was the challenge to meet your basic living needs amidst rising costs and overall living on a fixed income.  Here is one organization that can help.       

       CARYA is an organization that offers many programs and some specifically for seniors.  Here is the link to see what the programs offer.  Control and click on the link to get to the website.   https://caryacalgary.ca/our-programs/older-adults/  Look under the program head Community Financial Engagement to see two 24 week programs; ”Our Relationship with Money” and “Seniors Saving Circle” as well as individual 2 hour seminars that are offered repeatedly. 

These two hour seminars are called “Financial Wellness – Stretch Your Dollars”   This is the link to the seminar https://caryacalgary.ca/event/financial-wellness-stretch-your-dollars/.  When you click on the link it will show you when it is being offered and you can click on the program to find out more and to register.  It is free of charge.  There is one on September 10 for example.  

Pat is interested in attending one of the seminars and will send an email to the group to see if others are interested in joining her.  This will likely be in October. A key contact to the financial programs at CARYA is Sajjad Ahmed who can give you information and answer your questions.  His contact information is 403 205-5260.   

Another concern expressed at our Continuing the Conversation session was about managing our personal health now and in the future.  We have some ideas that we are exploring to address that and will update you when we are further along. Please forward this email to other seniors if you think they might be interested.  Enjoy your seniors moments in the best sense of the phrase!   

Bye for now.   Sherri, Marlene and Pat

Summer Update:

We hope that you are enjoying the summer now that the sun is radiant, the sky is that amazing blue colour, there is less rain than a few weeks ago and there is no smoke!  Does it get much  better than that? In the past we provided you with some information about the free concerts on Wednesdays held downtown at the Cathedral Church of the Redeemer right on the LRT line on 7 Ave and 1st street SE.  The address is 604 1 St. SE.   June Martin attends these, is attending the following two concerts and invites any and all of us to join her.   

On Wednesday, August 21 the concert is Flemenco Music and Dance - Two power-house performers join forces for this year's much anticipated FLAMENCO music & dance concert.   

On Wednesday, August 28 –the Calgary Concert Opera and Foothills Philharmonic Opera Chorus come together again to perform excerpts from their upcoming performance in September of Saint-Saëns’ most popular opera in the French repertory, Samson et Dalila.   

June suggests that those of you interested In joining her at one of the concerts meet her at St. David’s at 11:10 am to then take the LRT to the church for the noon concert.  June’s contact information is [email protected]  and her phone number is (403) 239-0847 if you have any questions or want to let her know that you will attend with her.   Enjoy the rest of the summer and many positive seniors’ moments, in the best meaning of the term.   Pat, Sherri and Marlene

June 4, 2019 

Dear Seniors Group at St. David’s:

Dear Seniors Group at St. David’s;

If your June is slowing down, and you are wondering what you will do with your time, here are two learning opportunities:  

  • On Monday, June 10, “ Green Burials”; Doing Death Differently 1:00- 3:00 pm.  at the CALL Café (Calgary Association of Lifelong Learners).The presenter is Roxanne Walsh, End of Life Educator and Guide, Certified Funeral Celebrant. This session will be held at Varsity Acres Presbyterian Church, 4612 Varsity Drive NW. This is free for CALL members; $  5:00 at the door, for non- members.
  • On Tuesday, June 25 – “ Aging in Place” by Jill Chambers: Aging in Place means having the health and social supports and services in place to live safely and independently in your home or your community for as long as you wish and are able. Ninety-one per cent of Canadian adults aged 50 and over want to stay in their home or in their neighbourhood and live independently as long as possible. To plan now for the future ahead, we will look at 9 areas of life that will impact your ability to Age in Place. Facilitator: Jill Chambers, BN CFP CEA -- Jill is the founder of Financial Concierge and Aging in Place Supports. Both companies focus on keeping older adults safe and independent in their homes.This session will be held at Varsity Acres Presbyterian Church, 4612 Varsity Drive NW at 1:00- 2:30 pm.   This is free for CALL members; $5:00 at the door, for non- members. 
  • Please forward this email to anybody you think might be interested.                                Regards from your Seniors Committee,Marlene, Sherri and Pat

June 3, 2019

Click on the following link to read the June 2019 Newsletter from CACG.https://www.calgarycommongood.org/?utm_campaign=june_newsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_source=commongoodyyc

May 28, 2019

Each year, Calgary honours seniors with opportunities to use City of Calgary and other facilities for free or at a discounted rate.  Seniors Week is June 2-8 with opportunities to participate throughout Calgary.  You can note that one event is at the Bell National Music Center ( free admission on Tuesday) and at the Glenbow Museum ( free, on Tuesday).  If you click on the link below and then click on the events written in red, you will see what is available to do.  We hope that something will ‘tickle your fancy’! 

https://www.calgary.ca/CSPS/CNS/Pages/Seniors/Seniors-Week/Seniors-Week.aspx 

Your seniors ministry team,

Pat, Marlene and Sherri

April 24, 2019

We have a new webpage at CACG. https://www.calgarycommongood.org/?utm_campaign=new_website_correction&utm_medium=email&utm_source=commongoodyyc

April 9, 2019

On April 1, Wayne, June and myself attended the Discernment Assembly for CACG at B'Nai Tikvah Temple along with representatives from the other 26 member organizations. There has been one new group added to our roster, Hillhurst United, so we now have 28 members organizations involved. The job, last Monday, was to determine what issues we will be concentrating upon this coming year and, more importantly, which issues we wanted personally to pursue:

Mental Health and Addiction

If you are interested in this team the first meeting will be Monday, April 8that 7:00 pm at St. Andrew’s Anglican Church – 1611 St. Andrews Place NW.  

Social Isolation/Community Building and Overcoming Divisions

If you are interested in this team the first meeting will be Thursday, May 2ndat 7:00 pm at Christ Church Anglican – 3602 8 St. SW.  

Truth and Reconciliation  

This is one of our current campaigns that we are carrying forward. The next meeting of this team will be on Tuesday, April 9that 3:00 at the Central Library in room 3-17B.

The Environment 

We decided that we would address this campaign by supporting the work of one of our member organizations – The Calgary Climate Hub.  The first meeting will be on Tuesday April 30that 7:00 pm – location will be confirmed. 
 
If you are interested in joining any of these teams please contact our organizer, Ryan Andersen at [email protected]
 
Please note that going forward, to be a part of a research action team the expectation is that you come from a member organization, are an invited ally (or a current member of our Truth and Reconciliation Team). If you or your organization would like to become a member of the Calgary Alliance for the Common Good please contact our organizer ([email protected]).
 
This is an exciting time for our Alliance as we grow and now prepare to launch with these campaigns as our public platform. We look forward to working for the Common Good together.  

Meanwhile, our Seniors' Corner, led by Pat Fryers, Marlene Holst and Sherri Melrose will be bringing seniors together to share ideas and support over the coming year. 

March 25, 2019: "W

Message from Pat Fryers

Hello, I apologize that I inadvertently forgot to add the attachments when I wrote this email.  Here it is again, with attachments! 

Belonging to the Calgary Alliance for the Common Good has provided me with the opportunity to network with people who are on the seniors committee.  These are representatives of various churches and organizations that belong to the Alliance.  One woman on our group sent me an email with two posters that are attached below. 

I had provided the group with the handout "Cheap Thrills" and this was a return of the favour.  The same woman also provided me with Calendars for Active Seniors.  Some of you may have received one if you attended our session last Sunday ' Continuing the Conversation...Sharing our Stories". 

There are lots of these calendars which we will have at the church for you when you can pick one up.    1.    The first poster contains a number of phone numbers that might be of use to you in terms of help or services that are specific to seniors.   

2.    The second poster is about a one half day workshop that will be held at Confederation Park Seniors Center on Saturday, April 6.  You will notice that there will be people presenting on various topics related to housing and medication.  I have attended this workshop in the past - with ample opportunity to gather information about housing options.   

3.    Below is a summary of the results of last Sunday's session " Continuing the Conversation...Sharing our Stories" Thanks again for all of you who attended this.  It will help our committee to determine potential actions that we might take.   We will share these results with the Calgary Alliance for the Common Good as part of their process to determine the goals to pursue in the upcoming year.    Enjoy the spring weather.   

Your Seniors Committee,

Sherri, Marlene and Pat  

Continuing the Conversation – Listening to our Stories

Summary of Results -St. David’s United Church, March 24, 2019

These results are based on feedback from 19 people who attended the after church session.  We have put all of the comments into categories with numbers which indicate the importance of the category based on the number of people who indicated it as an issue for them.  

The non-medical support to enable us to live independently in our homes 11

  • Need for help with housekeeping, yard work, shoveling, maintenance tasks, etc.

Living on a fixed income with rising costs8

  • Medical and dental costs, insurance (various types), home maintenance, the need to make choices between home repairs and holidays as one example, declining investment income, future costs for seniors’ housing

Concern about family and friends7

  • Their health and well-being ( addictions, mental health, poverty)  parents being forcibly separated from each other in seniors housing, our inability at times to help them

Concern about our own physical health issues – both current and future – 7

  • Diminishing eyesight leading to loss of driver’s license; worry about loneliness with loss of mobility; will others (family and friends) be there to help them in our times of need?

Concern about the world -5

  • State of politics in Canada, the future of our church, the future of the world regarding the environment; apathy of government and society about the decline of our planet 

Mental Health Issues – 5 

  • Lack of motivation, apathy – not participating in activities, not sure of purpose of each day, concerned about personal support in case of illness, not taking time for self-care with result of an active mind during the night

********************************************************************************

CALGARY ALLIANCE FOR THE COMMON GOOD

St. David's has joined with several city churches and Calgary institutions to work cooperatively with other institutions to "Organize the power of communities to shape a just and compassionate city." Be sure to scroll to the bottom of this page for the current newsletter of CACG

Mission/Objectives
  • To create a broad-based shared organization that is as diverse as Calgary,  building relationships among organizations and people from various community, ethnic, non-profit, labour, and religious groups.  
  • To strengthen our member organizations and their leaders in order to develop a healthy and effective civic life.
  • To use the principles and techniques of community organizing to effectively address the real issues facing Calgarians and our member organizations.
CACG is directed by a team of leaders from participating institutions. It is affiliated with the Industrial Areas Foundation (IAF), the oldest and largest network of broad-based organizations in North America.
MARCH NEWSLETTER

Listening Campaign and Discernment Assembly

Newsletters keep people engaged with your brand. Share articles or videos, On April 1st, at 7:00 pm at Temple B’nai Tikvah (900 47 Ave. SW) we will be gathering as an Alliance to choose the issues we will focus on, and create the teams that will lead this work. This is a critical moment as the Alliance moves forward – your attendance is essential!

 
1. We ask that each of our member organizations bring a team to this event. These can be people who have been identified as potential leaders from the listening campaign, people who are interested in the work of the Alliance or people who are already involved. 
2. We will be asking each member organization to be prepared to vote on which priorities their organization would like to see the Alliance take on. Please come with the issues that your organization would:
  1. be all in for;
  2. be ready to engage with;
  3. be willing to support – but not a significant priority;
  4. see as a deal breaker (i.e., if the Alliance takes this on you would not engage or you would need to be out of the Alliance)
This judgment should be based on what you have heard in the listening campaign. 
3. We will also ask people to vote/sign up as individuals. This will require your name and contact information because it is a vote based on your willingness to work on a particular issue personally. Please reflect on what you are willing to put your personal time and energy into.  
While everyone is welcome to attend, voting will be limited to member organizations and their members. If you or your organization is not yet a member of the Alliance and you want to be a part of setting our future direction or participating in one of our action teams, please talk to our organizer, Ryan, at [email protected] about how you can become a member before April 1st.
Please register for the discernment assembly at: https://discernment_assembly_cacg.eventbrite.ca

Tax Receipts

 
First of all, a sincere thank you to each of you who have donated money to support the work of the Calgary Alliance for the Common Good in 2018. If you made your donation through Canada Helps you can access your tax receipt through the Canada Helps website (www.canadahelps.org). If you sent your gift directly to the Industrial Areas Foundation Canada, you should receive a receipt in the mail. If you have not received this, please let us know at [email protected]
 Leadership Training Opportunities 
 
Foundations for Community Organizing
Join us at this two-day leadership institute to learn our organizing model and to be part of our work for the common good.
 
This training provides content based on the philosophy and practices developed by the Industrial Areas Foundation (IAF) in more than 70 years of organizing experience. The training provides the foundation necessary to participate effectively with the Calgary Alliance for the Common Good. Topics include: 
• what community organizing is, and why to use it;
• the organizing cycle;
• relational meetings;
• listening sessions; 
• problems vs. issues;
• power over vs. power with;
• negotiations and actions to obtain concrete and winnable outcomes.
 
Date:Friday, April 26th from 7:00 p.m. – 9:30 p.m, and Saturday, April 27th from 9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.
Cost:Free forCACG members. Non-members $50. Lunch $10-$15
Location:Christ Church Anglican Church - 3602 8 St. SW, Calgary. 
Register at:https://foundations_training.eventbrite.ca
 
Regional Training 

 
This five-day residential training is for people committed to understanding the craft of community organizing and who want to play an important leadership role in the Alliance or in their own organizations. This training focuses on developing the leadership skills of community organizing and the ways leaders can be strategic and effective in applying these skills. This is an opportunity for building relationships with seasoned leaders from other cities, and for personal reflection on your own growth as a leader. 
 
Location – Vancouver, BC
Dates – May 13-17th2019
Cost - $1,000 plus transportation. 

Register by contacting Ryan at [email protected]
 

IGP Community Engagement 

 
The Calgary Alliance for the Common Good has committed to support the creation of an indigenous gathering place in Calgary. This will be a place where people can connect to their culture, spirituality, and community. What is needed now is to hear from the community about what this gathering place needs to be, what it needs to look like, what needs to be going on there, so that it is significant and sustainable. To this end, we are a part of the IGP community engagement process.
What we need from you is the following:

1. Attend a community conversation:

From February 1 - March 15, 2019, participate in a scheduled face-to-face conversation by clicking HERE.

2. Online survey:

Can’t make it to a conversation? Listen to a short visioning exercise and then fill out our online survey HERE.

3. Submit your visual and artistic representations:

Send your visual representations showing how you picture the Gathering Place to [email protected] by March 15, 2019.
If you know a community that you think needs its voice heard, and you can connect us with them please contact Devon at [email protected] or Ryan at [email protected].
Here is some background about this initiative from the IGP Committee:

Who do we want to hear from?

Having an inclusive engagement process means that we want to hear from anyone who has a potential interest in the future of the IGP. This includes Indigenous community members (both on-reserve and urban), Indigenous organizations, organizations that serve Indigenous community members, potential neighbours, potential funders, governments, and all Calgarians with an interest in advancing reconciliation.
 
About IGP: The Indigenous Gathering Place is an Indigenous-led grassroots initiative with a committed Society whose mandate it is to create a physical space in Calgary where we share, connect, heal, renew and celebrate Indigenous cultures. Here we protect traditional Indigenous practices, languages; and Elders’ wisdom, oral and written teachings among all nations and all our relations.
 
If you have any questions about the community engagement/conversations or want to get involved, please email [email protected] or [email protected]
Upcoming Events and Meetings

Reconciliation Team: Postponed until April 9th at 3:00 pm 
Seniors Team: Thursday, March 14that 7:00 p.m. at Knox United Church
Leadership Team: Thursday, March 21stat 10:30 a.m. at Beth Tzedec Synagogue
Discernment Assembly: April 1stat 7:00 p.m. at Temple B’nai Tikvah 

 
What We Have Been Up To
 
 

Meeting with Minister Sigurdson

On February 12th we met with Minister Sigurdson to discuss how the Special Needs Assistance Program could be increased and a sliding scale created above the current cut off level. We are waiting to see if the government will act on this before the election. 

 

Leaders Lunch

On February 14th our leaders met to discuss how our values lead faith, labour and non-profits to work together. 

 

Interfaith Harmony Week

With our partners, The Calgary Interfaith Council, we celebrated Interfaith Harmony Week. A key action of this week was to sign on to the civility pledge. Copies of the pledge can be found on the CIC website.


 
Please visit our website for more information about MACG Calgary.www.metroalliance.ca