On Wednesday October 21st at its regular business meeting the Executive of Sackville United Church received a request from ENSEMBLE Moncton to consider housing a vending machine that would freely dispense personal care and harm reduction supplies and share critical information with those who may not have access to such through other means. Follow this link to view a brief Youtube video that gives an overview of the capabilities of such a dispensing unit.
Debby Warren, Executive Director of ENSEMBLE Moncton and Ashley Legere, a Pharmacy Technician from the Guardian Corner Drugstore made a very compelling presentation in which they proposed that the old entrance on the southeast side of the building be closed off from the sanctuary and renovated to house the dispensing unit. This location is centralized, highly visible and accessible which would serve to destigmatize the use of the unit, contribute to the safety of those who access it, and minimize the possibility for loitering and vandalism.
ENSEMBLE Moncton would be responsible for all costs associated with the renovations, obtaining supplies for the machine and filling it, and costs associated with the operation of the machine. In addition, ENSEMBLE Moncton would provide a certificate of insurance to Sackville United Church, stipulating that any liability in relation to the vending machine is solely that of ENSEMBLE Moncton.
Ashley Legere spoke briefly of her experience over the past number of months in providing harm reduction supplies to clients through her position at the Corner Drug Store. Much, if not all of what Ashley shared with the Executive has been captured in a number of recent media stories: CHMA, CBC Information Morning.
At its next scheduled meeting on November 4th the Executive will prayerfully consider this request from ENSEMBLE Moncton and endeavour to make a faithful decision that is in keeping with the vision and mission of Sackville United Church:
As people at Sackville United Church, we are committed to being a safe, nurturing environment, affirming and including all – those oppressed, those excluded and those marginalized (e.g. by economic status, dietary limitations, race, culture, language, age, ability, mental health, marital marital status, gender identity, and sexual orientation). We will join with all people who seek justice, compassion for all the earth, and, love and peace for all people.Affirming Vision Statement
Sackville United Church
Guided by the presence of God’s spirit in Christ, we will be a church family, sharing God’s unconditional love through learning, worship, and action.Mission Statement
Sackville United Church
If you have questions or concerns that you believe the Executive must consider as it discerns how this request aligns with our vision and mission, or questions or concerns of a more practical nature, please email your questions or comments to email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org by Monday November 2, 2020.
Once a decision is made the Executive will communicate that decision to ENSEMBLE Moncton and members of the congregation so that all may continue to be informed of next steps.
Faithfully, on behalf of the Executive,
Minister, Lloyd Bruce
Chair, Janet Hammock