Dear Chairs of Deacons, Pastors, Chairs of Council, and Church Administrators,
With the rise of the Syrian and Iraqi refugee crisis, requests came to the Canadian Ministries Office early this summer asking us to coordinate a multi-agency response within the Canadian CRC for the purpose of serving local churches so that they might provide support to refugees coming to Canada.
In light of the current unprecedented global refugee crisis we dreamt a little broader than refugee sponsorship. We understand that local churches might respond to the refugee crisis in different ways. Some churches may want small group material on the challenges facing refugees; others may look for suggestions on how to reach out to immigrants in the local community; some may feel called to pursue refugee sponsorship; others may feel prompted to provide humanitarian assistance to countries in need; and still others may seek materials/resources to engage politically around issues related to refugees and immigration.
We want to support all of these local churches. After putting all the content together, we are making these resources available to each church through the Canadian CRC portal www.crcna.org/Canada, where you will see ‘Refugee Issues’.
The content (from worship material to sponsorship) is varied and provides opportunity for every church to do something. One tool that may be helpful to all of you is a short video that explains the current refugee crisis in our world. This video is available at www.crcna.org/Canada, in the Refugee Issues section, or worldrenew.net and can be useful for worship services, deacon or council meetings, and in small group discussions.
Additionally, you can expect that every classis will be receiving communication about how churches can engage with the current refugee crisis over the course of their next meetings.
I would like to thank all of the partnering groups of the CRC that helped put this material together (most of whom can be reached through the /Canada website) including:
- Centre for Public Dialogue
- Diaconal Ministries Canada
- World Renew
- Office of Social Justice
- The Lighthouse in Toronto [lighthousecentre.ca]
- CRC Communications
Canadian Ministries Director
Christian Reformed Church in Canada