God put us on earth to take care of this planet. Part of that is taking care of each other. As Christians, we have a responsibility to love one another and to share our possessions (1 John 3:11-24). We further believe that everyone has the right to live free from oppression.
The St. John the Evangelist Anglican Church Refugee Committee is a Christian Outreach Committee that sponsors the immigration and resettlement of refugees in Canada. A refugee is “a person or persons who are outside their home country or the country where they normally live, and who are unwilling to return because of a well-founded fear of persecution based on: race, religion, political opinion, nationality or is a member in a particular group, such as women or people of a particular sexual orientation”.
Requests for sponsorship often come from family members who themselves were refugees at one time. In all cases, the committee prayerfully decides whom it will sponsor, taking into consideration factors such as the current resources available. Choices are presented to the church Vestry members, who consider the request on behalf of St. John’s family.
Once the sponsorship has been approved by Vestry and Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada and the refugees have arrived, the committee works to: (a) provide basic needs until the newcomers are self-supporting or the sponsorship period is complete; (b) provide a safe, supportive environment where they can live in freedom, and (c) engender the necessary social skills and confidence to enable them to become integrated, contributing members of Canadian society.
The committee invites anyone who wishes to join us, either serving on the committee or doing important work with the families, such as collecting household goods, driving, or undertaking other tasks involved in resettling newcomers. All you need is a little bit of time and a feeling of commitment to do God’s work in this way - your reward will be endless.
We are very grateful to vestry for their continued support of this important mission. For more information or to get involved, please speak to the chair of the Refugee Committee, Gail Millard, at church on Sunday, or contact the SJE Church office.