No doubt you have heard about the Syrian Refugee Crisis, which has been called the largest refugee crisis since the Second World War. The numbers are staggering, with the image of a refugee boy washed up on the shore after seeking asylum giving Canadians a personal glimpse into the toll that this crisis is taking. A letter written by the Very Rev. Jordan Cantwell, the Moderator of the United Church of Canada can be found here.
Several people have inquired about how we might help the Syrian Refugee crisis as a community of faith. Pat Brandon asked in her prayers on Sunday that God give us insight as to what we as a community of faith can do. The United Church, which is sponsoring refugees, says we can Pray, we can Donate directly, or we can sponsor a refugee. If you feel called to starting a conversation at our church, please be in touch with Rev. Ryan as to how we can best move forward.
- Pray: Pray for the safety of millions of Syrians facing conflict and displacement. Pray for the host communities in the region who welcome those seeking refuge from the conflict. Pray for United Church Mission & Service partners and humanitarian relief agencies working to meet the needs of those affected. And finally, pray that regional governments and the international community will work together to address the current crisis, end the conflict, and help bring peace to Syria and the region.
- Donate Now for Immediate Relief: Donations received and designated “Syria Relief” will be applied directly to support United Church Mission & Service partners and associates in immediate assistance for refugees. The Canadian government will match, dollar for dollar, donations made between September 12 and December 31, 2015. Donate Online via the secure donation page. Phone 416-231-5931 or toll-free 1-800-268-3781 and use your Visa or MasterCard. Or, send Send a cheque, money order, or Visa or MasterCard information with donation amount to the address listed on the United Church website.
- Sponsor Refugees The General Council Office has been supporting efforts by faith communities in Canada to sponsor the resettlement of Syrian refugees since the conflict began. Do you feel called by the Spirit to encourage our community of faith, or partner with others, to sponsor a refugee family? St. George's has a history of sponsoring refugees--in the 1980's, the congregation sponsored refugees, also known as "boat people" from Vietnam. Learn more about sponsoring a refugee here.