“ As people of faith, we are called by the gospel to ‘welcome the stranger’ in our midst… from coast to coast to coast, Anglican parishes ‘ welcome the stranger’ through Private Sponsorship Agreements and advocacy for the rights and hopes of refugees. I am very proud of your commitment to this ministry. It is a powerful witness to the law of Moses, the call of the prophets and the teaching of Jesus.”
– The Most Reverend Fred Hiltz, Primate
In November 2015 LARC, the Lutheran-Anglican Refugee Committee was formed. Anglican and Lutheran parishes from Lake Country, Kelowna, West Kelowna and Peachland came together to form a committee to sponsor refugee families. The first family has been identified and will soon arrive in the area. LARC has established teams of volunteers to help the family get settled in the area. Teams have been established to help the refugee family with settlement issues, employment, and finance. In order to bring a family to Canada LARC had to show sufficient funding to aid with the transition. The group has raised over $25,000 and that will be matched by the Canadian government.
Why Sponsor Refugees?
- Jesus, himself a refugee, invites us to ministry that transforms lives.
- With the crises in Syria and Iraq, the need to resettle refugees has never been greater.
- Sponsoring a refugee family does not just change their life, it changes everyone’s life.
- What better way to transform our community for good.
What Sort of Commitment is Required By Sponsoring Groups?
Sponsorship involves a significant commitment of time and talent, as well as some treasure too. Sponsors will be required to provide for and support the individual family for their first year in Canada. Various parishes, through the generosity of Anglicans and Lutherans throughout the region along with Citizenship and Immigration Canada will provide funding for monthly income support, while sponsoring parishes will be required to provide for start-up costs for items like furniture, clothing and food, along with any other costs that may be beyond the ability of the persons being sponsored to pay. The diocesan refugee sponsorship team will assist parishes with the process.
Please contact the Cathedral office at 250-762-3321 for information.
Article contributed from the Diocese of Kootenay Refugee Sponsorship, Rev. Elizabeth Huether Coordinator