FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
December 30, 2015
Syrian Refugee Family Sponsored by Port Colborne Church to Arrive on New Year’s Day
Port Colborne, ON – As the world welcomes the New Year, St. James and St. Brendan Anglican Church is gearing up to welcome the first of two related Syrian refugee families it has sponsored in response to the global refugee crisis.
“Nine months ago our church accepted the challenge to make a difference in the Syrian refugee crisis,” said the Reverend Canon Rob Hurkmans, rector of the church. “We prayed fervently and gave generously. We sensed God at work in our midst. As we welcome our first Syrian family, our prayers are answered and our joy is complete!”
The family of four, including two children, will arrive in Canada on New Year’s Eve after a three-leg flight from Lebanon. After an overnight in Toronto, local parishioners will then meet the family and travel with them to their new home in Port Colborne on New Year’s Day.
“Sponsoring a refugee family doesn’t just change their life; it changes everyone’s life,” said Bishop Michael Bird of the Anglican Diocese of Niagara. “The parish and community’s efforts exemplify our tradition of welcoming the stranger with compassion and care.” This is the first family to arrive as part of the diocese’s goal to sponsor as many as 50 refugees to mark its 140th anniversary– a goal that is now expected to be surpassed.
During the first weeks of the family’s transition to Canadian life, the Diocese and Church ask that the family’s privacy be respected.
The Diocese has been a private sponsor of refugees under the auspices of a Citizenship and Immigration Canada program for several decades. Donations to support the refugee sponsorship efforts may be made online at: http://niagaraanglican.ca/140anniversary.
The mission of the Anglican Diocese of Niagara is to follow Christ passionately while ensuring the growth of healthy, spiritually vibrant, justice-seeking faith communities. Its 90 parishes serve people in regions of Niagara and Halton, Hamilton and Guelph, as well as Wellington, Haldimand and Dufferin counties.