A note from our rector, David Anderson.
On Sunday, August 18, I held a forum following the main worship service to discuss the case of a refugee family, presently in Ankara, Turkey, who have fled their home in Iran. You can read more information about this case in the original news post, below.
There was a good attendance at the meeting and the feeling was that we should continue to explore the opportunity for Saint John's to sponsor this family in partnership with other parishes in Hamilton, the Diocese of Niagara, and our community friends and partners.
The financial responsibility for this type of sponsorship begins at approximately $27,000, depending upon the variables of housing and other costs at the time. An amount of $10,000 has already been committed from the Diocese of Niagara. Other fundraising support will be forthcoming for this case from the Ride for Refuge.
Many thanks to all who attended the forum. Donations to the parish Refugee Support Fund are welcome. Consultation with other parish partners will be happening over the next couple weeks and further news will be posted here.
In the meantime, I ask your prayers for this family, a mother, her two daughters (one a young adult and the other a dependent), and for our parish as we seek to discern how to respond.
Peace, David +
We have recently heard from Bishop David Hamid, of the Anglican Diocese of Europe, about the urgent need of an Iranian family presently in Turkey. Bishop David writes,
what appears to be a very urgent case which has come to our attention in our parish in Ankara, involving a mother and her two daughters, clearly a very vulnerable case, Iranians, Christians, who now have achieved their required UNCHR status, but are awaiting news of a country placement. I have been asked to explore whether Canada has a possibility. So I am writing to my old and beloved diocese of Niagara to open this exploration with you.
The family's temporary home parish, the Anglican church in Ankara, tells us:
the family consists of a mother, a dependent daughter and a daughter older than twenty-two. Iranian. They are a much more impressive group than may appear on paper. They have all made large contributions to our church life. All three are bright and talented individuals. The younger daughter is a phenomenally gifted painter and fine artist.
The situation in Turkey has become all the more urgent in recent weeks as the Turkish government has taken to rounding up refugees that they deem to be "illegal," then arbitrarily deporting them to their home country. For reference, these articles, here and here, describe the situation. These articles speak primarily about Syrian refugees as they are the largest group affected, however, the same issue applies to this family.
What I am asking of you:
- Pray. Please begin to pray for this family. We don't know their names, but God knows their need very well. Ask God how we might be called to assist.
- Discuss and discern. I invite to to join me for a conversation in the Chapel of Saint Michael and Saint George (downstairs) following this Sunday's 10AM service, Sunday, August 18, to learn about this family's needs, what a commitment to sponsoring them to Canada would involve, and to pray together about how God might be calling us to assist.
- Contact. Please be in touch with me if you are would be interested in being involved in this case, especially be in touch if you are unable to attend Sunday's meeting. Contact me at [email protected].
- Participate. I invite you also to consider participating in this year's Ride for Refuge in Hamilton. Funds raised by local Anglicans will be dedicated towards this case.
I have already approached another parish in the city which has some Persian speakers who may be able to assist us with this project and the initial response has been positive. I pray that together we might find a way to assist this family.
Peace, David +