bird and cageOne of the challenges in the debate about refugee sponsorship is the hesitance to discuss the issue of racism in our culture and in the church. There is a fear that the slightest admittance that race or cultural differences affect how we live out our beliefs is equal to confessing complete allegiance with history's greatest genocidal offenders.

Judy Wu Dominick has written an excellent article where she proposes, "Let’s take a break from our own trigger-filled context and practice talking about the role of race and racism in the context of biblical history instead." If indeed this has been a struggle for God's people down through the years, perhaps we'll be a little bit more gracious to ourselves and reflect on how to break free of this unspoken sin that entangles us and prevents us from following God's call on our lives to care for the stranger.

You can read her article at: lifereconsidered.com/2016/01/25/a-biblical-approach-to-overcoming-racial-discourse-allergy

desert roadThis letter is to bring your attention to the Refugee Sponsorship Initiative that we are undertaking as an Association and to answer some of the many questions you may have. It will provide you with the background information of how we got to now, clarify what a Sponsorship Agreement Holder is, and bring you up-to-date with where the AGC is at in this process today.

Background: How We Got to Now

In early 2015, the AGC (represented by then president Bill Fietje) was invited to a meeting hosted by the EFC with the Minister of Immigration, Chris Alexander, to discuss details of the government’s plan for Syrian Refugees and the role the church in Canada was requested to fill. The Minister hoped that churches in Canada would play a major role in that resettlement plan. Out of that meeting, the EFC drafted a Statement of Intent outlining the tremendous need facing us today, and the clarity of scriptures that speak of God’s compassion for the vulnerable, the needy and the oppressed. The final paragraph of that Statement reads as follows:

bcf screen captureI recently created a Facebook page for the AGC Refugee Sponsorship Initiative and invited many of my Facebook friends to like it. One of them, a parishioner from a church I pastored at almost 19 years ago, responded by sharing a web page with me (click on the image to enlarge a screen capture of it) and asked me, “Are these the people that the AGC want to bring into Canada?”

I know that not everyone is convinced we should bring Syrian refugees to Canada, so I thought I'd share my response to him in case some of their concerns are similar.


 

Dear D.W.,

I read your question (“Are these the people that the AGC want to bring into Canada?”) and visited the “Muslim ‘Migrants’ Raping Women and Children in Camps in Germany” page you shared with me.