Welcome to our Syrian Family!

The Syrian family that we are helping to sponsor has arrived!  They came on Thursday December 8th, with a few committee members there to meet them at the airport.  There is much to do to help them settle in, and there are many people busily working to help with all the details.

While we are so happy that they are here, there is also a little sadness as we think of the family that we originally sponsored that is not here.  Rev. Wes Denyer, minister at Rosedale Presbyterian Church and member of the Tri-Church Syrian Refugee Sponsorship Committee, reflects on this in a conversation with Justin Trudeau on CBC.  The associated article highlights this and several other challenges for Syrian refugees coming to Canada.


CBC interviews member of our refugee sponsorship committee

This has been a summer of mostly waiting for information on the Syrian refugee family that we have sponsored.  Towards the end of the summer, the Tri-Church Syrian Refugee Sponsorship Committee was contacted by the government who suggested that we swap the family we sponsored for another, who is ready to travel, as it is unclear when, or even if, the family we originally sponsored will have all their checks completed.  This raises some complicated ethical questions, which were picked up by the CBC.  Rev. Wes Denyer, minister at Rosedale Presbyterian and part of our committee, was interviewed on Metro Morning Aug 31 ’16 (note: there is a short advertisement at the beginning).  The companion article on cbc.ca features a picture of three of our parishoners!

Sponsored Syrian Refugee Family Delayed

Sadly, the family that we are helping to sponsor as refugees from Syria has not arrived.  Despite initial hopes that they would be here by the end of February, we do not yet have a firm arrival date.  There is some indication that they may come in late September 2016.  This has been disappointing for all who worked hard to raise funds and also to secure a co-op apartment, which recently had to be let go.

We are not alone, however.  This Maclean’s article gives a good summary of what is happening and also how others are feeling.  We will continue to do all we can to support them, including prayer and contacting the family.

Pancake Supper Raises Money to Support Syrian Family

Master chef Jim and son work tirelessly all night flipping flapjacks

Master chef Jim and son work tirelessly all night flipping flapjacks

On February 9th, Morningside-High Park Presbyterian Church held its annual Shrove Tuesday Pancake Supper and a record crowd attended the event. Congregation members and friends from the surrounding community gathered in the Fellowship Hall to partake in a menu that included three types of pancakes, sausages, hash browns and fresh fruit salad. While people dined, live musical performances and comedy routines entertained those in attendance. The evening was a perfect opportunity for MHP’s new minister, Rev. Janet, to acquaint herself with her new church family and community. A sincere thank you to everyone who prepared, served, flipped, wiped, washed, dried, set, put away, ran out to buy more supplies, sold and purchased tickets, made donations, counted, took pictures and entertained. There were many people who made this evening possible from those who attended to those who helped but a special thank you to Jim, Janice and Marc for all their work behind the scenes.

MHP has partnered with Rosedale Presbyterian Church (RPC) and Leaside Presbyterian Church in sponsoring a Syrian family and the proceeds from this pancake supper, a total of $1,644, were directed towards this important initiative.

Mark from RPC has provided us with an update about the family that we are helping to sponsor. They are a family of four, with 2 young children, aged 6 and 4. The family is expected to arrive by the end of February, but no date has yet been finalized.

Tri Church Syrian Family Sponsorship Project

The Session and Mission and Outreach Committee of Morningside- High Park (MHP) Presbyterian Church would like to bring the congregation up to date on an initiative led by Rosedale Presbyterian Church (RPC), to sponsor a Syrian family seeking refuge in Canada.

In fall 2015, Rosedale invited neighbourhood Churches, including MHP, to an information meeting about refugee sponsorship.  MHP has a strong history of mission service and therefore the idea of partnering with RPC was presented to Session for consideration.  Session agreed to commit $5,000 to the project and to discuss the idea with the congregation to determine the level of support for the initiative.

Rosedale Presbyterian Church recently received the family of four’s profile and estimated the annual cost of a family to live in Toronto for a year to be approximately $50,760. The fundraising for this initiative is proceeding well with financial commitments from Rosedale Presbyterian Church, Leaside Presbyterian Church and Morningside-High Park Presbyterian Church to date.  The 2015 and 2016 proceeds from Cuppa Change/Don’s Coffeepot will be put toward our $5,000 commitment and donations from the congregation will be welcomed.

If you would like to support this initiative, please address your donation to Morningside-High Park Presbyterian Church and note on the envelope that you would like to support the Tri Church Syrian Family Sponsorship Project and the dollar amount you would like to go toward this initiative.

This is a wonderful opportunity to work with other churches and people of other cultures and to see God’s work in action by helping families transition to life in Canada. For further information about this initiative, please feel free to contact Allan, Sheila, Claire or Kirk.  Email inquiries can be directed to Janet at minister@morningsidehighpark.com

For more information