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Immigration

Learn more on the Office of Social Justice website.

What Cuban Refugees Brought With Them

This is the second of a 3 part blog series on the experiences of Cuban immigrants in the Christian Reformed Church. And stay tuned for the 3rd and final installment coming up! 

How Cuban Refugees Came to the U.S.

As a denomination started by Dutch Reformed immigrants in 1857, the CRCNA is familiar with the immigrant experience. Like many immigrant stories, the migration journey for the Dutch was long and difficult, and the challenges did not stop upon arrival: loved ones were left behind, lives were lost at sea, many fell ill. Some were taken advantage of or lied to. Promised opportunities sometimes resulted in dashed hopes and dirt floors.

Justice Prayers - February 23rd 2022

Being salt and light demands two things: we practice purity in the midst of a fallen world and yet we live in proximity to this fallen world. If you don't hold up both truth in tension, you invariably becomes useless and separated from the world God loves. - David Kinnaman

Dena Nicolai: The Gift of Talking With an Elected Official

Dena Nicolai, chaplain and refugee support mobilizer with the Christian Reformed Churches of British Columbia, shares the simple starting place for much of her engagement with people who have been refugees: joining them for a cup of coffee and saying “tell me how you’re doing.” Dena and Chris also talk about the ministry of sharing in lament, the importance of advocating ‘with’ and rather than ‘for’, and how the advocacy of faith communities and sponsors alongside newcomers changed government policy to provide a more “full” welcome for refugees in Canada.

Justice Prayers - February 9, 2022

“You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden.  Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. - Matthew 5: 14-15

3 Conversation-Starters about Immigration Sparked by “Encanto”

Attention: some *minor* spoilers ahead!

The new Disney movie “Encanto” follows the story of a Colombian family who was forced to migrate after their village was burned. And if you’ve seen it, you’ve probably had the song “We Don't Talk about Bruno” stuck in your head at some point. In the movie, the Madrigal family doesn’t like to talk about their brother/uncle Bruno because (it seems like) he makes scary things happen…

The Power of Welcome

People are often surprised when I say that I’ve been blessed by refugees my entire life, but it’s true. 

Sometimes it’s because I grew up in small-town Iowa, and they assume that Iowa is as white and unicultural as a state could be. 

Sometimes it’s because they, too, grew up in small-town Iowa and didn’t have a similar experience. 

Sometimes it’s because they grew up in other states or countries and can’t recall any personal experiences with refugees that they see as blessings in their own lives. 

Justice Prayers - July 21, 2021

“Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.” - Matthew 11:30 (MSG) 

Team Refugee

I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. 2 Timothy 4: 7

The Summer Olympics are set to begin soon, and while there have already been plenty of concerns surrounding the games, I will be watching part of the games.

Guilty Canadian Citizenship

During a casual conversation between my daughter and I on a field watching her younger brother in a soccer lesson, she asked me what my favourite sport was. My reply was, “cycling”, and I continued, “...because that’s the only one I was allowed to and encouraged to try when I was a kid.” She, a Canadian citizen, who at the tender age of eleven has already attended a variety of sport and leisure camps, didn’t understand my response. What I meant was that I grew up in a country and culture where children weren’t valued as individuals or seen as contributing citizens.

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