Pray, Write, and Act for Syrian Refugees

A Letter Written by Keith Simmonds

Keith Simmonds, President of BC Conference of the United Church of Canada

Keith Simmonds, President of BC Conference of the United Church of Canada

Dear friends in Christ,

In Corner Brook, at General Council 42, we learned that we were all dear.  Dear to the heart of the greeter, dear to the folk we met, m’dear and m’darling to just about anyone who claims ‘The Rock’ that is Newfoundland, as home.

Each day we’d be asked “How’s she cuttin’, b’y?” and each day we’d respond “Best kind, b’y, best kind”.  It was true enough.  There among so many church folk, surrounded by so much love and so much care, it was ‘best kind.’

This past week, though, I’d have said “The bottom’s gone right out of her.”

I’d just seen the image of one of our dear ones washed ashore in Turkey.  Laying there as still and lifeless and without help as any has ever been.  Behind him lay the waters that had swallowed up the capsized boat, filled with folk seeking refuge.  The waters that overwhelmed him and his mother and his brother.

Behind him I heard his aunt’s tears.  “I don’t blame the Canadian government so much,” she said, after telling the story of her efforts to bring her brothers and their families to our country.  “I blame the world.  They could stop the war in Syria, they could stop supplying arms to the fighters and they will not.  I blame the world and I hope they will make it stop.”

I’m not writing to suggest we blame anyone.  There’s enough of that going around, enough and more than enough for all to share.  I am writing to suggest we do something, we church folk, who know one another to be dear.  Dear to us and dear to God.

~ Read the rest of the letter.

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