Cari Copeman-Haynes (centre) is a reverend at Crossroads United Church.

Cari Copeman-Haynes (centre) is a reverend at Crossroads United Church.

Churches band together to sponsor refugees

North Delta Refugee Project collecting for its first family.

North Delta churches are coordinating to sponsor a family of Syrian refugees.

Crossroads United Church and Trinity Lutheran Church have banded together to begin a fundraising process to collect $32,000 to 40,000 over the next two to four months.

“We haven’t raised any money so far,” said Crossroad’s Rev. Cari Copeman-Haynes Tuesday. “This is brand new thing that we’re just throwing open.”

Two other churches, North Delta Evangelical Free Church and St. Cuthbert Anglican Church, are also in the process of joining the coalition and have some members on the newly formed North Delta Refugee Project.

“Our goal is to assist at least one displaced Syrian family,” says Copeman-Haynes, who adds that the project is a private sponsorship not directly involved with the federal government’s original plan of bringing 25,000 refugees into Canada.

Once a minimum of $28,000 is raised, a party can apply to sponsor a refugee family – in this case, through the sponsorship agreement holder, the United Church of Canada, which has contacts with federal agencies.

Copeman-Haynes said the North Delta Refugee Project has conferred with community groups such as Progressive Intercultural Community Services and Deltassist, as well as the B.C. Muslim Association, to help in “understanding our neighbours a little more.”

The first offerings will be collected at a church service this Sunday, Dec. 20 at 10:30 a.m.

Donations from the public can be dropped off Tuesday to Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. or mailed to Crossroads United Church, 7655 120 St., V4C 6P6. Cheques should have “North Delta Refugee Project” on the memo line. All donations will be charitably receipted.

For more information, call 778-593-1043 or email revcari@dccnet.com

Surrey North Delta Leader