This statement was read in worship on May 22nd, 2016
Regarding our refugee support initiative
During the fall and winter of this past year there has been much interest in relieving the plight of Syrian refugees. We have been encouraged by our federal government, our Presbytery and by many social media sources to help in whatever way we can. To answer this call a passionate team of people at Gale Presbyterian Church, with authority from Session, began the process to reunite a Syrian family with whom one of our members had contact. Details of that endeavor are published in our Gale Gatherings and occasionally updated during our Sunday worship services.
In the end, our efforts have not resulted in the proposed reunification and the family no longer qualifies as refugees. Reluctantly, the Refugee Support Group and Session have decided to terminate the process and to disband the Refugee Support Group. It is encouraging to note that members of the Refugee Support Group will continue to maintain contact with the family and to offer what emotional and physical support we can. But we are no longer involved in a Syrian refugee initiative.
It is the desire of the Refugee Support Group and the Session that funds raised toward this initiative do date be forwarded to Presbyterian World Service and Development for their work in Syrian refugee support. Session does not intend to take this action immediately. There are legal and ethical considerations to be addressed concerning what a charity such as Gale may do with donated money in a situation like this. We are investigating our options. We will communicate with each person that made donations toward this project to get feedback before we proceed further.
If you wish further information regarding this project please refer to the Gale Gatherings or speak to your elder.