Singing Judgement, Singing Comfort

A Sermon for the Fourth Sunday of Advent

Jeffrey Metcalfe (click here to listen)

Micah 5:2-5a

Hebrews 10:5-10

Luke 1:39-55

It was a difficult week.

Like the three ghosts of Christmas in a Christmas Carol, three revelations were made last week that may forever change the lives of many refugees in Canada. Continue reading

The Ones Who Didn’t Make It

A Review of Benedek Fliegauf’s Film, Just the Wind

Emily Loewen

When thinking of the refugees who come to Canada every year, Europe likely isn’t the point of origin you would picture. But in 2011 the largest number of refugee applicants came from Hungary, and almost all of them are Roma.[1] Immigrating and building a life in Canada is not easy, and likely will get harder as Bill C-31 is implemented. But for many Roma, going back to the alternative in Hungary in unimaginable.

A new film, Just the Wind, which had it’s North American premiere at TIFF, follows the life of a fictional Roma family living in Hungary, waiting to join their husband and father in Toronto. Continue reading

Hospitality and the Law

Toward A Biblical Theology of Church Sanctuary in Canada

Jeffrey Metcalfe

The date has been set. The votes have been counted. The deportations will likely begin in January.

On June 28th, the Government of Canada signed into law Bill C-31, the so-called Protecting Canada’s Immigration System Act. Under the guise of reforming unfair queue jumping and eliminating what Canadian Immigration Minister Jason Kenny has termed “bogus refugees,”[1] this new legislation will streamline the current application process, moving away from a reliance upon panels of human rights experts, and concentrating more power in the hands of the Minster.

Under the new legislation, refugees seeking asylum in Canada will have fifteen days to submit a fully researched application in order to qualify for refugee status. Refugees from countries the Minister of Immigration designates, as “safe” – a designation not defined or regulated by the terms of the law but made under the Minister’s personal discretion – would then be deported from Canada with little hope of appeal. Moreover, while such refugees are in Canada, they will be ineligible for health care coverage, denying insulin to diabetics, and preventing pregnant women from having access to doctors or midwives during birth. Continue reading

A Canada Day Sermon

Jeffery Metcalfe

2 Corinthians 8:7-15

Mark 5:21-43

There are some places in our world so evil, that the very ground you walk upon can drain you of hope. Places where cruelty is the norm, where persons are transformed into numbers, and where good people say nothing.

Auschwitz-Birkenau is one of those places. While the deceptive grass now hides the crimes committed in the name of the nation, you don’t have to dig too deep before you find the ashes. Continue reading

On the Fast Track…to What?

Roma Rights in Canada

Ashley Cole

Last year, while working alongside refugee claimants, I held a small child in my arms and looked on as her parents stared at me in disbelief. In their country people don’t hold their children, they run over them with their cars or throw Molotov cocktails through their windows. So when they saw me showing attention and love to their child they were speechless, and I have to admit, so was I. I had never encountered others who had been so palpably scared by deep-seeded racism that it forced them to flee their homes and come to Canada, and this has been just one of my experiences with the Roma. Continue reading