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Come and welcome Oakville’s Interfaith Council’s sponsored Syrian family

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Reverend Dr. Morar Murray-Hayes

Reverend Dr. Morar Murray-Hayes

The Reverend Dr. Morar Murray-Hayes is the Minister of Maple Grove United Church, and is a member of the Interfaith Councill of Halton. A chatty extrovert with a conversational preaching style, a multi-tasker who is a “multi-worrier” when it comes to caring about people’s problems, and a leader who treasures teaming with the lay people in her church, Morar says that at Maple Grove she has experienced “a deeper level of ministry than I thought possible.” Anyone who has personally received Morar’s deeply compassionate caring and wise counsel will testify to what an inspirational, healing and encouraging ministry it is.

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We are pleased to announce that Maple Grove United Church is welcoming the Al-Balkhi family from Syria at the 10:30 service on Sunday, January 24, 2016.

Maple Grove United Church is a partner in ACT, (Abraham’s Children Together) with the Shaarei Beth-El Synagogue and ISNA (Islamic Society of North America) Canada. ACT is a multi-faith partnership that emerged in Oakville to be a sponsorship agreement holder in 2015 under the CIC private sponsorship program. The objective of ACT was to sponsor a Syrian refugee family and help with their settlement and integration into Canada.

In November 2015, the Al-Balkhi family was notified that they may be coming to Canada. After having successfully passed the various CIC processes in Jordan, they arrived in Canada on December 21, 2015. The family of seven stayed for two weeks at the home of MGUC members Carlos and Katy Joaquim. The family was then moved to their townhouse in the Mavis/Eglinton area of Mississauga in early January.

We look forward to introducing our sponsored family to the MGUC community and the greater southeast Oakville community at the 10:30 AM services on Sunday, January 24, 2016. Peter Goodspeed from Lifeline Syria will be delivering the sermon on the situation in Syria, and a lunch will follow.

White hair elderly manAn award winning newspaper reporter with thirty-nine years of experience, Peter Goodspeed has worked as a foreign correspondent, a war reporter, an editor, a manager, a feature writer and a political reporter. He spent three years as the Foreign Editor for the Toronto Star daily newspaper and served as a Bureau Chief and foreign correspondent in Washington, Johannesburg and Hong Kong. He has reported from 63 different countries, while covering 22 different conflicts, including the Falklands War, the U.S. invasion of Grenada, the anti-apartheid struggle in South Africa, wars in Africa, Central America, the Middle East and Asia and the Second Gulf War in Iraq. He has won a National Newspaper Award (Special Projects 2000) and was one of the last Southam Journalism Fellows at the University of Toronto. He worked at the Toronto Star for 20 years (16 as a foreign correspondent) and spent 14 years employed as a Senior Reporter, International Affairs, for the National Post. He was awarded the Dateline Hong Kong Fellowship for 2005 and received a Distinguished Alumni Award from Brock University in April 2012. In 2013 he was awarded a year-long Atkinson Fellowship in Public Policy to study refugee policy in Canada.

Soup will be served for a donation of two dollars after the service. We look forward to seeing you at Maple Grove United Church, 346 Maple Grove, Oakville on January 24th!


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