The church hosted a benefit dinner, program and workshop on March 12th, 2016 raising over $2800 for Syrian refugees through Church World Service. With over 13.5 million refugees in need of assistance, the dinner offered the opportunity for the community to learn about the challenges facing Syrians as they flee five years of violence and seek a stable future in diaspora, as well as the different ways the world community can help them.

The dinner featured a talk by Razek Siriani, a refugee and former relief coordinator, on the humanitarian dimensions of the war in Syria and a workshop by Stuart Sears, an Arabic linguist, on multicultural communication. All proceeds and donations went to Church World Service. Church World Service has provided for 7 decades world wide assistance to refugees and the disadvantaged.

As a follow up, Stuart Sears is currently organizing a similar event in Longmeadow, MA.  We are currently developing additional ways to expand this mission.  If you have ideas or would like to join this team, please contact the church administrator.

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Photos: 1) Aerial view of Zaatari Refugee Camp, Jordan (U.S. State Dept.), 2) Refugee Camp in Turkey (Voice of America New / Henry Ridgwell), 3) Zaatari Refugee Camp, Jordan (Foreign and Commonwealth Office), 4) Syrian children at clinic in Ramtha, Jordan (DFID – UK Department for International Development), 5) Refugees in Slovenia (Robert Cotič), 6) Refugees in Budapest Railway station (Rebecca Harms)