Dear Friends, 

As we move into summer the main thing to remember is that  this coming Sunday, July 3,  marks the first of 5 services at the Church of the Good Shepherd (408 38 St. SW). Once again we will be combining with Good Shepherd for the summer with all Sunday services at 10 am at Good Shepherd and all August services at 10 am at St. Laurence.  Please join us there.  July 10 you may want to arrive early to enjoy the Stampede Breakfast. 

I would also like to say that Tuesday, June 21 it was my pleasure to join in welcoming the Khatab family to Canada.   
My daughter, Ava, and I drove the two teen-aged girls, Marwa and Maram, from the airport to the duplex we have rented and furnished for them in Glenbrook.  They were so tired from their two-day journey from Jordan that they both fell asleep in the car.  When we pulled up to the house I had to use the English-Arabic app on my phone to explain this was their new home.  The smiles and looks of relief on the girls' faces is a gift I will long treasure.  

When the rest of the family and volunteers arrived their mother, Raghda, suggested we all sit down together and have coffee.  Wonderful thick, sweet, Arabic coffee was prepared and served in beautiful small gold and black cups.    The scene of all of us sitting and drinking the coffee took me back to my own childhood when, as a very young child, my own family immigrated to Canada from England. My clearest memory from that move is of my mother searching through our belongings in this strange new house trying to find a kettle so that she could make tea.    What a gift that thanks to the work of our wonderful volunteers everything for coffee was right there waiting for them in their fully stocked kitchen.   To all the volunteers and helpers out there know that you have contributed to a true act of hospitality and love.

If you would like to read more about the Khatab family's arrival please take a moment to read the section below.

With every blessing for the summer months and especially on all who travel, all who welcome and offer hospitality,  and on all who build new relationships of love and trust,


P.S.  The Diocese of Calgary is doing a survey as they consider whether to resurrect the Diocesan Newspaper or transition to other forms of communication. If you would like to fill out this survey  
Welcoming the Khatab Family  
 An Update From the Refugee Resettlement Project July 27, 2016
As previously announced, the Khatab family arrived in Calgary last Tuesday, June 21st. Their trip to Canada started on the morning of Monday, June 20th, Jordan time, with some required medical tests.  They then had to go home and get their luggage and head to the airport.  They were very worried that they were going to miss their flight, and were thankful when they made it in time.  It was a two day journey, and likely the first of its kind for them.

 They were well looked after at the Calgary airport, and conveyed to their new home by volunteers.  After their two day journey and three sleepless nights, they were all very tired.  Once at the house the volunteer welcoming committee stayed for a short visit, and showed the Khatabs where their house was on a map of Calgary.  The mother, Raghda, responded with "Now we have a house on a map while in Syria they are erasing all the houses".

Raghda has a niece who lives in St. John, New Brunswick, and asked if it is close to here; Samira Assaf had to explain how far away it is.  She dialled the niece's phone number when they got to the house so that Raghda could speak to her; Raghda's niece will advise family members in Jordan and Syria that the family has arrived safely in Calgary.  

Raghda and Marwa seem to understand a little English.  All of them were anxious to see their new home and to get their phones working as soon as possible (the parents and the sons, Mohammad and Mahmoud, already have cell phones).

Raghda's parents and two brothers were killed in the war, and she has one more brother still in Syria whose situation she doesn't know anything about.  She says she lost her family in Syria but feels like she found a new family here; that her heart opened up to all of the volunteers, and that she hopes their hearts opened up to her and her family.

Both Raghda and father Khaled repeatedly expressed their gratitude to everyone.  They seem quite sociable and eager to please, and are looking forward to learning English, settling and starting working.

Chris Longson, one of the Primary Support volunteers, has given us his impressions of how the family's first few days in Calgary have gone: 

The past 4 days have been a huge learning curve for everyone.
They arrived on Tuesday afternoon after 3 sleepless nights.  By the next day they were raring to go.

They are hugely appreciative of the house.  They know this is the work of many volunteers, and have met some of them.  I sense they don't quite know how to fully express their relief and gratitude for being so well looked after. 

The family were in a camp in Jordan for three years.  One of their first statements on arrival was "We are a working family and we are very keen to start working as soon as possible", followed by "When can we get work?"  They know they have to learn English, but work is clearly uppermost in Khaled's mind.  Khaled and his son Mohammad ran their own dry cleaning business in Syria for many years and then worked for someone in Jordan in the same business.

They are all very keen to learn English and over the past four days we have seen a noticeable difference, in part I think because their shyness in trying to speak is falling away.  As you might expect, they understand more than they can say.  Raghda is also determined to teach us Arabic.

The boys have worked since leaving school after Grade 6, Mohammad with his father and Mahmoud in a sandwich shop.  The girls have gone on to high school and continued to study in Jordan, so Marwa was in Grade 12 and Maram was in grade 9.  Although they are a Muslim family they have opted out of fasting for Ramadan (June 6 through July 5th) because of the long daylight hours here, and, I'm guessing, also due to the huge break in their routine .

They told us they lived in a mixed community with many Christians and there were several churches and a mosque in their neighbourhood.  They were very surprised that the churches here don't have bells. They had one right next door in Syria and they were awakened early every morning by the sound of its bells.

On Thursday our lead ESL volunteer came around with English teaching books to introduce the idea of language lessons.  Marwa is very keen on literature and I have seen her delving into these books frequently.

"Google Translate" has been working overtime!  What a godsend.  However, that's not to diminish in any way the great support that Samira and her husband Dave have been over the past few days.  Dave has driven all the way from their home in the NE several times for long chats and laughs with everyone.

An expedition to the local bowling alley was organized for us on Thursday evening.  Khaled and Raghda came along but announced they didn't want to play ... but when we all got started, that was forgotten and we had a great time.  Champion of the evening was Maram, much to the chagrin of her brother Mahmoud.

Mahmoud is the athletic one in the family.  He is like a coiled spring and is finding it very hard to cope with all the sitting around waiting for things to happen.  He would LOVE a bicycle.  In fact all the youngsters are keen on the idea.  Summer youth programs are a must ...

On Friday we visited the Harry Hayes building to get SIN numbers set up, and with some last minute driving help we got the whole family downtown and processed quite quickly.  The folks in Service Canada were really helpful.  We followed this up with a walk along the Bow River to Princes Island.  They absolutely loved the river and were fascinated by all the wildlife (ducks mostly).

Saturday was Khaled's birthday.  We took them for a walk on Nose Hill, watching the marauding rainstorms around us.  One finally nailed us as we were returning from the summit overlooking the city, so we all arrived back to the house in a soggy state.  A birthday cake for Khaled awaited, made by Hapi Standing.  It was served with sweet tea, ice cream and we Canadians all sang Happy Birthday, in English of course.  After this they announced that they were very keen to come to St. Laurence today (Sunday June 26th) and meet some of the people who are sponsoring them.  They want to visit all four churches soon, and will be invited to the Stampede Breakfast and service at Good Shepherd on July 10th.

The Refugee Resettlement Project:
A Joint Ministry of Good Shepherd, Knox, 
St. Laurence and St. Martin's

July at St. Laurence
All July services will be held at The Church of the Good Shepherd

408-38th Street SW.

10:00 am Sundays 

Friday July 1 
Happy Canada Day

Sunday, July 3 10:00 am

We begin our combined summer service with The Church of the Good Shepherd.  Anna will be preaching and presiding and Deb is the musician.

Sunday, July 10 

Stampede Breakfast 8:30 -10:00 am. at The Church of the Good Shepherd. Please join us for pancakes and Stampede fun; don't forget to get dressed in your best western wear.
10:00 am Eucharist. The Rev. Anna Greenwood-Lee

Sunday July 17

10:00 am Service with The Rev. Anna Greenwood-Lee

Sunday, July 24
10:00 am Service with
The Rev. Anna Greenwood-Lee

Sunday, July 31
10:00 am
The Rev. Ryan Anderson to preach and preside   
Anna's schedule - Anna is away on holiday from June 25 to July 2. July 18 - 23 she is in Vancouver for a congregational development course.  July 25 - August 21 she is again on holidays .  For pastoral emergencies during any of the away times please call Anna's cell at 403-852-7849 and she will work with you to find the help you need.  

Save the date-
For those who like to plan ahead please mark the evening of Saturday, June 10 2017 at the Earl Grey Golf Club for a dinner celebrating the 50th anniversary of St. Laurence.  Other events will also be planned for 2017 as we celebrate Canada's 150th, the Diocese of Calgary's 125th, and St. Laurence's 50th

St. Laurence Anglican Church | 5940 Lakeview Dr. SW | Calgary | Alberta | T3E 5A8 | Canada