Integrating Immigrants into the Life of Canadian Urban Christian Congregations: Findings from a National Survey

By Rich Janzen, Mark D. Chapman, and James W. Watson — Abstract: In just one generation the cultural face of Canadian society has been transformed. The relative level of immigration has increased rapidly as has diversity among those immigrants. This article reports on the findings of a national survey that offers a baseline of how and to what extent local Canadian Christian congregations are responding to this cultural diversity. In particular, it explores how churches are integrating immigrants within the life of their local congregations. This article uses a systems change perspective to frame immigrant integration. This perspective emphasizes three requirements for change: vision, structure and processes that promote immigrant integration. Data was collected using an online survey of urban congregations in the nine urban Canadian communities having an immigrant population above the national average (20% foreign-born). Using these data this article explores the full range of immigrant integration efforts from the initial welcome to inclusion into congregational life. It describes the present status of immigrant integration, details reported successes and challenges and notes respondent suggestions for better integration. Results of this survey provide first-time baseline insights into how a range of urban Christian congregations from across Canada are presently responding

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Canadian Christian Churches as Partners in Immigrant Settlement and Integration

By Rich Janzen, Alethea Stobbe, Mark Chapman, and James Watson — Abstract: This article discusses the role of Canadian Christian churches in immigrant settlement and integration and discusses implications for the settlement sector. A total of 34 denominations responded to an online survey. Findings show that many churches are intentionally involved in immigrant ministry, motivated by their Christian and social concern. Existing immigrant supports are wide-ranging and holistic, include the unique contribution of immigrant congregations but are limited by underdeveloped partnerships. It is in the equipping processes of leadership development, training, planning, and evaluation that churches are weakest and could benefit most from partnerships with other settlement players. — Reference(s): Janzen, Rich, Alethea Stobbe, Mark Chapman, and James Watson. 2016. Canadian Christian Churches as Partners in Immigrant Settlement and Integration. Journal of Immigrant & Refugee Studies 1-21. http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/15562948.2015.1123792 — Keywords: Role of Churches. Immigrant Settlement Integration, immigrants, settlement, Newcomers — To access this article: 1. Login to Tyndale University Library with your account 2. Email us for a downloadable copy.

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Creating a World of Welcome: On Mission at Home

 By Mark Chapman Syrian refugees are in the news but Canadian churches have been developing relationships with immigrants since immigrants first arrived on the shores of what is now Canada. The recent needs of Syrian refugees and the ongoing diversification of Canadian society have brought immigrants concerns to the attention of churches across Canada.   “What was once true only in Toronto and Vancouver is now true in places like Prince Albert, Saskatchewan and small communities in New Brunswick and places like that… These are communities that have been stable and white and are now being infused with color and accent. The huge cities weren’t ready for it 15 years ago, and the churches in the small towns are not ready for it now. We need to help them take on the challenge that’s before them.” A recent project on the Role of Churches in Immigrant Settlement and Integration aimed to help meet this need. The good news is that most churches already have the resources they need to make a difference. Canadian churches are happy to have immigrants come to their churches but they sometimes know little about how to help immigrants establish themselves in Canada or in the

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The Role of Churches in Immigrant Settlement and Integration

The Role of Churches in Immigrant Settlement and Integration is a national research project conducted across Canada by the Centre for Community Based Research (CCBR) in five cities (Toronto, Montreal, Vancouver, Moncton and Halifax) and funded by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC).

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