Studying Congregations

— Abstract: Want to better understand your congregation or your community of faith? By examining a congregation’s ecology, culture, resources and process, we begin to understand its pattern and dynamics. — Reference(s): Janzen, Rich, Mark D. Chapman, and James W. Watson. 2012. Integrating Immigrants into the Life of Canadian Urban Christian Congregations: Findings from a National Survey. Review of Religious Research 53, no. 4: 441-470. http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007%2Fs13644-011-0025-2 — Keywords: church planting, church mapping — Additional Links: http://studyingcongregations.org

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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 College and Seminary Library with your account 2. Email us for a downloadable copy.

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Christian Churches and Immigrant Support in Canada: An Organizational Ecology Perspective

by Sam Reimer, Mark Chapman, Rich Janzen, James Watson, and Michael Wilkinson Abstract: Canada receives roughly 250,000 immigrants each year, and the government spends considerable resources on assisting them to settle and integrate into Canadian society through the agencies they support. Most of these new immigrants settle in Canada’s largest cities, where churches meet specific needs that extend beyond the capacities of government agencies. In smaller centers, churches cover a wide range of services because few government supports are available. Little is known about the work of churches in Canada in spite of their importance to immigrant settlement and integration. In this study, we examine the services offered to immigrants by Canadian Christian churches. We show how the service provision of Christian churches is constrained by other organizations and groups in their environment, in ways consonant with the organizational ecology framework. Specifically, churches service the needs of immigrants by adapting to specific niche needs and by filling in gaps left by other service providers. Reference: Reimer, Sam, Mark Chapman, Rich Janzen, James Watson, and Michael Wilkinson. 2016. Christian Churches and Immigrant Support in Canada: An Organizational Ecology Perspective. Review of Religious Research 1-19. http://link.springer.com/10.1007/s13644-016-0252-7 To access this article: 1. Login to

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What It Takes to Truly Be ‘One of Us’

By Bruce Stokes and Rhonda Stewart The tide of people moving across the world, be they immigrants or refugees, has sparked concern in Australia, Europe and the United States. In particular, the ethnic, linguistic and cultural background of migrants has triggered intense debates over the benefits and the costs of growing diversity and the risk of open borders to national identity. Unease over the cultural, economic and security ramifications of immigration helped to fuel the Brexit vote in the United Kingdom, encourage the idea of a wall along the U.S.-Mexican border and broaden support for right-wing populist parties in France, Germany and the Netherlands.

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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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