By Regnault, Nick
Does your church or community group want to help refugees or migrants settle into your neighbourhood but you're not sure how to start?
Nick Regnault shares the experiences of his community at South West Baptist Church in Christchurch who are doing just that: initially through ...a refugee sponsorship scheme, and then in response to the terror attacks that occurred on 15 March 2019. This hugely rewarding and sometimes challenging journey has been a discovery: about others and about themselves.
Nick distils four essential threads weaving through all these experiences. When woven together, he says, we can create places of welcoming and belonging for others and for ourselves, for the newcomer and for the established.
The four threads are:
Being clear about our intentions and values in welcoming others.
Working with other people to together extend many hands of friendship.
Thinking about the places that we live and move about in differently: as places of rich potential for making connections and creating belonging.
Knowing about yourself and others.
Nick and his community are very clear that this is not about converting people to Christianity. It is about ordinary people reaching out hands of friendship towards each other - to build bridges and to make peace.Read more
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Nick Regnault is the Resettlement Coordinator for South West Baptist Church. His church was one of four approved community sponsors in the pilot Community Organisation Refugee Sponsorship programme. He co-ordinates the many volunteers that have contributed to welcoming former refugee families into Christchurch. Since mid-2017 he has been working with local and global organisations and passionate individuals to engage with the government and establish a permanent programme for communities to welcome refugees into Aotearoa New Zealand. Thanks to the generosity of the Lang Centre for Civic and Social Responsibility all profits from the sale of this book will be used for that work.
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