Wednesday 18 May 2016 2:30 p.m. Diocese of BC Clergy Conference Session 5

Clergy Conf

Synod Office Staff

Rebecca Siebert – Refugee Coordinator

My passion is working with refugees from my childhood growing up in Columbia. I was evacuated from where I was living and lived in a Church of the Nazarene Sunday School for a month after we had to leave our home.

It took me three years to accept Canada as my home when  I first came here at 18, but now I love it and the welcome Canada is giving to refugees has been amazing.

Every week policies are changing with the government. We requested 113 spots for individuals for the rest of this year. They gave us 17

As of June 1 we have to wait til January 2017 to hand in our request for more spots.

We have 58 people on the ground who have arrived since September. Those families are settling. 53 of these are Syrian.

We also got 23 applications in, the last one handed in yesterday, mostly covered under a window when the government said there were no caps.

100 Sponsorship Agreement Holders (SAH) meeting in Saskatchewan next week.

since 2012 the government has been limiting SAHs since they were getting so backlogged due to a lack of staff.

Last week Minister of Immigration agreed to send more staff to the Middle East but sadly these aren’t new staff they are resources taken from other offices around the world.

Not all the people waiting are in refugee camps.

Scott McLeod was working with three sponsorship when he was refugee coordinator. We are now working with 58 families

My regular day:

  •  Office from Ottawa called at 6:30 a.m.
  • email from volunteers, family did not get on the plane. Have to email every office in Canada to find out what to do
  • Constituent group called saying invited to be on CTV News because family not coming
  • Call from man in Sudan who spoke to his wife and she was taken into detention
  • Another application for a man detained in Israel because he is illegal. Had to find a Hebrew translator
  • Talk with groups are asking about money. What to do when families are asking for more money?
  • Writing a lot of applications
  • Giving groups emotional support

Thank you for looking for volunteers to work with me

Most of the work is when the families arrive.

Launched in 2013, the Blended Visa Office-Referred (BVOR) Program matches refugees identified for resettlement by the United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR) with private sponsors in Canada.

Gail Gauthier – Diocesan Finance Officer

Trying to figure out how to develop consistency in lifestyle provisions for refugee families. Need information from groups to make this possible.

Trying to set up ways to share information about activities with refugee families that they can access for free.

Compiling 2015 reporting from parishes

Have distributed majority of residential schools refunds

If you are having a staff difficulty get in touch with me or Stephen Martin

Time sheets must be kept by any staff working under supervision

Question – we have been talking about why we have our money and what it’s for. We are a parish that has some money. I need some support in getting a framework for talking about whose money it is and how we gain access to our financial resources. What  is the money we have for? What is our relationship with money?

Response: money changes lives. It plays a role in the goals we achieve. It is complicated because there are money that don’t have money and others that do. Money is an emotional thing and as times get tough we get more emotional over it. No matter where you are on the scale money is always difficult.

Stephen Martin (Diocesan Executive Officer): we are going to have regional tours again. We should have staff coming and should be able to break out into interest groups and get these conversations going with parishes.  If people have thoughts about how that should be organized, let us know.

Stephen Martin: Safe Church – we have a good core of material developed. We are trying to get it into useable shape, to teach parishes that we are all safe church and everyone is responsible. We are operating as a family. Two stages one course with more at risk and another with less at risk. And we’ll take it to the regions, getting mentors who understand the ethos.  Any questions on Safe Church issues come to me. I am the one who is operational.  Safe church module for Refugee program is on-going.

Question: is there any information on bullying?

SM: we are considering a definition of bullying now. We are not sure how to define it at this time.

CatherineCatherine Pate – Communications Officer

Question from Catherine: You hired me to make effective communication – what is effective communication?


Only when the target has received and understood the communication

Accuracy, consistency, and when we know the face behind the communication

Good communication is when what I say and what you hear are the same thing


We have to be able to measure the outcome of effective communication. How are you going to know whether or not we have been successful. How will we know when messages have been received effectively. What are those measures?

In our preferred future, what will look different? What will the nature of things be when we have developed effective communication?


When we get integrated and strategically planned communication functioning in an operational and harmonized way at every level of the community.

Put audio files up on the internet

We’re not sure we will ever reach fully effective communication.

Shared responsibility for information going where it needs to go.

When all parishes have similarly effective websites.

When we can distinguish between that which is informational, that which is important, and that which is urgent

Communication is a receiver phenomenon

What is the communication universe?

Occasional surveys to assess satisfaction with communication.

Bring training to parishes to increase communication skills in parishes.

Ask key users: are things getting worse, staying the same, or improving?

If you seek perfection it will collapse.

Volume of email can be overwhelming, needs to be manageable.

We have been talking a lot about change – if anything is going to change in the future it is going to be in communication.

Clergy can be the bottle neck in communication.

We need multiple levels of communication.

Possibility of in-services at clergy days and possible at Regional days.

In parishes when you talk about communication, they are interested in how to get the parish message out into the broader community.

Catherine – my first job is to get the website up and running. My second job is to develop a strategy.

As clergy you are the prime communicators in your parish. You have to find multiple channels by which to communicate. You no longer have the luxury of having only the telephone. You need to get to different people in different ways.

Zimbra migration is going forward. Moving to Office 365 May 29. Will be able to use LiveMail and Gmail. There will be bumps. Make sure you save things.

If you are not using Zimbra but have an account and are forwarding to another address you still need to migrate.