Most recent refugee sponsored, Anas Qartoumeh to be Grand Marshall of Kelowna’s Pride Parade

The Central Okanagan Refugee Committee (CORC), a consortium of United Churches (Winfield United, Rutland United and First United Kelowna) have worked together for almost two decades sponsoring refugees through the United Church of Canada as a Sponsorship Agreement Holder (SAH) with Canadian Immigration (CIC). The first refugee family from Syria, the Alshahouds, a family of 7, arrived on May 20th 2016. CORC has worked closely with The Islamic Centre and others in the community to fundraise the money needed to sponsor refugees. Since 2016 two more families from Syria have been sponsored. In late 2017 the group of churches again responded to a request through Rainbow Refugees, a Vancouver-based organization, to sponsor a gay man from Syria. Anas Qartoumeh arrived in Kelowna on Nov. 23, 2017 and was greeted by his sponsors waving rainbow flags and welcoming him to Canada.

Anas has been settling into a new life in Kelowna, and was honoured to be invited to be this year’s Grand Marshall in the Gay Pride Parade on August 18, 2018. Hear Anas’ interview with CBC radio about his life in Syria and how his sponsorship to Canada has changed his life.


The Great Bibleland Dig

Ever wonder who wrote the Bible? When it was written down? Did you know the Bible was the first book ever printed mechanically? That it has been translated into more than 2,000 languages? What makes it so special? These are some of the questions we explored at our week-long Vacation Adventure held August 20-24. Twenty five kids and leaders gathered each morning for singing, games and crafts. We met the entertaining Dr. Doug Treasures, and found out all about what an archaeologist (that’s someone who digs in places where people lived long ago) does. Then we got to try our hand at being an archaeologist too by digging in our survey “grid” to find objects that helped us explore the Bible, and the times it was written in. It was a great week of learning and making new friends!