Who is our Neighbour?

A Conversation about Refugees and Immigrants in our Community.

Refugees and immigrants have always been a part of our society, but recently their stories have played out in the mainstream media: sometimes favourably, sometimes not. Along with the news coverage, there has also been an abundance of confusing, often misleading information circulated across social media and email. Please join us for this initial discussion about refugees and immigration in our community, as we work to understand their experiences and to answer the question: Who is my neighbour?

The Rev. Dr. Jean Morris, Associate Minister, Pastoral Care at Grace will begin our conversation. Fariborz Birjandian will speak next, and as Chief Executive Officer of the Calgary Catholic Immigration Society – and an immigrant himself – Birjandian has a unique perspective on the sometimes challenging process that refugees and immigrants must follow before they can become Canadian citizens. Our final speaker, a refugee in our community, will share his personal experience: Deng Lueth, a Lost Boy, is a member at Grace and is now a graduate of the University of Calgary.

Come and Listen. Come and learn. Come and be inspired.

DATE:  June 14th 2017

TIME:  7:00 – 8:30 PM

LOCATION: Family Room (Reception to follow)

PRICE: Free (free parking too!)

TICKETS: Please register at Eventbrite.ca, or by contacting the Grace office: office@gracecalgary.org, or 403-244-5861


Updates and additional information

June 5:  Have you seen this? Look at how much Canada’s diversity has changed since 1871.

A graph showing increasing diversity in Canada's foreign-born citizens

June 6: Here’s another interesting chart from Statistics Canada. This one shows the number of immigrants who landed each year in Canada.

A graph showing immigration numbers by year in Canada

See that spike in the early 1900s? That’s when Canada was promoting the settlement of Western Canada. 1913 was a record year when over 400,000 immigrants arrived. That number immediately declined in 1915 – a result of World War I. Then a few years later, in the 30s and 40s, you can see the deep trough during The Great Depression and World War II.