As a response to a suggestion from the General Body, a Newcomers Guidance Cell has now been formed in the Parish. In light of the fact that most newcomers to our Parish are also new immigrants to Canada, the Executive Committee felt the need to form a Guidance Cell, to welcome and assist them with their process of settling in Ontario and help integrate with our parish community. The principal objective of the Guidance Cell is to welcome the newcomers to our church with open hearts, open minds and open doors and make them feel at home. Currently, the following services are being offered to the newcomers:
- Introduction to other members of our parish
- Rides to attend church service, prayer meetings and important appointments
- Accommodation/Rental/School admission information
- Assistance with obtaining government documents such as SIN card, OHIP, Driver’s License etc.
- Information on public libraries/computer/Internet access
- Assistance with Job search/Resume Writing
- Contact names and addresses of reputed Job placement agencies/Co-op training programs, Adult Learning centers
- Licensing/registration requirements for various trades/professions
The Newcomers Guidance Cell has put together a ‘Welcome Kit’, which will be presented to all newcomers to our parish. This ‘kit’ contains very useful information that will assist them with the various settlement formalities and registration procedures for new immigrants.
The Guidance Cell activities were inaugurated on our second Parish Day, Sunday July 20th, by formally presenting a ‘Welcome kit’ to Mr. Sunil George and family who had immigrated to Canada recently. Since then, ‘Welcome Kits’ are being handed out to all newcomers to our parish who may have intentions to stay on here now or in the foreseeable future. The feedback from the newcomers has been very positive.
A resource pool of individuals who can volunteer their time and talents to help assist the newcomers has been formed. Since our church is blessed with members who are specialized in various trades and professions, the newcomers could benefit from our collective knowledge and experience, if we can co-ordinate our efforts. Members willing to be part of this resource pool are invited to contact the Newcomers Guidance Cell members, or sign up on the sheet posted on the bulletin board in the church basement.