An update from the Rev. Ann Plumley, co-pastor at First Church of Christ in Mansfield, Congregational, United Church of Christ, and a leader with the Quiet Corner Refugee Resettlement Core Team:

Beloved QCRR'ers, 

We did it -- together. With sweat, imagination, flexibility and persistence and -- well, the Holy One only knows how, the little red house was fully prepared and thoughtfully furnished to greet our family. 

They arrived safe and sound. And bewildered. And exhausted. And anxious. And curious. And grateful. 

The Core Team is taking cues from them; we are absorbing advice from IRIS. We are connecting this family with people in the community who have language skills and refugee / emigration experiences that are relevant. We are scrambling to address some unforeseen needs - and all these early support services are having an important impact easing the family into a new world and a new phase of their lives. 

Many of you are chomping at the bit to read the children a story, take them to the Dairy Bar, share a cooking lesson. Maybe even teach them that squirrels are nothing to be afraid of (well, unless they're rabid and/or in your attic - but some American experiences can wait). 

Actually, a lot of lessons and experiences must wait until the family indicates their needs and readiness. When the time is right, our Volunteer Managers, or perhaps in some cases our Co-Case Coordinators will tap volunteers for ESL lessons, community tours, transporting a family member to an appointment, and for a myriad of other services large and tiny. That time will come, but except in very narrow and specific ways, we're not there yet. Please DO NOT go to the house or connect with the family in any way unless specifically invited by Ann Kouatly, Sondra Stave, Steve Lane, or me. As with the family's gradual evolution into a new phase of life, we QCRRers will ease into new phases of helping this family. 

In the meantime, you can do several things: 
  • Support / publicize fundraisers that are coming up. Or, think of one you'd like to initiate; 
  • Think peaceful thoughts and good wishes and prayers on behalf of this family and all families who are settling into new homes; pray in your preferred ways for those remaining in dire circumstances; 
  • Enjoy this glorious mid-summer season with new eyes and gratitude for abundant blessings so apparent everywhere we look. 
One of the lessons our new neighbors will learn in time is the strength of our freedom to express opinions. Below is a reflection written by QCRR volunteer Bob Wyss. While this email list is not ordinarily going to contain explicit political opinions, you'll see that Bob has put the particularities of our own shared experiences into a larger context. I hope you agree it's ok to share his fresh perspective and lovely writing. 

Ann Plumley
SCC's own Bob Wyss featured on the Huffington Post, reflecting on QCRR work

SCC's own Bob Wyss is the author of three books, most recently The Man Who Built the Sierra Club, A Life of David Brower. Wyss is a veteran, award-winning journalist who has written for The New York Times, Christian Science Monitor, and other publications. He is a professor of journalism at the University of Connecticut. He both writes and teaches about the environment. Bob and his wife, Dr. Dianne Sprague (also an SCC member), live in Mansfield.

Bob and Dianne have been very involved with the Quiet Corner Refugee Resettlement coalition, and Bob recently had the opportunity to reflect on that experience... a reflection featured this week on The Huffington Post.

Click here to read Bob's essay, "Confessions of a Refugee Anarchist," on the website of The Huffington Post
SCC Concert on the Lawn to benefit QCRR

The second of SCC's annual series of 3 Concerts on the Lawn for 2016 will benefit the Quiet Corner Refugee Resettlement project.

The concert on August 11th features opening act The Fixin's (a trio which includes QCRR's own communications coordinator, Jen Beck), together with SCC's own carillonneur-in-residence, David Maker.

Click here to see more info about this concert and the whole Concerts on the Lawn: Carillon Festival 2016 series...
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