A large contingent of Oasis staff, volunteers and supporters attended a vigil at the Dawah Centre mosque to honour the dead and injured at Quebec City. Hundreds attended the vigil. Special thanks go to Todd Thomason, who was recognized at the vigil, for rallying a group to attend from Kingsway Baptist Church. We were supported mightily by Phyllis Ortiz and her faithful prayer chain. Richard Steinecke presented the following reflections on behalf of Oasis (prepared text):
On Monday morning I felt personally connected to the sad, sad events the night before in Quebec for two reasons. First, I have become close to a Syrian refugee family. They have been here for six months and I wondered at their feelings about the country they now call home. Just before I arrived this evening I received a reassuring email from the family stating that they are still glad to be in Canada. Second, we at Oasis, a Christian faith-based organization, have a number of Muslim community members including Syrian refugee families. As has often been said, Jesus was a refugee from political violence. So Christians should be particularly sensitive to this form of evil. Yesterday morning Oasis posted a message on its website and Facebook page stating “Muslims are Welcome at Oasis”. I then sent a message to our staff asking them to communicate this message to our volunteers and community members this week. We need to make our values of inclusion and non-violence known. Today, as we mourn together let us resolve to embrace all Canadians in acceptance, peace and, most of all, love.