History


The Centre for Newcomers Society of Calgary adopted the current name in 2010.  The Centre was initially incorporated as a Society and registered as a Charity in 1988 as the Calgary Mennonite Centre for Newcomers (CMCN) modeled after the Edmonton Mennonite Centre for Newcomers, which started in 1980,

The Centre was formed specifically to respond to the need for services for refugee claimants, especially those fleeing the civil wars in Central America, and arriving overland in Calgary.  The Centre was founded by the Mennonite church congregations of Calgary, with the support of Mennonite Central Committee Alberta. "Mennonite" refers to a distinct theological tradition within Christianity, and also to two ethnic and cultural traditions through which this distinctively pacifist theology has been nurtured.  To learn more about Mennonite theology and history, click here

In 2013, when the Centre for Newcomers celebrated 25 years of service in the Calgary community, founding members spoke to their family experience of migration, and about the impetus to create organizations to provide support to newcomers from very different regions of the world.  
 
History of the Centre for Newcomers
Because of their commitment to peace and justice, as well as personal or family histories of persecution, migration and displacement, Mennonites in Canada have been especially committed to advocacy and service on behalf of immigrants and refugees.

MCC Canada was the first denominational body to sign a Sponsorship Agreement for private sponsorship of refugees with Citizenship and Immigration Canada; through this provision, Mennonite congregations comprising less than 1% of the Christians in Canada assist in the sponsorship of about 500 refugees annually - more than 7% of the private sponsorship total.

In addition to the Centre for Newcomers and its Edmonton sister agency, Canadian Mennonites have founded these immigrant or refugee service centres:

Maison d'Amite, Montreal
New Life Centre, Toronto
Mennonite Coalition for Refugee Support, Kitchener
MCC BC Refugee Office, Vancouver