Morrow United Methodist Church in Maplewood is sponsoring a family of five Syrian refugees, according to CBS New York.
The family — a father, mother and three children — arrived at Newark Liberty International Airport on Tuesday. The family will spend Thanksgiving in “virtual seclusion as invited guests at a family dinner.”
CBS2’s Steve Langford reported that the Morrow church council voted unanimously last week to welcome the family. Since then, the church has “amassed” donations to help pay rent on an apartment and provide an “array” of other assistance. Rev. Brad Motta, the pastor of Morrow, told Langford that the “phone has been ringing off the hook” and the church has been receiving emails with offers of assistance.
Although Gov. Chris Christie has said that he will not allow Syrian refugees in New Jersey, news media such as CBS2 and NJ.com are reporting that the Governor does not have the power to deny access — although he could “throw up some obstacles” or be “slow in making resources available.”
CBS2 reported that the family declined to appear on camera due to fear of backlash.
Rev. Motta told CBS2, “We wanted to be a voice that would say, ‘No, you are welcome,’ and ‘How can we make you feel welcome?'”
See the full CBS2 video report here.