Welcome Refugees

Welcome Refugees

Urgent Appeal: Welcome Refugees

To: Congregations of the Synod of the Covenant
Re: Hosting Refugee Families from Iraqi and Syria

Dear Presbyterian Congregations,

“For the Lord your God is God of gods…who executes justice for the orphan and the widow, and who love the strangers, providing them food and clothing. You shall also love the stranger, for you were strangers in the land of Egypt.” (Deuteronomy 10:18-19)

As you already know, there are numerous families that were forced to leave their homes and country seeking refuge due to the intense war and destruction in Iraq and Syria and other neighboring countries in the Middle East. Our church has been busy helping Iraqi Christians over the last 12 years. With the millions who are being displaces in neighboring countries, resources are being stretched beyond thin. People seeking refuge had to flee their homeland and are sent elsewhere in order to survive.

Hospitality is the essence of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. We acknowledge that congregations and individuals have different gifts, and there is so much we can do collectively and as congregations within our Synod, especially “for such a time as this” (Esther 4:14). The Spirit, through the church, and Synod, invites us urgently demonstrate the love and teachings of Jesus by hosting a family from Iraq or Syria. A host congregation may request up to $5,000 over one year from the Synod to help host such a refugee family that has been cleared and placed by a refugee agency. Congregations and individuals are also urged to partner with one another, as well as to contribute in any way possible to help with this initiative.

The following will be of assistance: After connecting with an agency from the resource list, please consider finding a suitable home; arrange a welcome at the airport; arrange a dinner at the church or a home of a church member/friend. When you know more about the family, set up a task group or team to discern prayerfully how to provide hospitality and much needed assistance – it may be helpful to speak with Middle Eastern friends about what foods are staples; someone may need to contact the school system for the children; if language is an issue, the local library may be of service having an English as a Second language tutorial system. Other things may come to mind, so this is just to name a few critical things.

Church World Service is also a partner in this effort, so there may be resources available through them. Please, review the list of related agencies in Michigan and Ohio, which is posted on this webpage. Our Synod has regional resource people waiting to assist you. Please, do not hesitate to contact your presbytery and synod offices should you require additional information or assistance.


Welcome Refugee Grant – Download Application

Statement by Gradye Parsons – Choose Welcome, not fear

Letters to the Governor by Synod Moderator, Executive, Stated Clerk

Letter from the Ohio Council of Churches

Refugee Resettlement Organizations


Lutheran Social Services Of Michigan – 4 locations:

170 E. Big Beaver
Troy, MI 48083
(248) 423-2790

207 E Fulton, 4th Floor
Grand Rapids, MI 49503
(616) 356-1934

Nussdorfer Center
1545 Keystone
Lansing, MI 48911
(517) 321-7663

2 W Michigan Ave
Suite 300
Battle Creek, MI 49017
(269) 532-0827

Catholic Charities of South East Michigan – Office Of Migration
Address: 15945 Canal Road
Clinton Township, MI 48038 Phone: 586-416-1113

US Committee for Refugees & Immigrants Dearborn
Address: 13942 Michigan Ave, Upper Level Suite 1
Dearborn, MI 48126 Phone: 313-581-4420

Bethany Christian Services-Refugee Resettlement Program – CWS Affiliate
Address: 1050 36th Street Se Suite 400
Grand Rapids, MI 49508 Phone: 616-284-3262

St. Vincent Catholic Charities Refugee Services
Address: 2800 W. Willow
Lansing, MI 48917 Phone: 517-323-4734 X 1402 —


International Institute Of Akron, Inc.
Address: 207 East Tallmadge Avenue
Akron, OH 44310 Phone: 330-376-5106 —

Catholic Charities of Southwestern Ohio
Address: 100 East 8th Street
Cincinnati, OH 45202-2129 Phone: 513-241-7745 x2530

Catholic Charities, Diocese of Cleveland Migration And Refugee Services

Address: 7800 Detroit Avenue, St Augustine Tower
Cleveland, OH 44102-2814 Phone: 216-939-3731

The International Services Center
Address: 815 Superior Ave. E
Cleveland, OH 44114 Phone: 216-781-4560 —

Community Refugee And Immigration Services – CWS Affiliate
Address: 1925 E Dublin-Granville Rd, Suite 102
Columbus, OH 43229 Phone: 614-235-5747

World Relief Columbus
Address: 4664 Cleveland Ave.
Columbus, OH 43231 Phone: 614-337-2448

Catholic Social Services of the Miami Valley
Address: 1046 Brown Street
Dayton, OH 45409 Phone: 937-223-7217

Us Together
Address: 2021 E. Dublin-Granville Rd., Suite 190
Columbus, OH 43229 Phone: 614-437-9941

Us Together – Cleveland Office
Address: 2940 Lee BoulevardSuite 200
Cleveland Heights, OH 44118 Phone: 216-456-9630 —

US Together – Toledo office
Address: Kenwood Gardens
2629 Alisdale Drive Toledo, OH 43606
Phone: 614-580-1778 —

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There are 5 Comments

  1. Tom Zych

    Good afternoon. I am an elder at Forest Hill Church in Cleveland Heights, Ohio. Our congregation is looking into ways that we can be of help in the resettlement of refugees in our community. We are particularly moved by the plight of Syrian refugees in light of the statements and actions of our politicians and political leaders. We are most interested in learning of how we can help, and welcome the opportunity to speak with someone who can provide information about how we can do so.

    Your brother in Christ,
    Tom Zych

      1. Rob Fulton

        Amen! to what Tom Zych expressed. First United Presbyterian Church, Bellefontaine, Ohio is also looking into the possibility of welcoming refugees. Now is NOT the time to throw up walls and shut down our borders, but a time to remember, that if we ARE a “Christian nation” as is so often claimed, then, as Jesus said, “Even as you have welcomed one of the least of these, my sisters and brothers, you have welcomed me.”

  2. Sallie Campbell

    Is this grant only for working with refugees from Syria or Iraq? Does it have to be family resettlement? I work with a school for refugee people (from many different countries) completing their high school diploma (US) and we could really use some financial support for buying textbooks in particular. The school is run by volunteer teachers and tutors. Let me know what you think and I will fill out an application if this is something the Synod would like to consider.

    1. Raafat Zaki

      Thank you again for your ministry and for connecting with the Synod. We exchanged few emails already. I just wanted to underscore our commitment to the initiative and that we hope to follow up as I explained in my emails hopefully by March.