Welcome ALL Refugees
Urgent Appeal: Welcome All Refugees
To: Presbyterians, Congregations, and Councils of the Synod of the Covenant
Re: WELCOME ALL REFUGEES ( including Families from Iraqi and Syria)
Dear Presbyterians, Congregations, and Councils,
“For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you gave me clothing, I was sick and you took care of me, I was in prison and you visited me.” (Matthew 25:35-36)
“Let us love one another, because love is from God; everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. Whoever does not love does not know God, for God is love.” (1 John 4:7-8)
“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)
In their intent to dominate, the super powers, including our United States, are responsible for causing continuous wars, unjust socio-economic systems and unjust geo-political policies. Millions of innocent people, who are victims to these conditions and wars, have had to flee their homes and families and abandon their livelihood and native countries to seek safety for themselves and their families.
Mary and Joseph also had to flee their home and country for the safety of their child.
In 2015, the Synod Assembly earmarked $100,000 to help congregations to host refugee families fleeing the intense war and destruction in Iraq and Syria and other neighboring countries in the Middle East. Our Church has been helping support the church in Iraq for the past 17 years and the church in Syria and Lebanon for the past 7 years. In fact, the Presbyterian Church has been in serving in the Middle East and Asia as early as 1820s. Because wars have forcibly displaced millions from their homes and from other neighboring countries where many have sought refuge, local and church resources have been stretched beyond thin. People seeking refuge had to flee their homeland and relocate temporarily anywhere safe in order to survive. On August 3, 2018, on the recommendation of the Peacemaking and Justice Committee, the Synod Assembly voted to expand our outreach to ALL who seek refugee in the United States, including those from Iraq and Syria.
Hospitality is the essence of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. We acknowledge that individuals and congregations have rich and different gifts, and there is so much we can do collectively and as disciples, congregations, and church councils within our Synod, especially “for such a time as this” (Esther 4:14). We hear loudly and clearly how the Spirit, through the Church and this Synod, invites us urgently to demonstrate the love and teachings of Jesus by hosting individuals and families who seek refugee and sanctuary. A host congregation may request financial assistance from the Synod to help host and show hospitality to individuals and families in need, including to refugees who have been settled by a refugee agency. Individuals, congregations, and councils are also urged to partner and become active in ecumenical and interreligious collaboration to respond with practical hospitality and genuine love.
Interested individuals, congregations, and councils may contact the Synod Executive to discern ways to respond, and/or finalize a funding proposal for financial assistance.
We have been working closely in Michigan with Samaritas (https://www.samaritas.org/). We encourage you to work together with the Synod to explore and develop more meaningful ways and practical partnerships.
Please, do not hesitate to contact the synod should you require additional information or assistance.
Welcome Refugee Grant – Download Application
Statement by Gradye Parsons – Choose Welcome, not fear