June is an especially appropriate time to lift up refugee and immigrant contributions and challenges, since June 20th is World Refugee Day. Also, Disciples joined with all Church World Service and National Council of Churches partner communions in March to issue an “Ecumenical Declaration: Protecting Welcome, Restoring Hope” in support of refugees and immigrants.
We hope YOUR congregation can join other churches around the country to celebrate your community’s welcome for Refugees and Immigrants ON JUNE 18th (or another Sunday near that time!)
See our Disciples Welcome Sunday planning toolkit and other planning resources for your Refugee & Immigrant Welcome Sunday (and stay tuned for additional resources to come) to help you in planning your event.
You can find planning resources from Church World Service for your celebration here and find a “World Refugee Day Toolkit” for more materials about refugees to help for your welcome Sunday, or for another special celebration for World Refugee Day on June 20th.
Also, plan now to TAKE ACTION that shares your support for refugees by signing and delivering these Refugees Welcome Legislator Postcards to your national, state, and local leadership offices! And, add your voice to a “Refugee Call In Campaign” any time during the week of June 12-18. Before June 12th, text STAND to 313131 to get a reminder on June 12th to call Congress during the week at 1-844-4STAND5 to urge them to welcome refugees. Go here to see flyer. Go to this alert to learn more about how to contact your legislators to urge adequate funding for refugee support next year, to share your welcome for refugees, and to urge that at least 75,000 refugees (for which Congress has already approved funding) be admitted during during this fiscal year (ending Sept. 30th, 2017).
Also, join the new #ToImmigrantsWithLove letter writing campaign to support immigrants, sponsored by Define American and I Am An Immigrant.
And, be sure to SIGN UP to let us know how you’ll be honoring refugees and immigrants.
Stay tuned also for stories about our Disciples connected refugees and immigrants, which are currently being gathered for sharing around Refugee & Immigrant Welcoming Sunday. And PLEASE contribute your OWN stories of refugees and immigrants related to your church family.
Finally, to consider how else your church can continue to support immigrants and refugees, begin to study the GA-1723 “On Becoming Immigrant Welcoming Congregations” resolution to be presented for discussion at General Assembly this July in Indianapolis!
Go here to find the closest refugee resettlement office to your area, and contact them to arrange for a refugee speaker. Reach out to a local immigrant congregation in your area, or contact our office to assist in inviting a local immigrant rights leader to speak. Look here for a map of the resettlement offices.