National Setting of UCC Seeks Churches Involved in Refugee Ministry
Wednesday, February 10, 2016
The global media coverage on the Syrian refugee crisis over the past 6 months has prompted many congregations to reach out to the national office (and doubtlessly to many of you) with interest connecting or re-connecting with the UCC’s refugee ministries. This would include refugees resettling in the United States from Syria as well as from many parts of the world that receive little news coverage.
In response, we have invited Ariel Royer to serve for 3 months (January-March 2016) with Wider Church Ministries through the Partners in Service program. This is part of Ariel’s home assignment at the conclusion of her service as a Global Mission Intern with partner churches in the Middle East. She will be compiling information of UCC congregations already welcoming and supporting refugees in a variety of ways– through sponsorship of families, holding fundraising efforts, involvement in advocacy and awareness raising. We hope that this information will better position us to:
1) facilitate increased collaboration between congregations welcoming refugees now or in the future;
2) share best practices with congregations;
3) tell the stories of local ministries welcoming refugees;
4) strengthen UCC refugee ministries through Church World Service and its affiliates.
Last week, an article ran on UC News about this new project ( http://www.ucc.org/news_project_to_help_connect_and_resource_refugee_welcoming_ucc_congregations_01212016 ), and we have begun to receive responses. The next stage of the data collection process is to connect with you, your staff, or committees in order to identify congregations in your conference that are engaged in this work. Once we have the names of local congregations we will be in contact with individual churches to gather information.
Thank you for your help and encouragement in this project. Please be in direct contact with Ariel Royer with information on how best to make connections in your conference ( firstname.lastname@example.org and a cc. to Mary Schaller Blaufuss, Team Leader, Global Sharing of Resources email@example.com ). If you prefer, you can also let Ariel know a good phone number and time to give you or someone on your team a call. We believe this will be a valuable resource for local congregations searching for ways to welcome refugees to the United States.
Executive Minister, Wider Church Ministries
Co-Executive, Global Ministries