[Anglican Communion News Service] The coordinator of the Anglican Communion’s newest international network, the Anglican Refugee and Migrant Network (ARMN), is looking to connect with dioceses around the world.
A letter sent to nearly 800 diocesan bishops by the Rev. Terrie Robinson, in her role as Anglican Communion’s Networks’ Coordinator, introduced ARMN’s new coordinator, the Rev. Catherine Graham, and asked them to share with her insights and information from their dioceses about issues of refugees or migration.
“Across the Anglican Communion, church communities are supporting migrants, internally displaced people and refugees in many different ways,” wrote Robinson. “To help Catherine understand how best to facilitate networking among Anglicans who are involved in such mission and ministry, and to enhance international awareness and support of local initiatives, we would like to ask for your assistance.
“Catherine would be very grateful to receive as much information as you are able to offer in respect of migrants, internally displaced people and refugees in your diocese or area. This might include a description of the local situation with any available statistics, together with an account of particular challenges faced locally by children, women and men who are now living away from their country or place of origin – and also by host communities.
“She would also value any information you are able to give concerning the church’s mission and ministry among, or on behalf of migrants, internally displaced people and refugees. This work might cover a broad range, for example, helping congregations to become aware of global situations giving rise to the displacement of people and the gospel imperative to respond to those in need; providing pastoral care and opportunities for worship for new arrivals; offering practical support.”
Robinson explained that it would be very useful to know of any engagement with local government and agencies, and with international structures or agencies on these matters. She also requested if someone in the diocese could be identified as a local point of contact for Graham.
ARMN was formally re-established by the Anglican Consultative Council when it met in 2009 and among its plans are setting up a website for the network within the Anglican Communion portal at www.anglicancommunion.org, and the formation of a global management committee, representative of the communion, to help steer its activities.
The network’s objectives are:
- To share information, ideas and experience, and to provide affirmation and mutual support for front-line program-workers and program-managers working with refugees and migrants on behalf of the Anglican Church through the creation of an active informal network;
- To provide, when appropriate, practice-based information and briefing to the Archbishop of Canterbury, the Primates, other Anglican Church leaders, and the Anglican Observer to the UN, to inform and strengthen their prophetic, advocacy and pastoral work on behalf of refugees and migrants;
- To promote awareness, concern and commitment to action within dioceses and parishes, to the benefit of local refugees and migrants;
- To encourage and collaborate with the wider ecumenical family and other faiths in promoting active ministry to refugees and migrants;
- To help tackle the root causes contributing to the creation of refugees and migrants through advocacy;
- To network with other institutions working on behalf of refugees and migrants; and
- To develop and share theological reflection on the causes, issues and consequences relating to refugees and migrants.