Video: Presiding Bishop’s World Refugee Day message

Episcopal Migration Ministries toolkit, resources for individuals and congregations

Posted Jun 15, 2017


[Episcopal Church Office of Public Affairs] “In the name of Mary, Joseph and the Lord Jesus, aid all refugees today, for most of the refugees like the Holy Family themselves, are families, and most are children,” commented Episcopal Church Presiding Bishop and Primate Michael B. Curry in his 2017 World Refugee Day Message. “I invite you to observe June 20 as World Refugee Day to learn more about the crisis and to find ways that you can both pray and help in other ways.”

In 2000, the United Nations named June 20 as World Refugee Day, deeming it an annual opportunity to celebrate the resilience and success of the former refugees who bless our communities with their wisdom and irrepressible spirit and to examine the root causes of violence and persecution that force people to flee at an alarming rate.

Episcopal Migration Ministries is a ministry of the Episcopal Church, and is one of nine national agencies that work in partnership with the government to resettle refugees in the United States. Episcopal Migration Ministries currently has 31 affiliate offices in 23 states.

The Presiding Bishop’s video message is here.

Episcopal Migration Ministries toolkit
Episcopal Migration Ministries has prepared a comprehensive toolkit, located here, with ideas and guides for individuals and congregations to observe World Refugee Day on June 20.

In 2017, World Refugee Day falls within the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, and one of the toolkit items provides ways to host an Interfaith Panel Discussion & Prayer for refugees followed by an Iftar meal (literally translated to breakfast).

“Faith is one of the primary drivers for many involved in the important work of refugee resettlement,” commented the Rev. Canon E. Mark Stevenson, Director of Episcopal Migration Ministries. “We hope, by gathering members of and in communities across this land to eat together and share aspects of their own particular faith traditions regarding welcoming, that we can deepen our relationships and inspire even greater ministry on the local level.”

• Find a local World Refugee Day event on this RCUSA list of Nationwide Events
• Host a #StandTogether Interfaith Conversation, Prayer and Dinner in honor of World Refugee Day, resources available here
• Start a conversation in your congregation and community about how you can be involved in this life-saving work. World Refugee Day bulletin insert here.
• Join the Episcopal Public Policy Network to learn more about how you can work with local and elected leaders to support refugees.


Presiding Bishop Michael B. Curry 2017 World Refugee Day Message

In the late 1930s, as the world was on the verge of being plunged into an apocalyptic Second World War, Episcopalians and the Episcopal Church gathered together and began work to resettle those who were refugees fleeing terror in Europe, helping to resettle families, helping to resettle young people, helping to resettle people in this country in safety and security.

Since the 1930s, Episcopalians have been involved in the work of resettling families and people who are refugees, some 80,000.

At that time, in the 1930s there was a poster that depicted Mary, the baby Jesus, and Joseph. Mary was on the donkey. They were clearly on a journey. They were fleeing Palestine. They were seeking to find safety in Egypt. They were refugees. The poster from the 1930s read, “In the name of these refugees, aid all refugees.”

In the name of Mary, Joseph and the Lord Jesus, aid all refugees today, for most of the refugees like the Holy Family themselves, are families, and most are children.

I invite you to observe June 20 as World Refugee Day to learn more about the crisis and to find ways that you can both pray and help in other ways.

God bless you, God keep you, and you keep the faith.


Comments (6)

  1. Pjcabbiness says:

    To ask the members of our denomination to blindly ignore the theological and historical reality of the nature and purpose of Islam is a mistake. To assume that an ideology committed to our destruction is harmless and that the ill intent originating from that belief system is limited to a few radicalized elements is naive. The influx of Islamic immigrants is not without risk. To dismiss the likelihood that this current wave of immigration is connected to a larger Islamic global strategy of infiltration, subversion, non assimilation and conquest would be foolish. I suggest that we cautiously, prayerfully and thoughtfully approach this issue in a more critical and deliberate manner.

  2. I would suggest that Pjcabbines take a look at his (I’m just sure this is a guy) Bible again, say his prayers, and join us in taking risks for the sake of God’s precious children

  3. Charles M Hawes says:

    I appreciate the hermeneutic, theology, and humanity that underlie this message and I thank our Primate Michael for expressing them. I am saddened however by the omission of a confession regarding our part in making refugees of others in World War II, our Japanese-American sisters and brothers and the Jews we turned away from our shores. We have much to atone for.

  4. Bill Louis says:

    Thank you PJ for pointing out what everyone seems to want to ignore. I am NOT willing to join with those that want to take blind risks for the “sake of God’s children.”. I have children and grandchildren that I am very concerned about when it comes to those kind of risks. I will feel mulch more comfortable if and when the incoming refugees are properly vetted and when I see those in the refugee communities “saying something when they see something”. The vivid examples of violence against women, LGBTQ and Christians in Eroupe and Scandinavia should give enough pause to anyone who wants to blindly let these people into our country. Why are the oil rich middle Eastern counties not taking in refugees? The never ending Progressive agenda of the Episcopal Diocese is tiring ro say the least.

  5. Jawaharlal Prasad says:

    I understand the concerns expressed by PJ and Bill. Certain communities do not integrate or assimilate easily and hence, there can be a genuine concern. Children of immigrants who grew up studying in a Western educational system indulge in terrorism as in England, France, etc. – this does not help build any confidence. A powerful group of misguided people have hijacked the teachings of Islam plus the “fight” between Shia and Sunni sects have made matter worse. The politics of Middle East is complex and refugees find that their lives and freedom are well protected in democratic countries (West, India, etc.). It is an irony what while Muslims can practice their religion freely in democratic countries, non Muslims face considerable difficulty practicing their faith in Islamic countries.
    As a country, US is remarkable in many ways. It is still one country where refugees are welcomed thereby expressing a genuine belief in human dignity, justice and compassion.

  6. Tony Oberdorfer says:

    PJcabbiness and others are absolutely right. The idiocy of inviting into our country members of a politicized religion dedicated to the destruction and total eradication of Christianity cannot be exaggerated. It is sheer lunacy.

Comments are closed.