[Episcopal Church Office of Public Affairs press release] Episcopal Migration Ministries, the refugee resettlement agency of the Episcopal Church, invites participation in supporting its life-saving work through Stand To Support Refugees, a fundraising campaign to maintain a strong, viable ministry network to welcome those fleeing war, violence and persecution. Donations to Stand To Support Refugees will help strengthen important ministry to some of the most vulnerable throughout the world.
On March 6, President Donald Trump signed a revised executive order with elements that include: suspending refugee resettlement for 120 days; cutting the previously determined number of refugees to be resettled in the United States for the current year from 110,000 to 50,000; and prohibiting entry for most nationals from Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen for at least 90 days.
“The executive order will disrupt the promise of hope and safety for the most vulnerable children, women and men,” noted the Rev. Canon E. Mark Stevenson, director of Episcopal Migration Ministries. “Episcopal Migration Ministries is committed to embracing the command of Jesus, and his definition of neighbor. We recognize that there is little to fear from those who have themselves fled violence for fear of their lives. We respect and value the dignity of every human being. Our interest is only in being ‘neighbor’ to those who need to know peace and comfort.”
Like other agencies that resettle refugees and assist them with housing, job training and other services, Episcopal Migration Ministries receives the bulk of its funding from federal grants. Stevenson explained, as a result of the executive order, funding is being dramatically reduced for the remainder of 2017, potentially resulting in significant negative impact to core ministries offered by Episcopal Migration Ministries.
“The Stand To Support Refugees campaign will fund ministries and will lay the groundwork for a strong future,” Stevenson said. “At a time when the world is facing the largest refugee crisis since World War II, the United States can and should welcome more refugees, not less. Stand with Episcopal Migration Ministries and support our work as we care for and welcome our newest neighbors and advocate for refugees at home and abroad.”
“By making a donation to Episcopal Migration Ministries, we can continue to care for and welcome our newest neighbors,” Stevenson said. “Reach out to refugee or immigrant groups in your community and tell them that you are happy that they are here, that you are available to help – or simply that you are willing to be a friend. Pray for the victims of fear, jealousy and self-interest. And, pray for those who do this work.”
Episcopal Migration Ministries is a ministry of the Episcopal Church and is one of nine national agencies responsible for resettling refugees in the United States in partnership with the U.S. government. Episcopal Migration Ministries currently has 31 affiliate offices in 23 states.