Refugees face down some of the most dire and difficult circumstances imaginable, fleeing their countries to escape persecution, oppression, and war. Episcopal Migration Ministries welcomes refugees to peaceful homes and hopeful futures in the United States, partnering with faith groups, volunteers, community organizations, and many other local supporters to build a foundation for success for these new Americans. In its 2011 program year, Episcopal Migration Ministries and its network of local affiliate partners assisted more than 3,600 refugees from 34 countries. From the moment they arrive in their new communities, refugee clients receive care, hospitality, and assistance from professional affiliate staff and from the hundreds of generous church volunteers who welcome the stranger through this ministry each year.

 

A Season for Reflection

As we journey through the holy season of Epiphany, we at Episcopal Migration Ministries (EMM) are given pause to reflect on our call to the ministry of refugee resettlement. The image of the Holy Family in EMM’s logo takes on new resonance at this time of year, as we remember that we seek and serve Jesus in the refugee families who come to our shores. They are new holy families finding their way in a new land.

It is also a time when we give thanks for the many Episcopalians who join with us in this life-giving ministry. A poem by Robert Fitzgerald provides an opportunity for reflection on this partnership and the experience of refugees.

Immortal brilliance of presage
In any dark day’s iron age
May come to lift the hair and bless
Even our tired earthliness,

And sundown bring an age of gold,
Forged in fabric, far and old,
An elsewhere and an elfin light,
And kings rise castward in the night.

With God’s help, you who join with us in this work are as Christ to the world, offering hope, healing, and peace to newly arriving refugees. As God’s partners in this work, you “bless even our tired earthliness,” giving a glimpse of the beauty of God’s kingdom.

For refugees, the “dark day’s iron age” has ended, an “elsewhere and an elfin light” has just begun. And as we come together to build communities of welcome, forming bonds of friendship with these new neighbors, we are all blessed to experience this “elsewhere” – the elsewhere of God’s grace, the beauty of God’s kingdom, even in our own day.

From all of us at EMM, we wish you a blessed season of Epiphany. And we offer our warm gratitude to you – for your friendship, your partnership, and your welcome.

We wish peace to you and yours during this holy season,

Episcopal Migration Ministries

Articles

Your rating: None Average: 1 (1 vote)
June 4, 2014
Immigration Advocacy Network Newsletter- June 2014 President Obama delays the DHS review of immigration enforcement policies; Congress heads home for June recess; National Refugee Advocacy week begins and the rise in unaccompanied immigrant children continues     Advocacy Calendar Legislative and Administrative Updates Immigration in the News Resources   Advocacy...
No votes yet
April 3, 2014
Be present, O merciful God, and protect us…so that we who are wearied by the changes and chances of this fleeting world, may repose upon thy eternal changelessness; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen. – Concluding Collect for Compline, Proposed Book of Common Prayer of 1928, Church of England Dear Fellow Advocate, The preceding collect, which appears in our present Prayer Book in...
No votes yet
January 23, 2014
As we journey through the holy season of Epiphany, we at Episcopal Migration Ministries (EMM) are given pause to reflect on our call to the ministry of refugee resettlement. The image of the Holy Family in EMM’s logo takes on new resonance at this time of year, as we remember that we seek and serve Jesus in the refugee families who come to our shores. They are new holy families finding...
No votes yet
January 23, 2014
On a recent cold, snowy night, a group of parishioners and refugee supporters gathered at Christ Church Cathedral in Lexington, Kentucky, to witness a heart-warming performance. The Kentucky Refugee Children’s choir – formed in 2013 through an initiative of EMM’s affiliate partners at Kentucky Refugee Ministries – performed a slate of three delightful songs. The choir is...
No votes yet
January 23, 2014
When you speak with refugees about their initial experiences resettling in the United States, one of the first things they often describe is the difficult adjustment to a new climate. For newcomers from Africa, the Middle East, and other warm climates, the winter in northern American cities can be a brutal shock. Many have never seen snow, experienced freezing wind chills, or even owned a heavy...