The Afghan resettlement information meeting held on Wednesday night (referred to below) is tied to an invitation from Bishop Loya and others to all faith communities in ECMN to take part in an effort during Advent to raise awareness across the diocese for our Afghan allies that have made their way to safety in the United States and here in Minnesota. During Wednesday’s meeting, members of St. Johns, learned about the opportunities and responsibilities a faith community needs to meet in order to co-sponsor an Afghan family. While there are so many different ways for individuals and faith communities to walk with our new neighbors, the most essential way is prayer. At the same time, the Bishop has asked each ECMN faith community to dedicate the loose offering in the collection plate to the Minnesota Council of Churches Refugee Resettlement Program, and we plan to do that this weekend. As our Presiding Bishop Michael Curry reminds us, “The ministry of offering welcome to those fleeing violence is nothing less than God’s work—one that calls us to walk the way of love as Jesus of Nazareth taught us, through compassion, through practical care, showing to our newest neighbors that we are neighbors.” This is an exciting opportunity for St. John’s, building on a history of providing support to refugee families over the years. If you are interested in playing a role in helping an Afghan family resettle in MN, please reach out to Rex McKee, who is coordinating our possible response and engagement with the other churches.
Mark Lindberg, Jr. Warden
Thank you to all who participated in the Afghan Webinar on the 8th. For those that could not, the link to the Zoom meeting is here.
Bishop Loya has asked the diaconate to provide leadership concerning the massive influx of Afghanistan refugees after twenty years of war. At the close of the letter he wrote, “There is perhaps no clearer moral imperative in the scriptures than welcoming the stranger and providing hospitality to the foreigner.” He called upon us not only to pray for our Afghan Allies, more specifically he challenged us to welcome and support Afghan families to our cities and to work with Episcopal Migration Ministries, and their partner the Minnesota Council of Churches, to fully incorporate them into our common lives together.
On behalf of the deacons for the three lakes congregations, St. Paul’s, St. Lukes-James, and St. John’s you are invited to an informational Zoom (the link can be found in our weekly email) meeting on Wednesday December 8th at 7:00. Kathryn Berger of the Minnesota Council of Churches Refugee Services will join your deacons to provide an overview of mission opportunities and to answer questions.
Blessings and Peace,