The United States resettles some 70,000 refugees each year, and Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service (LIRS) helps about 10,000 of these through its service partners across the country, according to LIRS.
This year, LIRS is celebrating its 75th anniversary of walking alongside migrants and refugees. As part of the celebration, the organization has created a free resource kit for “Refugee Sunday” on June 22.
The kit, which can be adapted for a variety of settings and ages, includes suggestions for worship, a discussion activity, a poster and a bulletin insert. A video, sermon notes from the Rev. Dr. John Nunes and a refugee simulation game also are available after signing up at lirs.org/lcmskit.
The kit is expected to be mailed to LCMS congregations, schools and campus ministries in mid-April.
“This is a nice opportunity for congregations to learn about how they can participate in welcoming new Americans so they have opportunity to hear the Gospel of Jesus,” said the Rev. Bart Day, executive director of the LCMS Office of National Mission.
Day also serves as an executive member at-large on the LIRS Board of Directors.
“I am inspired and grateful by the incredible energy and interest being generated around the LIRS 75th anniversary,” said Linda Hartke, president and CEO of LIRS. “Congregations are making plans to commemorate our commitment as a family of faith to welcoming the stranger. Just as important, congregations are also preparing to celebrate their own ministries with new Americans. The local congregation has played a key role in welcome since our very founding in 1939, and we pray that more congregations get involved as a result of Refugee Sunday.”
“With millions of people fleeing Syria and other conflicts in the world, the need remains urgent for Lutheran Christians to help uprooted people rebuild their lives,” she continued.
For help planning activities for Refugee Sunday or to arrange a speaker, contact Matt Herzberg at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Posted April 4, 2014