Episcopal Migration Ministries, through the work of the Episcopal Public Policy Network in the Office of Government Relations of The Episcopal Church, speaks out in support of refugee protection and resettlement. The Episcopal Public Policy Network offers advocacy and action opportunities to help you voice your support for refugees.

Complex Solutions

At the end of 2019, the UN Refugee Agency reported that there are more than 70.8 million refugees, asylum seekers and internally displaced people worldwide – the highest level ever recorded. Of the 70.8 million displaced, 25.9 million are refugees, over half of whom are children.

Finding solutions to refugee crises is complex. While some refugees may choose to go home when it is safe, some may find that the countries that first offered them safety may also offer them a pathway to legal residency and citizenship, and a very small number of refugees may be offered the opportunity to resettle to a third country. At current levels, less than 1% of refugees will ever be resettled.

Take Action

The global refugee crisis is the largest we have ever seen. The United States has a long history of supporting refugee resettlement as a life-saving tool in response to refugee crises worldwide. It is more important than ever that the United States continue to take a leadership position in welcoming refugees to a safe and hopeful future. Here’s how you can help support your refugee neighbors and the resettlement program:

  • Learn about refugees and resettlement on our Welcome page, Backgroundervideos, and this online class series.
  • EMM is a member of the Multifaith Alliance for Syrian Refugees (MFA). MFA, a project of the Tides Center, is the United States’ leading interfaith response to the Syrian refugee crisis. MFA’s mission is to raise funds in support of organizations that provide direct services to Syrian war victims, heighten awareness of the growing dangers of inadequate responses to the Syrian humanitarian crisis, and plant the seeds for future stability in the region by fostering people-to-people engagement.

Contact your elected officials to tell them that you support your refugee neighbors and the resettlement program. You can do this through the Episcopal Public Policy Network (EPPN). The EPPN is a grassroots network of Episcopalians dedicated to striving for justice and peace. Through our action center, you contact your member of Congress directly via email, participate in direct advocacy, and spread awareness in your community. Click here to learn more about the Episcopal Church’s ministry of advocacy. Click here to join the EPPN or contact Rushad Thomas, [email protected], 202-547-7300.

We are living at a time when refugees, asylum seekers, and immigrants are often in the news and too often considered a political “issue.” These people are not a political issue; they are human beings and children of God in desperate need. We can help meet those needs, while also lifting up the vulnerable so that they can stand on their own. This toolkit provides guidance and resources for congregations who want to support asylum seekers and welcome their newest neighbors. Welcoming our neighbors as we would welcome Christ is not a political issue; it is an issue of our identity as followers of Jesus, as members of the Episcopal branch of the Jesus movement, and as people who made promises at our baptisms.

Will you seek and serve Christ in all persons, loving your neighbor as yourself?

Will you strive for justice and peace among all people, and respect the dignity of every human being?

To these questions, together we answer with a resounding, “We will, with God’s help.”

Learn more and request the toolkit.

As we get to know our newest neighbors and build relationships, we can’t help but speak up. We tell stories, we share our lives, and we are called to share the good news of welcome.

Episcopal Migration Ministries offers Love God, Love Neighbor, a three-day training to equip you to be an advocate, ally, and ambassador for refugees and the ministry of refugee resettlement. Love God, Love Neighbor provides an in-depth exploration of the global displacement crisis, US refugee policy, the refugee resettlement process, faith-based advocacy for refugees, and organizing to welcome and support refugees in your home community.

We are always seeking partners to help host these events. If you’d like to explore bringing LGLN to your community, diocese/province, or state, please contact us.

  • Welcome New Americans to Your Community: Episcopal Migration Ministries works through a network of 13 local partners in 11 dioceses. Volunteer with one of our local resettlement partners to welcome new Americans. If there is not an Episcopal Migration Ministries’ partner near you, you may contact Allison Duvall, EMM’s manager for church relations and engagement, for assistance in locating the closest resettlement offices to your area: [email protected], (212) 716-6027.
  • Welcoming America: Welcoming America leads a movement of inclusive communities becoming more prosperous by making everyone feel like they belong. Today, a growing number of places recognize that being welcoming leads to prosperity; Welcoming America provides the roadmap and support they need to become more welcoming toward immigrants and all residents. Learn more about Welcoming America resources, webinars, and opportunities here.

Write an op-ed or a letter to the editor to share your support for immigrant and refugee welcome. Here are some great tips on writing an op-ed and getting it published. The Op-Ed Project has compiled submission information for over 100 top online and print publications across the country. Want help with your main points? Let us know; we’re happy to help.

  • Refugee Sunday Toolkit – EMM offers a comprehensive toolkit that guides congregations through the process of planning and hosting a Refugee Sunday, including tips for additional activities to welcome the wider community into this special day. Request here.
  • Host a rally, a #RefugeesWelcome dinner, or educational event. Bring your community together to support welcome and to stand with your refugees neighbors. You can do this through larger events, like a rally, or smaller, more intimate events, like a dinner in your home. Education and building understanding are key. Check out the Refugees Are Welcome toolkit for great resources and tips for planning events and spreading the word.