World Refugee Day: Tuesday, June 20
According to UNHCR, the UN refugee agency, there are now more than 60 million refugees and displaced people worldwide. This is the largest number of refugees the world has known anytime since World War II.
There are three durable solutions for refugees: repatriation, integration, and resettlement. Thankfully, in many cases, refugees are able to repatriate or return to their home countries once the conflicts there have ceased and civil society has stabilized. Other refugees, who may not be able to return home, are able instead to integrate into the country of first asylum – the country to which they fled for safety. The remaining group of refugees – less than 1 in 100 refugees – is resettled to another nation.
Episcopal Migration Ministries (EMM) is the refugee resettlement service of The Episcopal Church – a living example of the Church’s commitment to be a presence of hope, comfort, and welcome to refugees. Each year, Episcopal Migration Ministries provides a wide spectrum of services, including resettlement, employment, and intensive medical and mental health services, to more than 5,000 refugees, asylees, special immigrant visa holders, and Cuban/Haitian entrants. These new Americans receive assistance as they rebuild their lives in security and peace in 30 communities across the United States. In addition to Episcopal Migration Ministries’ collaboration with local affiliate partners to welcome and serve arriving refugees, EMM staff members equip, support, and empower dioceses, congregations, and individuals to learn about and find their own place in the welcoming ministry of refugee resettlement. Additional information, videos, and resources about Episcopal Migration Ministries may be found at www.episcopalchurch.org/emm
A prayer: Almighty and Loving God, you who have crossed the boundaries of Heaven and Earth to be with your people, visit those who must flee their homes because of violence and oppression and lead them to a land of safety. We give thanks to you that you hear our intercessions on behalf of our refugee brothers and sisters. We thank you that love swallows fear, that in your compassion we learn to walk with those who suffer, that when we give of ourselves we receive far more, and that when we receive those who stand knocking at our doors, we receive Christ the Beloved One. May all praise, glory and honor be to our God, the Most High. Amen.