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A CALL TO HOLY ACTIONS
IN THIS HOLY SEASON
           
(Far left:  Veronica celebrates with clergy following her positive immigration check-in in Baltimore; left:  Roger in Falls Church, VA. shares with Disciples his story of rejoining his family after escaping persecution in the DRC; Disciples clergy C.J. and Alexis lead for justice in launching a Sanctuary Network for Md., DC, and VA.) 
"Therefore, prepare your minds for action....(and) just as he who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do."            I Peter 1:13,15

In these moments of remembering Christ's holy steps toward death and resurrection in the Holy Land, we continue also to grieve the horrific gas attacks in Syria in recent days, retaliatory air strikes from our own nation upon Syria, church bombings last week in Egypt, and U.S. bombings just yesterday in Afghanistan.

Refugee & Immigration Ministries offers blessings to you on your own faith journey, and invites you to consider these "holy actions" in support of the world's vulnerable refug ees & immigrants:

1.  READ & SHARE THIS "HOLY SEASON STATEMENT OF SOLIDARITY" WITH PEOPLES O F THE HOLY LAND.   Remember & pray for for our partners in the Middle East as you pon d er our  Ch r istian  Church (Disciples of Christ) and United Church of Christ statement just released,  expressing solidarity with partners and refugees in and from the area:  https://www.discipleshomemissions.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/03/DOC-UCC-statement-on-violence-in-the-Middle-East-and-Refugees-April-10-2017.pdf

2.  ENCOURAGE CHILDREN, YOUTH, & ADULTS IN YOUR CONGREGATION TO SIGN & SEND A TESTIMONY  ABOUT HOW REFUGEES & IMMIGRANTS HELP YOUR COMMUNITY "BLOSSOM"!   Find our "Legislator's Postcard" here:   https://www.discipleshomemissions.org/wp-cont
ent/uploads/2016/03/RW-Legislative-Postcard-SPRING-final-Mar-2017.pdf  Print out copies on cardsto ck, collect statements from your community, and send (or preferably--DELIVER in 
  person!) to your national and state Senators and Representatives,  and to your local Mayor and Council leaders.  Your voices MATTER to create an environment of WELCOME for refugees and immigrants!  For extra value--please also SCAN your community's messages to national senators & representatives to:  sstanley@dhm.disciples.org, and  RIM will print and DELIVER them directly to your national legislative offices in D.C., too!  

3.  IT'S "SPRING RECESS" NOW THRU APRIL 21ST--& THAT MEANS LEGISLATORS ARE HOME & NEED TO HEAR FAITH VALUES FROM YOU ABOUT WHAT YOU HOPE WILL (OR WON'T!) BE FUNDED IN BUDGET DECISIONS UPCOMING APRIL 28TH!! 
 Go here for a full "Neighbor to Neighbor" Toolkit about how YOU can make a visit, as faith partners, during this CRITICAL time!:      http://www.interfaithimmigration.org/neighbor-to-neighbor-toolkit-and-resources/.     Additional resources at our "Interfaith Immigration Coalition" site include backgrounders about the budgeting process, current proposals related to immigrant communities and enforcement, talking points, and resources you can share with your legislative office!  You can also download graphics like:                                      


4.  ENCOURAGE YOUR CHURCH TO SAVE A DATE  
DURING JUNE
   TO HOLD A "REFUGEE
 AND IMMIGRANT WELCOME SUNDAY!"  
Last month, Disciples joined together with all Church World Service & National Council of Churches denomination s to issue an Ecumenical Declaration in support of refugees and immigrants.  See it here:

 
 June is an especially appropriate time to lift up refugee strengths and needs, since June 20th is World Refugee Day.  See beginnin g resources for planning your Refugee Sunday here:  (and stay tuned for additional resources to come!)  And, see a World Refugee Day toolkit for more resources about refugees here:   https://www.rcusa.org/world-refugee-day/

5.  PLAN NOW TO SUPPORT JUSTICE FOR IMMIGRANTS AND REFUGEES AT THIS SUMMER'S DISCIPLES GENERAL ASSEMBLY IN INDIANAPOLIS, JULY 8-12TH !
   Review and prepare to support our "On Becoming Immigrant Welcoming Congregations," Resolution GA-1723, coming to General Assembly.  You can find it here:   https://www.discipleshomemissions.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/03/GA-1723-On-Becoming-Immigrant-Welcoming-Congregations.pdf
  Al so, plan to start your Assembly experience by joining with RIM & other Disciples justice groups for our "Rally 4 Family Justice".  Download and share the flyer here:  

5.  FOLLOW OUR FAITH PARTNER AMICUS BRIEFS RESISTING THE REFUGEE BANS.   Next week, two federal courts of appeals (in the 9th and 4th Circuit Courts of Appeal) will begin considering the President's second "travel ban" Executive Order.  The Executive Order bars citizens of six predominantly Muslim countries, and refugees from around the world, from entering the United States, and enacts a drastic cut in the number of refugees to be admitted this year; changing the number for resettlement from 110,000 to 50,000 for FY2017.   The law firm of Morrison & Foerster has filed amicus briefs, pro-bono, representing Disciples Home Missions and other faith-based organizations which object to the order as discriminatory and contrary to our mission of helping refugees.  Stay tuned for more info about these hearings, and how you could potentially show up to show your support.

6.  ENJOY AND SHARE THIS FAITH LEADER'S VIDEO ABOUT HOW THEIR CONGREGATION BUILT SUPPORT FOR REFUGEES AMONG PARISHIONERS OF VARIOUS PERSPECTIVES!:   https://www.facebook.com/UNHCR/videos/10156256034138438/  (Note:  This video was shared through the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees office.)  Even though it focuses upon a Baptist pastor, their church's story closely models the discernment and engagement we see lived out through many of our Disciples congregations, as well!  If your congregation has questions about refugee resettlement, please contact Rev. Dr. Sharon Stanley-Rea at:  sstanley@dhm.disciples.org or 202-957-7826.

7. REMINDERS AND OPPORTUNITIES COMING SOON:  
         *Disciples will be gathering "Immigrant & Refugee Disciples Family Stories" of strengths and challenges of church leaders and members among us.  Stories will be released day by day during June and in the lead-up to General Assembly.  A common form for story collection will be provided--so start thinking of the stories you have to share, to help ALL within our church's understand the immigrant and refugee "family stories" we share!
   
       * A 7 Part Study on Refugee & Immigration Themes called "Living as Spirit Blessed Communities"(especially appropriate for Pentecost season!) is available now here:   https://www.discipleshomemissions.org/missions-advocacy/refugee-immigration-ministries/bible-study/.    And, stay tuned for an even newer version out soon!)  Use this study as an additional "Refugee Sunday" and "World Refugee Day" celebration resource!  Themes emphasized are:  Refugees & Asylees, Root Causes, Workers' Rights, Pathways to Citizenship, Border Policies, Immigration Enforcement, and Family Unity.
  
       *Don't forget you can support refugee welcoming as you Order Refugees Welcome Door Hangers & Bracelets made by refugees, available for only $3 each!  Order them here:   http://www.refugeesarewelcome.org/hangyourheartwithrefugees/

Rev. Dr. Sharon Stanley-Rea
Director of Refugee & Immigration Ministries
Disciples Home Missions,  Five Thomas Circle, N.W. 
Washington, D.C. 20005-4153

www.discipleshomemissions.org(202) 957-7826 (Cell)
@StanleyRea
DHM is Disciples Hands On Missions!

Refugee & Immigration Ministries is a ministry of Disciples Home Missions
 in Partnership with the Christian Church Capital Area 
and the Disciples Center for Public Witness