To Christians who were faced with many challenges, Apostle Paul encouraged them to "let mutual love continue!" In addition to building up their affection between ones they already knew, however, they were encouraged to "not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for by doing that some have entertained angels without knowing it." Hebrews 13:1-2
This week, I praise God that
MUCH has been happening around the country to lift up the needs of refugees, and encourage hospitality towards them! I give thanks for these many celebrations-and the ways many of you have helped to encourage welcoming acts through your phone calls and action events in your communities!!
Yet, because a Congressional vote is likely as soon as next week on an Omnibus spending bill, we know that
NO TIME IS MORE CRITICAL THAN NOW TO KEEP ON CALLING LEADERS AND ACTING TO BE SURE VOICES OF WELCOME ARE SOLIDLY HEARD ABOVE ONES OF PUSHBACK OR DISCRIMINATION.
Just days ago, leaders such as 20+ former secretaries of state and other national security, defense, and military experts wrote letters to each Member of Congress stating, "We believe that America can and should continue to provide refuge to those fleeing violence and persecution without compromising the security and safety of our nation. To do otherwise would be contrary to our nation's traditions of openness and inclusivity, and would undermine our core objective of combating terrorism."
Likewise, Senator Donnelly of Indiana
on Thursday expressed support for the current refugee resettlement program when he said, "I have worked extensively to review our screening process for refugees to enter into the United States and Indiana. I feel confident after this review that the refugee screening process is exhaustive and utilizes the best information, technology, and appropriate caution to ensure the security of the United States and our Hoosier state. I believe that, in light of the security processes, extensive reviews, and safety steps put in place, that the refugee program should be allowed to move forward."
Perhaps the greatest celebration is how multiple faith communities expressed welcome for refugees in so many ways this week! Here are a few celebrations of faith community voices raised in recent days:
More than 152 bishops, presidents of denominations and CEOs of faith-based organizations, as well as over 450 local pastors, rabbis, imams and other faith leaders, joined with us as Disciples, with Church World Service, and with the Refugee Council USA to send letters to all Members of Congress stating opposition to any legislation that could limit resettlement based on religion or nationality. The letter also calls for compassion and welcome towards all refugees.
View the full letter and list of signatories here.
Evangelical Faith Leaders, through the Evangelical Immigration Table, sent a letter to Congress calling for compassion and hospitality for refugees and asylum seekers.
Jewish community leaders, through the Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society (HIAS) released a national letter signed by over 1000 Rabbis in support of welcoming refugees to the United States. The letter called on elected leaders to "exercise moral leadership" in the face of this humanitarian crisis.
View the full letter and list of signatories
And especially, Church World Service posted many of the unending acts and stories of YOUR faith community hospitality from around the country. See some of them here:
SO, NOW WHAT IS NEEDED FROM FAITH VOICES LIKE YOURS??
CONTACT OUR OFFICE TO SHARE ANY ACTS OF HOSPITALITY FOR REFUGEES THROUGH YOUR CONGREGATION, OR STORIES, PICTURES, AND EVENTS OF WELCOME IN YOUR COMMUNITY!!
or call 202-957-7826.
TODAY, OVER THE WEEKEND, AND EACH DAY THROUGH DEC. 11,
CALL YOUR REPRESENTATIVES & SENATORS AT:
- Tell your Senators' offices that as a constituent, you OPPOSE bills and policy riders to the "Omnibus" appropriations bill that would stop, pause or defund the resettlement of Syrian refugees, or only allow Christians to be resettled.
- Tell your Representative's office that as a constituent, you OPPOSE H.R. 4038 and policy riders to the "Omnibus" appropriations bill that would stop, pause or defund the resettlement of Syrian refugees, or only allow Christians to be resettled.
IF YOUR GOVERNOR HAS ASKED THAT SYRIAN REFUGEES NOT BE ALLOWED INTO YOUR STATE, CALL YOUR GOVERNOR'S OFFICE USING THE NUMBERS BELOW!
Inform your Governor's office that as a constituent, you want to help WELCOME Syrian refugees and that you're against any efforts to reject Syrian refugees.
Arizona: 520-628-6580 / 602-542-4331
Michigan: 517-373-3400 & Sign the letter
Nebraska: 402-471-2244 / 308-660-9111
New Jersey: 609-292-6000
ew Mexico: 505-476-2200
North Carolina: 919-814-2000
North Dakota: 703-328-2200
South Carolina: 803-734-2100
South Dakota: 605-773-3212
Tennessee: 615-741-2001 & sign the letter
Texas: 800-843-5789 / 512-463-1782
AS YOU MAKE ALL OF THE ABOVE CALLS
to Senators, Representatives, AND Governors, feel free to use this script:
"I'm a constituent from [City] and I support Syrian refugees. I am opposed to any bill or provision in the upcoming funding bill that would stop or halt the resettlement of refugees based on their nationality or religion. I urge the Senator / Representative / Governor to represent me and other constituents who seek to welcome Syrian refugees."
Though some cite concerns about refugees being a concern to national security, refugees are actually the most heavily screened individuals entering the United States. Here are some helpful points on the security process, but the most important point is your story and why your community wants to welcome Syrian refugees:
- The U.S. government handpicks the refugees who resettle here, and the U.S. resettlement process has the most rigorous screening process in the world.
- Refugees are the most thoroughly vetted people to come to the United States, undergoing interagency screenings by the Department of Homeland Security, FBI, Department of Defense and multiple intelligence agencies, including biometric checks, forensic document testing, medical tests and in-person interviews.
- Continuing refugee resettlement while maintaining national security is not an either/or situation. The United States can continue to welcome refugees while also continuing to ensure national security. We can and must do both.
AND, PLEASE CONSIDER JOINING THE "WELCOMING REFUGEE" EVENTS BELOW, AND SEE STORIES OF ONES JUST HELD!!
See the events below, and check out
This Saturday, Dec. 5th
This Sunday, Dec. 6th
Sunday, Dec. 13th
Saturday, Dec. 19th
MOST RECENT PAST EVENTS
Thursday, Dec. 3rd
Multicultural Feast welcoming refugees in Bloomington, IN
Tuesday, Dec. 1st
#JustLikeUs Water Lantern Festival in Salt Lake City, UT
Holiday dinner in Syracuse, NY
Saturday, Nov. 28th
Say YES to Syrian Refugees rally in Hartford, CT
Rally for Refugees in Seattle, WA
Wednesday, Nov. 25th
Louisville Mayor and employees hold rally for refugees in Louisville, KY