ST. LOUIS: Schools and congregations of The Lutheran Church--Missouri Synod (LCMS) will be participating in Refugee Sunday on June 22.
The LCMS is joining with Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service (LIRS) to recognize the day as LIRS celebrates its 75th anniversary of walking alongside migrants and refugees.
"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 and executive member at-large on the LIRS Board of Directors.
The United States resettles about 70,000 refugees each year. LIRS helps about 10,000 of these refugees through its service partners across the country.
LIRS is mailing free Refugee Sunday resource kits to congregations, high schools and universities nationwide in April. 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 www.lirs.org/lcmskit.
"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," she said. "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."
About Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service
- LIRS is nationally recognized for advocating for and with refugees, asylum seekers, unaccompanied children, immigrants in detention, families fractured by migration and other vulnerable populations, and for serving migrants through 60 grassroots legal and social service partners across the United States. Learn more at www.lirs.org
About The Lutheran Church--Missouri Synod
- The Lutheran Church--Missouri Synod is a biblical, confessional, witness-oriented Christian denomination with 2.2 million members -- 600,000 households -- in 6,200 congregations. Through acts of witness and mercy, the church carries out its mission worldwide to make known the love of Jesus Christ. Learn more at www.lcms.org