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Sanctuary Bible Study

Adult Bible study explores foundation for sanctuary

A new study, titled “Transformed Community: Freed and Empowered for Radical Welcome,” will be released as a collaborative effort of Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service, Lutheran Outdoor Ministries, and the ELCA/AMMPARO.

In six sessions, participants will explore their relationship with immigrants, refugees, and asylum seekers in relation to biblical stories of generosity, inclusion, compassion, justice, and forgiveness. Centered on Romans 12:2, “Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your minds,” the Bible study will assist groups to:

  • Recognize how transformed understandings of generosity, inclusion, compassion, justice, and forgiveness make Christian community an agent of God’s love;
  • Be encouraged in the experience of community and inspired to trust in the countercultural ways of God’s will, especially with regard to the realities of refugees, migrants, and asylum seekers;
  • Commit to engagement and action to energize the community as God’s agent of change in the world with respect to refugees, migrants, and asylum seekers.

The study is designed to prepare congregations to discern how being part of a sanctuary denomination can shape their life in community.

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Frequently Asked Questions

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  • Attend Ambassador Orientation Series and complete the Intentions Survey Take Action – plan to dedicate time and energy to integrating it into your life. While the LIRS Mobilization team will be there to provide resources, trainings, and support, it is the responsibility of the Ambassador to ensure they are working with their community and leveraging their strengths to support LIRS in welcoming immigrants and refugees.  While this will look different depending on the person and their interests, you should plan to dedicate time each week to the Network, whether posting on social media, staying abreast of immigration news and issues, attending a training, or meeting with your local community. You get out what you put in. This Network is for leaders and self-starters. Submit Quarterly Impact Reports and collaborate with other Ambassadors and LIRS staff to brainstorm best practices

  • LIRS defines volunteering as immediately and directly meeting a need by giving of your time. This makes volunteering different from advocacy, for example, where the effect typically is not immediate or philanthropy, which is not inherently time-consuming. These and other expressions of aid are all equally important but distinct ways of answering the question, “How can I help?”

    In the past LIRS supported volunteer engagement exclusively by referring interested people to local affiliate offices. Moving forward, LIRS is expanding our opportunities for volunteers across the country to include such programs as writing letters to immigrants in detention, partnering with English language learners for conversation practice, and more.

    Ambassadors are welcome to participate in any or all of our volunteer opportunities. However, they are first and foremost invited and encouraged to develop fluency in LIRS’ outreach efforts in order to become spokespeople and mobilizers within their communities. Ambassadors make a greater degree of commitment to use their gifts and passions to uniquely transform their respective spaces into havens of welcome and hubs of action as representatives, advocates, philanthropists, creators, or conveners.

  • Ambassadors are invited to use their unique interests and skills to make an impact through 5 core roles: Representative, Advocate, Creator, Convener, and Philanthropist.

    Representative: Represent LIRS at meetings and events in your local community, including brief presentations about ways individuals and communities can get involved

    Advocate: Focus efforts on learning about and advancing for policies around welcoming refugees and protecting asylum seekers

    Creator: Use your talents to lift up the experiences of immigrants and refugees and amplify the work of LIRS through your medium of choice: blogs, poetry, sermons, social media, and more

    Convener: Host events to engage new communities and individuals in LIRS annual programs and campaigns.

    Philanthropist: Inspire transformative generosity in support of immigrants and refugees through the LIRS mission

    We’ll provide resources, tools, and ideas for potential actions associated with each role, but the sky is the limit! Ambassadors are encouraged to think creatively, mix and match, and discern how they can best use their gifts and show up in the world as an LIRS Ambassador.