In her post, “LIRS Conference Promotes ‘Collaborative Action,’” Megan K. Mertz describes how LIRS’s three distinct service networks, for work with refugees, unaccompanied children, and migrants impacted by detention, gathered to tackle a unifying issue.
Participants from all of these networks came together to discuss ways to help immigrants become connected to the community, a long-term process LIRS calls “the long welcome.”
Labeled L3 for learning, leveraging, and leading, the convening did just that. Conveners further “discussed issues such as church engagement, migrant and refugee leadership, and messaging.”
As Tara Mulder, LIRS Director for Marketing and Communications, told Mertz:
Together we can accomplish more than any one of our organizations can do by themselves.
I further shared:
This year LIRS celebrates our 75th anniversary and recalls the sense of urgency Lutheran congregations felt to care for refugees as Europe was engulfed by the violence of WWII. With a shared sense of opportunity and promise today, our service and church partners have identified the renewed engagement of local congregations as absolutely essential to helping migrants and refugees thrive and communities fulfill their role as places of welcome to newcomers.
The ideas fostered at L3 will create deeper connections and warmer welcomes. We look forward to seeing those ideas put into action and congregations across the country providing a “long welcome” for newcomers.
We’re grateful to all the L3 participants as well as Mertz and the LCMS for featuring this conference. For more information on how you can welcome migrants and refugees in your community, please visit Lirs.org/ACT.