I’m grateful for the energy and buzz surrounding Refugee Sunday! Today, Emma Crossen published a blog post on Refugee Sunday in the Women of the ELCA Blog. Crossen writes of the gifts new Americans bring to the United States, and how a warm welcome can make a powerful impact in newcomers’ lives.
Crossen recently visited the Twin Cities and was struck by the powerful welcome Minnesotans give new Americans. Crossen reports that Minnesota has the “highest per capita population of Hmong and Somali immigrants.” Immigrants have come to call Minnesota home because of the hospitality of its people, and of its welcoming state policies. In return, newcomers have introduced their culture, food, (Crossen recommends Hmong sausage and sticky rice) and economic force into Minnesota.
You might not think that you have newcomers in your town to welcome, but, as Crossen points out, they probably aren’t as far away as you think.
Minnesota’s commitment to refugees is exceptional. There may be no one living in your town who is or was a political refugee. Yet, in a world where millions are uprooted from their homes, your town certainly has newcomers who arrive with few resources, trauma in their past, traditions (and maybe even language) that differs from your own and a unique set of God-given gifts ready to be shared with you.
Do you know who they are? How do they experience life in your congregations, schools, and neighborhoods? On Refugee Sunday, I hope we’ll be inspired by LIRS and all who welcome refugees to do the hard work of making our communities into places where newcomers feel wanted, safe, supported and productive. – See more at: www.lirs.org/refugeesunday.
We’re grateful to the Women of the ELCA and Emma Crossen for posting this blog and raising awareness about Refugee Sunday. To get exclusive insights on Refugee Sunday material, or to share your plans for Refugee Sunday, please contact Matt Herzberg, LIRS Manager for Congregational Outreach, at firstname.lastname@example.org. Click here to sign up for Refugee Sunday.