Member Church News: Welcomes and Responses

The Federation of Evangelical Churches in Italy and the Community of Sant’Egidio have been working on establishing a humanitarian corridor for refugees from Morocco to Italy.

Two WCRC member churches (the Presbyterian Church (USA) and the United Church of Canada) co-sponsored a workshop in Geneva, Switzerland, focused on welcoming the stranger.

Inverness, Scotland, churches have appealed for local help in accommodating and welcoming Syrian refugees.

A Reformed pastor in New Jersey, United States, pledges to welcome more refugee families.

Gradye Parsons, a member of the WCRC executive committee and stated clerk of the Presbyterian Church (USA), urges people to choose welcome, not fear.

The Christian Reformed Church in North America’s Office of Social Justice offers this prayer in the wake of the events of this past week:

Holy one,
our lives are in your hands.
We offer up to you all of our lives — our fears, our sadness, our anger, our outrage.
We ask your Spirit to empower us to be reflections of light, not darkness. To boldly welcome the stranger. To fearlessly engage in truth-telling. To sacrificially give of all our resources: our finances, our time, our power.
Loving God, for refugees who have endured such suffering, we pray for relief. May you work powerfully to bring an end to the unspeakable violence that is happening all over the world. We pray for peace in Syria. We pray for restoration of the deep brokenness in lives, families, communities, nations.
We pray for all who have suffered trauma. For first responders in Lebanon, Iraq, France. For bereaved families. For those who are injured but have survived. For the millions who have fled their homes, for the millions who cannot flee. We know that trauma leaves scars that can remain for a lifetime — we ask for your comfort and your healing, Lord.
We thank you that we have seen glimpses of you in all this suffering: your people opening their homes, standing in solidarity, rushing to respond, choosing courage over comfort. May we too reflect the good news of Jesus Christ in the way we respond to this tragedy.

The image above is of refugee children whose parents hope to bring them to Italy through the Humanitarian Corridors programme.

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