Speaking of God’s Policies (ways you can help Syrian refugees in crisis)

Hello Everyone!

I hope this email finds you well in the midst of your mid-week happenings. Last Sunday I preached a sermon on the policies of God’s program for the world, looking at Psalm 146 and thinking about how we might join in on God’s work.

Specifically, we thought about ways we too could “watch over the stranger” as our world faces the worst refugee crisis since World War II. I’m emailing the church the list I shared over the weekend of ways we can put our faith into action. These are examples to get us thinking together about how we might help people we call “foreigners”, but God calls family – there are other ways to help, but let us each consider how we might love in word and deed.

A HANDFUL OF THINGS WE CAN DO:

1. Educate ourselves on the complexities of immigration.
Worldwide displacement is at an historic high with 60 million human beings forcibly relocated due to factors such as violent conflict. 1 in every 122 humans on this planet is a refugee, internally displaced, or seeking asylum. This is a complex problem that requires complex answers. You can start learning more at the  UCC resource page for immigration

2. Pray for the displaced.
“The prayer of the righteous is powerful and effective” (James 5:16). Just as we believe God is still speaking, we believe that God is still listening. Prayer is not a substitute for action, because it is an action that leads both God and us to act in powerful ways. Please pray for the Syrian refugees and for strangers/foreigners/immigrants amongst us and everywhere.

3.Give.
Doctors without Borders has 3 ships in the mediteranean rescuing Syrian refugee families that are fleeing their wartorn homes for Europe. These ships saved 1,658 people last Tuesday alone.

17,000 refugees are stranded on a Greek Island half the size of Sacramento with virtually nothing (no water, food, shelter, etc.). You can mail sneakers, sweatpants, briefs/underwear, trousers, non-perishables, diapers, feminine products, sleeping bags, tents, plastic to cover the floor, mats, hats and caps to this address:

Hellenic Postal Office of Mythymna
c/o The Captain’s Table
Molyvos 81108 Lesvos, Greece

4. Sign the online petition to resettle Syrian refugees in the U.S.

5. Finally, support legislation that you believe addresses the complexities of global displacement in both practical and humanizing ways.

It is a pleasure to be on this journey together with you all.

Allen O’Brien
Licensed Minister
Elk Grove Congregational Church

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