Churches can take specific actions to help the tens of thousands of at-risk people now arriving in the U.S. from Afghanistan. That was the word from immigration experts — and a former refugee herself — in a Sept. 11 United Church of Christ webinar. The 90-minute presentation, “Training for UCC Churches: Serving Afghan Refugees,” can be viewed now at this link at the UCC YouTube channel.
The webinar builds on a new, free toolkit for churches. It gives tips on welcoming and advocating for Afghan refugees and holders of special immigrant visas.
The webinar features:
- The Rev. Irene W. Hassan, who leads Refugee and Migration Ministries for the Global H.O.P.E. team in Wider Church Ministries
- Katie Adams, policy advocate for domestic issues with the UCC’s Washington, D.C., office, part of Justice and Local Church Ministries
- The Rev. Carolyn Lambert, pastor of First Congregational UCC, Buxton, Maine, and vice president of the Maine Council of Churches
- Seo Conrad, whose family — sponsored by Christ Church, UCC, Orville, Ohio — came to the U.S. in the 1980s as refugees from Laos.
It’s a fitting mission for a church that’s all about “welcoming the stranger and loving our neighbors,” wrote the Global H.O.P.E. team in the toolkit. “Together, we can make a difference in the lives of refugees and migrants, as well as influence the ways that we stand in relationship to our global commitments.”