No Clearer Moral Imperative
Beloved in Christ,
The scenes that have unfolded in Afghanistan over the past few weeks have been heartbreaking for all of us. It is hard to watch the violence, the desperation and fear, and to fully take in the risk the situation poses to so many, particularly women and girls. Nearly five million people have been displaced either within the country or by being evacuated to yet to be determined destinations. Part of what it means to live in a fallen and broken world is that often, the fraught complexities of global politics and conflict leave no good action or outcome, and the lives of the world’s poor and marginalized are most impacted by the fallout.
As followers of Jesus, we cannot change many of those realities this side of God’s kingdom, but we are always called to respond with compassion, love, and the wide open embrace of God’s love. Even when we cannot fully repair broken systems, it matters that we stand as witnesses to Jesus’ better way of love, and God’s longing for the world’s healing. For this reason, I want to be sure you have seen the recent appeal from Presiding Bishop Michael Curry for the work Episcopal Migration Ministries is doing to respond to the current crisis. Episcopal Migration Ministries is one of the largest refugee resettlement agencies in the country. They have recently been in touch with me to let me know there will very like be refugees from Afghanistan arriving in Minnesota sometime in the future. The situation is unfolding quickly, and I will let the diocese know ways we might be able to partner or assist as soon as that is made clear to me. In the meantime, if you or your congregation would like to contribute to that campaign, you can do so here. If you or your congregation are interested in sponsoring a refugee family, I urge you to be in touch with Kathryn Berger at the Minnesota Council of Churches, who, in partnership with Episcopal Migration Ministries, will be responsible for resettling those families: firstname.lastname@example.org.
There is perhaps no clearer moral imperative in the scriptures than welcoming the stranger and providing hospitality to the foreigner. I hope you will hold the unfolding situation, the people of Afghanistan, and the families of U.S. troops and others who have lost their lives in your prayers in a very real way. Prayer is a way for the Holy Spirit to soften our hearts and open our spirits to recognize in ever deeper ways the common humanity we share. It is only through prayer that our actions in the world will faithfully reflect God’s vision for an everlasting reign of peace, justice, and glorious love.
Grace and Peace,
The Right Reverend Craig Loya
Episcopal Church in Minnesta