Advent for Afghans: Welcoming Our Newest Neighbors
The Commission for the Diaconate and all ECMN deacons, along with Bishop Loya, are inviting all faith communities in ECMN to take part in Advent for Afghans: Welcoming Our Newest Neighbors. During the four Sundays of Advent, we will be raising awareness across the diocese for our Afghan allies that have made their way to safety in the United States and here in Minnesota. We will be joining efforts with Episcopal Migration Ministries and their local partner, the Minnesota Council of Churches, to achieve this goal. In the coming weeks and days we will post information concerning everything you need to know about the obligations a faith community needs to meet in order to Co-Sponsor an Afghan family. See below for resources to support this effort, whether or not your faith community is able to sponsor a family. While there are so many different ways for individuals and faith communities to walk with our new neighbors, the most essential way is prayer.
Starting on Advent One we will pray together, with the whole ECMN family, prayers written for our Afghan allies, as well as God’s blessing on our efforts. On the third Sunday of Advent (pink candle Sunday) in addition to our prayer we would ask that each faith community dedicate the loose offering in the collection plate to the Minnesota Council of Churches Refugee Resettlement Program. As our Presiding Bishop Michael Curry reminds us, “The ministry of offering welcome to those fleeing violence is nothing less than God’s work—one that calls us to walk the way of love as Jesus of Nazareth taught us, through compassion, through practical care, showing to our newest neighbors that we are neighbors.” Amen.
“People, look east and sing today: Love, the guest, is on the way.”