Refugee Crisis – our response

Syrian Refugees in Istanbul

Ruth Hassall writes:

“In one of our services recently we sang the great hymn ‘Oh breath of life come sweeping through us’ whose first verse finishes with the line ‘Fit your Church to meet this hour’.

“And what an hour it is that we are facing. The refugee crisis has been escalating and has now reached the largest scale that the world has seen since World War II.

“We know that it is time to step up and do something but so often we can feel helpless in the face of such large scale suffering.

“This week many of us have had our hearts broken through the images broadcast all over the world of people losing their lives in the search for safety and a new hope and we have a responsibility as the Church to respond with love, compassion and action.”

When a foreigner resides among you in your land, do not ill-treat them. The foreigner residing among you must be treated as your native-born. Love them as yourself, for you were foreigners in Egypt. I am the Lord your God.

(Leviticus 19:33-34)

Below are some ways in which we can begin to respond:

Pray hires

  • For those who are trying to escape oppression, persecution, poverty, violence and war. Pray for safety in travel and unity in the camps.
  • For UK and EU leaders to respond with wisdom and compassion to this crisis. Pray that they would work well together with careful diplomacy.
  • For children and the most vulnerable. Major migration creates dangers of human trafficking and exploitation – pray for protection.
  • For charities and individuals who are directly serving those displaced.
  • For those seeking to help refugees already in the UK including volunteer befrienders with Restore from St John’s.
  • For a helpful guide on what to pray when it all seems so overwhelming go to this link

Act hires

  • Sign up for the “Befriending” course run locally by Restore. You can find more information on our website
  • Donate clothing, bedding, toiletries through St Chads Sanctuary in Birmingham
  • Or donate baby equipment, clothing and bedding through the Refugee Resource Centre at Narthex, Sparkhill.
  • A great way to help children engage is Project Paddington – sending teddies to displaced children with messages of love and compassion.  This is a great thing to do as a family, or better still encourage your local school to get involved in.
  • If you are a registered foster carer with space within your provision you can indicate your willingness to provide a home for an unaccompanied child through Home4Good

Give hires

As a church here are some organisations we recommend:

Petition hires

  • In order to respond to the needs of refugees already on the move in Europe sign the UK Government and Parliament Petition to “Accept more asylum seekers and increase support for refugee migrants in the UK”.

Lobby hires

  • Write to your local MP. The “38 degrees” website can advise you on how to send an email to your MP

As the situation unfolds and we have more information about how the UK Government is responding, we will update you with further ways in which we can respond as a church to engage compassionately with the ‘hours’ ahead.  However, we also remember that there are many refugees from Syria, Eritrea, Iran, Sudan, Afghanistan…  already here in our city.  We do not need to wait for more new arrivals before we take action.

Read what our church leaders have said:
On 8th September Bishop David Urquhart made the following statement about refugees and
Archbishop Justin Welby issued a statement on the refugee crisis on 3rd September.

Please respond to the call of Jesus to welcome the stranger. We can do something.

 

 

 

 

 

 

17th Sep 2015 Posted in: News by Stella Jennings 0

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