Refugees and the Role They Play in the Fabric of Our Community

February 12, 2018

 

All Hayes Barton women are invited to the UMW’s March Mission Study, March 12, 5:45 p.m., Fellowship Hall

 

Did you know that today, the world is witnessing the highest levels of displaced people ever on record? War and religious persecution are forcing 20 people every minute from their homes and the lands they love, according to UNHCR, the UN refugee agency. That is 28,300 people a day - many who move into refugee camps where they stay for an average of 19 years while they ride what's known as the Refugee Superhighway, a structured United Nations process of registering, vetting and finding refugees a new home.

 

As members of the United Methodist Church, "Recognizing, embracing and affirming all persons, regardless of country or origin, as members of the family of God," is part of our doctrine as outlined in the United Methodist Social Principles. In Matthew it's pointed out that "Jesus himself was a sojourner. Jesus begins his early life fleeing to Africa as a refugee in Egypt," (Matt. 2:13-18); and  "Jesus says that to welcome the sojourner is to  welcome him," (Matt. 26:35).

 

While the numbers fluctuate, Raleigh welcomes about 600 of these sojourners every year into our community. Like the threads used to stitch together pieces of a quilt, refugees bring their own patterns -experiences, stories and background - to the quilt of the community and contribute to the economics, operations and culture of the whole.

 

Mark your calendars for March 12, at 5:45 p.m. in the Fellowship Hall for UMW's annual March Mission Study. Our speaker is Kim Wyatt of the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship who, having worked with refugees for nearly 20 years, will help us understand who are the refugees in our community, how they got here, and how the Bible calls us to serve them.

 

Those who join us are in for a cultural evening with an ethnic meal and music from the Shiloh Restoration Choir. Dinner is $10. If childcare is needed, contact Anna Sledge, asledge@hbumc.org. RSVP by March 5 with your circle leader if you are in a circle, at the reception desk or at hbumc.org/signups. If you have questions, contact bethbaker1018@yahoo.com

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