United Methodists Draw Attention to World Refugee Day
Global Migration Sunday of 2017 Donations Support
Migration Programs Around the World
ATLANTA (June 22, 2018) – At a time when migration issues are top of mind for many people, many United Methodists observed World Refugee Day on June 20 and celebrated work funded by donations given to the United Methodist Committee on Relief. Contributions from United Methodists and their congregations are helping to support programs around the world, including work in Argentina, Germany, Mexico and the United States.
In response to the global migration crisis, The United Methodist Church observed a Global Migration Sunday on Dec. 3, 2017. Churches around the globe shared a special prayer that was translated into many languages and received an offering in support of global migration-related ministries. The total amount raised as part of this effort was $250,273, with $177, 273 received through the Sunday offering and $73,000 being given by the Northern Illinois (regional) Conference from an offering it received at their June 2018 annual meeting.
Global Migration Sunday funds added to resources received through the Global Migration Advance (#3022144) over the last three years. More than $222,380 in grants have been approved over the last several months including support for the following:
- In Argentina, Comisión Argentina para Refugiados y Migrantes (CAREF) is working to protect the human rights of migrants, asylum seekers and refugees following a government crackdown on migrants.
- In Bremen, Germany, Erlöserkirche Evangelisch-methodistiche Kirche empowers and equips refugees with language skills, health assistance and cultural immersion that assists them in accessing government funding and fostering social integration.
- In Apaxco, México, Methodist Church La Santisima Trinidad provides meals and hygiene kits to 2,250 migrants passing through their community fleeing poverty, lack of opportunities and generalized violence in their home countries.
- In the United States, National Justice for Our Neighbors of Springfield, Virginia, Provides low-cost and free immigration legal services to 850 low-income immigrant clients throughout the United States.
UMCOR has also continued its long partnership with Church World Service during this challenging time for refugee resettlement work. In addition to UMCOR’s ongoing annual support of $350,000, UMCOR issued an additional $250,000 for their ecumenical refugee emergency appeal and $150,824 to support efforts by CWS to deepen the engagement of congregations and denominations in migration-related ministry.
“As United Methodists, we have a long history of walking alongside people impacted by war, violence, economic hardship, persecution and political unrest,” said Thomas Kemper, co-executive director of UMCOR and general secretary of UMC Global Ministries. “UMCOR was established over 75 years ago to alleviate suffering without regard to race, creed or gender. United Methodists trust UMCOR will walk alongside families and communities impacted by natural disasters, but we and our partners are also regularly working with refugees. We have heard from many people that they are eager to expand this work in response to the rapidly growing needs of those suffering as a result of migration.”
“In a time of great focus on migration issues, let us remember our brothers and sisters of all ages, cultures and languages who find themselves homeless, but not without hope,” said Bishop Minerva G. Carcaño, bishop of the California-Nevada Annual Conference of The United Methodist Church. “I have never met a more tenacious and hopeful people than refugees. They face incredible obstacles in their efforts to survive, yet they journey forth in search of abundant life. We would all do well to value life so deeply. My prayers are with them on this day and every day.”
About the United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR)
Founded in 1940, the United Methodist Committee on Relief is the global humanitarian aid and development agency of The United Methodist Church. UMCOR is working in more than 80 countries worldwide, including the United States and its territories. Its mission, grounded in the teachings of Jesus, is to alleviate human suffering — whether caused by war, conflict or natural disaster — without regard to religion, race, nationality or gender, and seek to enhance the quality of life in the human community. UMCOR responds to natural or civil disasters that are interruptions of such magnitude that they overwhelm a community's ability to recover on its own. UMCOR works through programs that address hunger, poverty, sustainable agriculture, international and domestic emergencies, refugee and immigrant concerns, global health issues and transitional development. Learn more at www.UMCOR.org, www.Facebook.com/UMCOR and www.twitter.com/UMC_UMCOR.