Newly arrived Afghan refugees and allies desperately need the help of Lutheran congregations throughout the country.
Lutheran mobilization bore witness to Christ’s call to radical hospitality when Saigon fell in 1975 and Vietnamese siblings arrived needing welcome. With the recent fall of Kabul and flight of Afghan allies, Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service (LIRS) and its network of national agencies are calling on ELCA congregations to again open their doors and their hearts in resettlement welcome.
The ELCA and LIRS believe in the Long Welcome. After the initial resettlement of our 50,000+ Afghan neighbors, we will need communities to continue to offer financial support and welcome for up to a year (congregational co-sponsorship). We expect volunteer opportunities (community sponsorship) and needs to continue for months, even years – because the work we are doing is about more than simply getting our allies out of Afghanistan. The work of welcome is providing the support, compassion, and community that our allies need once they arrive to the United States.
To assist with your congregational discernment two websites have been created:
Help Our Afghan Allies
This page provides prayers, videos, a donation link and ways to get involved
The Circle of Welcome for Afghan Allies
This page provides registration for congregations to have their information sent to their local affiliate as well as:
- Co-Sponsorship Info Session Video for church councils
- Talking Points, a Flier and Bulletin Insert
- Emmaus: Congregational Discernment Prayer Toolkit
We are calling on Lutheran congregations to again bear witness to the gospel during this crisis by welcoming the stranger in our midst. We invite you to discern, register on the LIRS page, and join in this humanitarian movement.