The arrival in Europe of massive numbers of Middle Eastern refugees is causing crises for humanitarian organizations and churches as well as for governments. The thousands of displaced persons pouring out of Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan, and various parts of Africa into Europe put a tremendous strain on regional and global economics, political and social systems, and human compassion.
United Methodists are wondering and asking the General Board of Global Ministries about how The United Methodist Church in Europe and at the international level is responding to the migration crisis. The information below is an attempt to respond to the most-common questions and concerns. What can we do to help?
Prayer is one immediate response Christians can take, prayer for peaceful means to bring an end to military actions causing such widespread displacement of people from Syria and Iraq; prayer that refugees will be welcomed around the world with warm, calm hospitality; prayer for those who provide asylum and refuge. At such a time, scripture draws us to Matthew 25:35b: “I was a stranger and you welcomed me,” Jesus said in a sermon about the behavior he expects of those whose lives reflect the grace and love of God.
The United Methodist Committee on Relief is working with a local partner, Pellegrino della Terra, to provide emergency food vouchers in Sicily and with partner Global Medic to provide food packets and hygiene kits on the islands of Kos and Lesbos. Methodists in Italy have contributed funds for a migrant project of the Federation of Protestant Churches in Italy called “Mediterranean Hope.”
On September 13th, Rev. Wright invited the congregation to support UMCOR’s relief efforts. Thanks to the generosity of many, FUMC has collected $1,240 to support UMCOR’s refugee relief efforts.
If you wish to contribute to supporting the refugees in crisis, please write a check to FUMC and indicate “UMCOR refugee” in the notes.
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