REFUGEE RESETTLEMENT - A BETTER TOGETHER EFFORT
Better Together helps resettle recent arrivals from Afghanistan through a collaboration with Episcopal Migration Ministries and Sponsor Circles. These organizations match us with recent arrivals, whom we house on a transitional basis while helping them become self-sufficient. If you would like to learn more about this project, you can email our team.
Our efforts were recently covered in a Chicago Tribune article.
Where do donated funds go?
Episcopal Migration Ministries (EMM) recommends that sponsoring communities raise about $2,300 per family member, depending on the cost of living in the area. Given our location, our team has determined that $3,000 per family member is a better number. All monies donated will benefit the work with the current family; remaining funds will be applied either to welcoming another family (if our churches feel called to do so), or to other refugee resettlement ministries.
The traveler who resides with you shall be to you as a citizen among you; you shall love them as yourself, for you were travelers in the land of Egypt: I am the Lord your God. Leviticus 19:34
Dear siblings and friends of our four congregations,
Over the past year, our communities of St. Elisabeth’s in Glencoe, St. Gregory’s in Deerfield, St. Lawrence’s in Libertyville, and Trinity in Highland Park have been exploring ways to share ministry together in rich and fruitful ways. So far, we have prayed together, reflected together, shared different voices from the pulpit, and learned together. Now we have the opportunity to serve together by welcoming a family displaced by the end of the war in Afghanistan.
Through Episcopal Migration Ministries’ (EMM) partner program Sponsor Circles (https://www.sponsorcircles.org/), we will work together over a three- to six-month period to organize transitional housing, access to community and educational resources, and funds to help a family make the transition to life in the United States. The goal is to shepherd that family into self-sufficiency, employment, and permanent housing. Over the past few weeks, a group of interested parishioners and clergy from our four congregations have been meeting to see if we might join together to provide a welcome. We believe we can.
This ministry opportunity has several parts: First, we will prepare a “Welcome Plan” through Sponsor Circles and EMM that details our preparations for receiving a family. Sponsor Circles and EMM then review and vet the plan. We commit to raising about $3,000 per family member, monies which support the family and serve as a nest egg to get them started. Once approved, Sponsor Circles matches us with a family. Over the next several months, EMM works with us to answer questions and help navigate the ups and downs of the transition. We provide transitional housing while we work with the family to find a permanent home in the area, with a lease in their own name.
Each congregation has designated a “point person” for that congregation’s participation in this welcome: Anne Loshbough (Trinity); Karen Broms (St. Lawrence’s); Maria Fiocchi (St. Gregory’s); and Fred Johnston (St. Elisabeth’s). The vestry of Trinity has approved the use of the church rectory (currently empty) to provide transitional housing. St. Gregory’s will create a web page and manage donations for the project. All monies raised will benefit the work with the current family; remaining funds will be applied either to welcoming another family (if our churches feel called to do so), or to other refugee resettlement ministries.
There will be many opportunities to participate in this important work: serving on the core team, helping to furnish the Trinity rectory, donating funds for this effort, providing transportation for the family, helping the family navigate their new home, and more. We hope you will discover a way to join this effort to put our faith into action.
Your fellow travelers,