Dear Sisters and Brothers in Christ:
I greet you in the name of the One who so loved the whole world that He gave His only Son to redeem it. In the Spirit of that love, I am calling us all into deep prayer, learning and action over the days and weeks ahead as we strive to witness to our faith in a culture infused with uncertainty, infected with misinformation and reacting with fear.
Called by the full witness of scripture to welcome the neighbor and care for the homeless, Lutheran Christians have excelled at welcoming and resettling refugees, and helping them become engaged, positive, contributing citizens. Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Services (LIRS) nationally, and Lutheran Family Services (LFS) locally, have done exemplary work for generations, and stand ready to continue to do so.
Recent sudden policy changes in the U.S. have disrupted the smooth and secure process of resettling women, children and families fleeing violence, persecution and war. I am calling us as a church to pray for refugees, for those who work to vet, transport and resettle them, and for those who make and enforce policy regarding them. I also ask that we all avail ourselves of the many materials available through LFS and elsewhere to find deeper understanding of refugee resettlement; and finally to voice our concerns to our elected officials as policy is crafted and enforced.
For more information, consult the LFS website and Facebook page regularly to learn more about refugee resettlement, and about what we can do together to ensure our security while serving in faith (see link at https://www.lfsneb.org/
upper right hand corner; https://www.facebook. com/LFSNEB/ or https:// twitter.com/LFSNEB.). Additionally, watch for information on a vigil anticipated for later in the upcoming week. Thank you for your prayers and your faithfulness.
Yours in Christ,
Brian Maas, Bishop
A prayer for refugees:
Gracious Lord, you know what it is to be unwelcome, unwanted and alone. Give us eyes to see you in each of those, who know such rejection, and hearts to welcome them into our midst. Grant us confidence in uncertain times, courage in the face of our fears, and grace to work out your will toward all, for Jesus’ sake. Amen.