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Blessing Not Burden | September 19, 2016
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Welcoming refugees is a part of who we are as the Christian Reformed Church. For decades now, CRC members have discovered the face of Christ among people seeking refuge—and the story continues. Over the past few days, we have been sharing stories of CRC members who have heard the call to welcome the stranger and who have responded joyfully.

#RefugeesWelcome Story from Loop Church CRC in Chicago, Ill.

"As a church we are cosponsoring a Muslim Syrian refugee family. They are the kindest and most hospitable people. Although we don't speak the same language, it's amazing to see the love in the parents' eyes for their children. One of the highlights so far of our church's weekly visits was teaching and playing Duck, Duck, Goose with the kids. Both the parents have expressed longing for friendships, for work and school, and for normalcy."

The Christian Reformed Church in North America welcomes refugees; it’s a part of who we are. Check out more stories of congregations welcoming refugee families on our Facebook page here. Do you and your church have a story to share? Send it to kherbert@crcna.org.

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The United Nations is gathering today in New York City for the UN Summit for Refugees and Migrants to discuss a unified response to the global refugee crisis. We’ve all seen photos of suffering children and CRC churches across the country like Loop Church in Chicago have been active in helping resettle Syrians fleeing the war. The number of people being forced from their homes is continuing to increase because of war, poverty, persecution, and violence—and global leaders have an opportunity to create real solutions. Today we also have an opportunity to raise our concerns to Congress about this crisis and urge them to take bold leadership in supporting refugee settlement funding. There are currently 65.3 million people who have been forcibly displaced from their homes, 21.3 million refugees worldwide, and 10 million stateless people. These numbers are staggering and incomprehensible, but each individual seeking refuge is a person made in the image of God.

Our coordinator, Peter VanderMeulen, is in NYC this week attending important events surrounding the summit. For live updates follow the Office of Social Justice on twitter.

Now is the time to act in support of people fleeing violence and persecution! Congress is considering legislation that would severely limit funding to welcome and support refugees in the United States. Tell your Representative and Senators that you believe refugees are made in the image of God and that you support increased resettlement funding. Click here to take action!

The United States has a strong history of welcoming refugees, and now more than ever we must step up and continue that legacy. After you call or e-mail Congress, share the action alert on your Facebook and tag five friends asking them to take the action alert as well. #RefugeesWelcome

DO JUSTICE BLOG

Welcoming Refugees:
It’s Who We Are

Kate Kooyman reminds of us our roots: “Even if the political talking points are shifting, the path of discipleship has not changed for CRC members. Despite [unfounded fears that some people try to spread about getting involved with refugees,] churches on both sides of the border continue to reach out in welcome and support to refugee families arriving from all over the world. This is who we are.” Read more here.

CHANGE THE CONVERSATION

Vetting Process for Refugees

There is much misunderstanding and fear surrounding refugees and the resettlement process. Check out this video that outlines the process of how refugees are selected, vetted, and resettled. Refugees are the most vetted group of people to enter the US. All refugees that are admitted to the US are fleeing persecution and already have papers upon arrival. The vetting process is robust and secure. Click here to watch this important 4 minute video from the Secretary of Homeland Security about our vetting process and share the truth!