Diocesan Migration Ministry Resources

Diocesan Migration Ministry Resources

Come, you that are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world, for I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me….”
Jesus, speaking in Matt. 25: 34-35

Diocesan Migration Ministry Resources is a diocesan group dedicated to helping area asylees and refugees feel welcomed and supported as our neighbors. We responded to their needs in several ways.

  • Through the efforts of churches and related groups in our diocese, Diocesan Migration Ministry Resources undertook or led donation appeals for newly arrived refugees settling in our area, such as collecting pots, pans, and linens for their homes, along with school backpacks, supplies, and lunchboxes for the children of refugees.
  • Several Episcopal parishes have refugee ministry groups serving organizations and individual families in their own communities, such as ALERT in the Lancaster Convocation, outreach efforts by St. James Church (Lancaster), and sponsorship of a refugee family by All Saints Church (Hanover).

If your parish would like to share its work serving and supporting asylees and refugees, contact The Rev. Beth Mollard at bethmollard850@gmail.com or David Martin at mdsmartinduncan@aol.com.

Diocesan Migration Ministry Resources developed a 3-part learning series that you can use in your church or group to educate people about asylees and refugees.  If you have a refugee community living nearby that you would like to work with, or if you simply want to know more about their needs, this education series will help you.  The series is designed so that it can be self-led by a group, or you can request to have a member of the Diocesan Migration Ministry Resources assist with the presentation. The series is available below.

Diocesan Migration Ministry Resources always welcomes new members. If you are interested in helping asylees and refugees, or if your parish is already involved in such a mission, please consider joining our group.   

Contact Gerry Garber for more information.

An Exciting Family Update

The HAIKAL family of six from Syria arrived at the Harrisburg Airport on July 27. This family is being sponsored by Derry Presbyterian Church in Hershey, with assistance from All Saints’ Episcopal Church. The family consists of mother, father, three school age boys and a preschool daughter. Housing was found through Love Inc.’s Homes for Hope program. The family is settling in well, the boys are being enrolled in the public schools, and the young daughter will attend preschool at Derry Presbyterian. ESL programs have been set up and tutoring has begun on a daily basis. The family has been enrolled for medical and food assistance, and Mohammed, the father, has a promising job interview this week. They have already visited Hersheypark and the local swimming pool complex. School starts next week and so does soccer for the boys. Everyone is enthusiastic and the sponsorship team, though working hard, is seeing positive results from their labors. A few glitches occurred including a plumbing emergency and a six year old child inadvertently set off a fire alarm added to the adventure. We are moving forward with many blessings along the way!


Who Are Asylum Seekers? How are they Different from Refugees?

Asylum seekers are people who come to the United States seeking protection because they have suffered persecution or fear that they will suffer persecution due to race, religion, nationality, membership in a particular social group, or political opinion. (Source: U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services). If they are eligible for asylum, they may be permitted to remain in the United States. They must fill out an application for asylum within one year of arrival in the U.S. They may include their spouse and children on the application until a final decision is made on their case.

Refugees are people who live outside the United States and were forced to flee across an international border to seek protection in another country. (Source: Episcopal Migration Ministries). They have the same fear of persecution as asylum seekers. The United Nations Refugee Agency determines that if a refugee cannot return to their home country or stay in the country to which they have fled, they can be resettled to a third country, such as the United States. The U.N. Refugee Agency chooses the country for resettlement, subject to approval by that country. If that country is the United States, refugees then must be approved by the U.S. Refugee Admissions Program. Refugees are matched with a national resettlement agency such as Episcopal Migration Ministries or Catholic Charities and must settle initially in the area chosen for them, where they receive temporary financial help.

Once approved, both asylum seekers and refugees have the right to remain legally in the United States. Bishop Scanlan has released a statement regarding refugees. To read the statement, click here.

The Episcopal Diocese of Pennsylvania Refugee Resource Information and Websites

  •  A new release of information about Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) is now available. To view, click here.

  • Office of Refugee Resettlement https://www.acf.hhs.gov/orr. Helps new populations maximize their potential in the US by linking them to critical resources that assist them in becoming integrated members of American society.

  • Episcopal Migration Ministries- https://episcopalmigrationministries.org
    EMM lives the call of welcome by supporting refugees, immigrants, and the communities that embrace them as they walk together in The Episcopal Church’s movement to create loving, liberating, and life-giving relationships rooted in compassion.

  • Refugee Council USA- rcusa.org
    RECUSA is a coalition dedicated to refugee protection, welcome, and excellence in the US Refugee Resettlement program.

  • Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service- https://www.lirs.org
    LIRS works to protect and embrace refugees, migrants, and children seeking a new life in America. LIRS and its national network of service providers are uniquely equipped to provide holistic, trauma-informed, and age-appropriate care to the vulnerable individuals they serve.

  • Catholic Charities Immigration and Refugee Services- www.cchbg.org/get-help/immigration-refugee-services
    Advocates for immigration and refugee policies that protect family unity and allow newcomers an opportunity to contribute and participate more fully in our communities. Catholic Charities is the agency appointed by the U.S. Government to supervise refugee resettlement in the Harrisburg area.

  • PAIRWN, The Pennsylvania Immigrant and Refugee Women’s Network- www.pairwn.org
    PAIRWN was created to honor and enhance the lives of refugee and immigrant women in Pennsylvania. Their mission is to help refer, advocate, network, educate, and empower these women to live to their fullest potential. They strive to educate others about their cultures and their contributions to American society.

  • Church World Services Lancaster-https://cwslancaster.org
    CWS welcomes refugees, immigrants, asylum-seekers, and other uprooted people within the US, who seek safety and the opportunity to rebuild their lives. They work hand-in-hand with churches, organizations, and individuals to provide hope and home to refugees and immigrants from all over the world. 7.

Refugee Resource Guide Resources and Presentation Material:

Week 3