ORIGINAL POST: Kittimaquandi Community Church Blog
I don’t know if it registered on the Richter scale, but I think there was a small earthquake in Columbia, Maryland last night. At least, I felt the earth shake a little.
We hosted an event last night at our church for everyone who is interested in helping us resettle a refugee family in our community. We invited Lutheran Social Services (who contract with Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Services to oversee refugee resettlement in our area) to send a couple of staff to give an overview of their “Good Neighbor” program and answer questions. We announced the event to our congregation and figured we’d host 30 or so.
But we are so excited about this project that we couldn’t stop talking about it with other people we know. Some of those people are connected to other congregations in the area. They brought word of what we’re doing back to their leadership or their Missions Boards and the excitement spread.
We planned for 30 last night, but 62 people showed up, including representatives from New Hope Lutheran Church, Abiding Savior Lutheran Church, the Unitarian Universalist Church of Columbia,Bet Aviv, the Muslim Community Center, Dar Al-Taqua Islamic Center, and Sandy Spring Friends Meeting. Luckily, we baked a lot of brownies.
There was a real sense of excitement in the room before we even began. A few minutes after 7:00 pm I stood up and welcomed everyone to the event and to our community. “There are some prominent voices in our state and in our nation who are saying “NO!” to refugees,” I told everyone. “But we feel compelled by God to respond to the desperate needs of millions of people in a different way. We want to say YES! We want to say WELCOME!” Everyone in the room shouted back, “WELCOME!” And we were off…