To the Parish Communities in the Episcopal Diocese of Texas,
Many of you have expressed interest in participating or continuing in the ministry work of Episcopal Migration Ministries. While EMM is still advocating for the resettlement of refugees in the USA, the reality is that the numbers of arriving refugees remain very low right now. For those of us in Texas, there is growing concern about the humanitarian crisis concerning the asylum-seekers and migrants at the border, especially families and children. While these individuals haven’t received official “refugee” status, many carry the same stories of violence and persecution as refugees. As ever, our work as the body of Christ is to “aid all refugees.”
As some congregations are seeking information or already reaching out to and partnering with other denominations or aid agencies, EMM would like to make you aware of a coordinated effort with congregations in the Diocese of Texas to help the Catholic Charities Humanitarian Respite Center in McAllen. They are seeing 400-600 people a day who are in need of care.
Knowing that it is not always possible to go to the border to volunteer, here are ways you or your congregation can respond this summer:
- Gather toiletry, baby items, and specific sized clothing needed for families that come through the McAllen Humanitarian Respite Center. These items are to be packed at your location. A list of items can be found here or download from the link at the end of this letter.
- Bring the packed toiletry and baby bags, the boxes of clothes, and the boxes of individually packaged NIDO baby formula to Trinity Episcopal Church Midtown, 1015 Holman St, Houston, TX 77004 on July 20, 2019 between 10 am and 4 pm. (The loading site will be at the Francis Street entrance, between Main and Fannin Streets)
- Volunteer at Trinity Episcopal Church Midtown to load donations on the truck on July 20, any time between 10:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. To sign up to volunteer: Border Donation Drive.
- You may also donate directly to the McAllen Respite Center Amazon Wish list or the Catholic Charities website, specifically set up for the Respite Center.
- For updates, follow EMM-Diocese of Texas on Facebook.
For those who choose to participate in this effort, and especially those who would like to continue learning, deepen their engagement, and take advocacy actions for all migrants in need of protections (asylum-seekers, refugees, and other categories of immigrants), I invite you to explore the Partners in Welcome learning community and ministry network of Episcopal Migration Ministries and dream of ways you might be a Partners in Welcome member, as an individual or as a congregation.
Please feel free to contact me
regarding any questions you have on the Border Project in July or Refugee
Resettlement at firstname.lastname@example.org. For questions
about and to get more involved in EMM’s grassroots Partners in Welcome
network, contact Allison Duvall, EMM Manager for Church Relations and
Engagement, at email@example.com.
Episcopal Migration Ministries liaison for The Episcopal Diocese of Texas