Welcoming Refugees

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Refugees and Immigration Program

We are called to be a place of welcome and hospitality, and to be a voice for those who are not being heard. At a time when there are over 65 million people who have been forcibly displaced from their homes as a result of conflict or persecution, we seek to answer that call as a congregation.

Our largest activity within this program area is a co-sponsorship initiative with Church World Service (CWS). Through this partnership, we are able to sponsor a family or individual who is being resettled in the U.S. locally through the resettlement program or has recently been granted asylum in the United States. Our Welcome Team sets up an apartment for our individual or family, helps them learn about their neighborhood and how to navigate systems in the U.S., shares meals together, helps them search for jobs, and works with them as they adjust to their new home and move toward self-sufficiency.

Another area of interest is that of LGBTQ refugees and asylum seekers. An estimated 4,800+ asylum applications in 2014 alone cited LGBT-persecution (LGBT Freedom and Asylum Network). The refugee resettlement process is long and arduous; the path to seeking asylum is also extremely difficult, and both processes present specific challenges that are unique to LGBT people.

Additionally, FPC is a member of the New Sanctuary Coalition (NSC) in NYC, standing in solidarity with the organization led by and for immigrants as they work tirelessly for immigration reform and to stop the inhumane system of deportations in the United States.


Ways to Get Involved

  • Sign up to be part of the Welcome Team
  • Join the Refugees & Immigration Action Group
  • Donate a new coat, scarf, hat, or gloves for asylees in the fall during our winter coat drive
  • Follow this link to learn about the PC(USA) Office of Immigration Issues and sign up to receive their updates and action alerts.
Partner Organizations

Please follow the links below to learn more about our partner organizations in the Refugees & Immigration Program and to find out how you can get more involved with their work individually!

Church World Service
New Sanctuary Coalition
Queer Detainee Empowerment Project (QDEP)
Refugee and Immigrant Fund – Asylum Support (RIF)

 

The Outreach and Service Ministry at First Presbyterian Church is built around the call of the PC (USA) to “reveal God’s grace in places of suffering and need, to resist the forces that tyrannize, and to support the forces that restore the dignity of all.”