Dear friends in Christ,
As I mentioned last week, there’s been a lot of heartbreaking news lately. Images and stories out of Haiti and Afghanistan are challenging. The pandemic continues its deadly spread. How can we respond?
I’ve heard people say, “There’s nothing I can do.” Perhaps it’s true that no one of us can single-handedly solve any of these global problems. But it’s just not true that there’s nothing to do. As I said last week, prayer is always a good act. For those of us who are Episcopalians, there are other concrete steps we and our churches can take.
If, like me, you would like to see a serious commitment to welcome Afghan refugees in the US and other nations, you can take action. For people living in the US, the Episcopal Church’s Office of Government Relations has a simple way to help you contact your Senators and Representatives. Just fill out a brief form to advocate for action to welcome more refugees.
While you’re on that page, notice the link at the bottom if you’d like to make a financial contribution to Episcopal Migration Ministries to support their work in settling refugees. You and your congregation can also indicate your interest in volunteering to help settle refugees. It’s rewarding work, and I hope you will consider doing this Gospel work.
The people of Haiti have suffered more than most of us can comprehend. It’s been one disaster after another for more than a century. In response to the recent earthquake, you can donate to Episcopal Relief & Development’s relief work there. As you may know, the Diocese of Haiti is part of the Episcopal Church, so Episcopal Relief & Development has a good network through which to do its work.
If you are concerned about the continued spread of COVID, there are several steps you can take. Episcopal Relief & Development has a COVID relief fund that will be especially important for developing nations where a lack a resources may make vaccine campaigns challenging. The Office of Government Relations has a vaccine toolkit to support your work in encouraging vaccination among those who are hesitant. If you have influence over policy, you can create incentives or requirements for the vaccine in your organization, whether church or secular.
Don’t accept “there’s nothing I can do” as reality. There’s work for you. And there’s work for your church. Jesus commands us to love our neighbors, and our neighbors around the world need our love.
And let us never cease to pray.
Almighty God our heavenly Father, you declare your glory and show forth your handiwork in the heavens and in the earth: Deliver us in our various occupations from the service of self alone, that we may do the work you give us to do in truth and beauty and for the common good; for the sake of him who came among us as one who serves, your Son Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
More from our ministry:
Online Course: Civil Conversations in Uncivil Times with Ray Suarez
From Grow Christians, our family blog: A Summer Morning, Broken Glass and the Bus Stop
Reading suggestion: Book ideas for churches and small groups!