CHICAGO — Building on a shared vision for gospel-centered hospitality and inclusion, Episcopal Migration Ministries (EMM) and AMMPARO, the migrant ministry of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA), have entered into a partnership to better train and support asylum-seeker sponsors.

Accompanying Migrants with Protection, Advocacy, Representation and Opportunities (AMMPARO) is the ELCA’s strategic commitment to accompany migrants. In this new collaboration AMMPARO will use the Neighbor to Neighbor program designed by EMM to provide training for community sponsors.

The two groups will coordinate efforts as they work with sponsors who welcome new neighbors by offering friendship and fostering community connections. The work will focus on providing practical support such as housing, accessing services, enrolling children in school and supporting adults as they learn English and secure employment.

“This gospel work of serving asylum-seekers deepens even more our 25-year partnership of ‘Called to Common Mission,’ working together in response to this great need of this time,” said the Rev. Margaret Rose, ecumenical and interreligious deputy for The Episcopal Church.

Mary Campbell,  director for AMMPARO, noted the excellence of the Neighbor to Neighbor materials. “They are very comprehensive and will help ELCA congregations engaged in asylum-seeker sponsoring to accompany migrants well,” she said. “The AMMPARO team is really excited about this partnership.”

Episcopal Migration Ministries is one of 10 national agencies responsible for resettling refugees in the U.S. in partnership with the government. In addition to its long-standing work in refugee resettlement, EMM is also The Episcopal Church’s convening place for collaboration, education and information-sharing on migration.

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