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Raise Awareness for World Refugee Day and Migrant & Refugee Sunday
World Refugee Day 2019 will be observed on June 20th. This annual event, held on the same date each year, is sponsored by the United Nations Refugee Agency. This year’s event, marking the 19th year of observance, seeks to raise global awareness of global responsibility for refugees.
World Refugee Day honors the strength and courage of refugees and encourages public awareness and support of the refugees, people who have had to flee their home lands because of conflict or natural disaster.
Refugees are vulnerable and in need, and are often misunderstood and maligned, and often have very little or nothing of their posessions and little food, they often have to leave their homes with nothing or with what they can carry. They suffer cold, hunger, trauma, despair, disease, violence and loss. The awareness day is to help public understanding of refugees as well as raising support and help.
Across the world, agencies, both governmental and non-governmental, work tirelessly to help refugees, but with people being made refugees daily, more help and awareness is constantly needed, to ensure that refugees are treated fairly and provided for, rather than being neglected or shunned, and there are projects to re-settle and provide for refugees. So World Refugee Day highlights all of this. And now it also marks the launch of the ‘With Refugees’ petition, which will state the needs and potential rights of refugees.
This year’s Migrant and Refugee Sunday, which can be observed on any Sunday, comes at a critical moment in our nation’s history for welcoming the stranger. Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) Bishop Elizabeth A. Eaton and Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Services (LIRS) President & CEO Krish O’Mara Vignarajah issued a special message regarding this year’s Migrant and Refugee Sunday. Click here to read their message.
New resources for observing Migrant and Refugee Sunday are now available at www.lirs.org/migrant-refugee-sunday. Consider how you might use some of these resources in the weeks of June or a future date:
• On Pentecost Sunday, June 9, we hear a story of how diverse peoples, from the far reaches of the earth, are gathered into one people and speak one language through the gift of God’s Spirit.
• On World Refugee Day, June 20, celebrations throughout the United States and the world commemorate the strength, courage and resilience of millions of refugees and internally displaced persons worldwide who have been forced to flee their homes due to war, conflict and persecution.
• June 9 is designated as Children’s Day; June 16 is observed as Father’s Day. Both days are times to consider families who are on the move, and to respond to Christ’s call to care for all our brothers and sisters in Christ.
The all-new resources for Migrant and Refugee Sunday include commentaries written by former refugees for preaching on the lessons for Pentecost, a Pentecost/World Refugee Day Litany, Prayer Petitions for June, and other worship and education materials that will be updated each month. On the LIRS web site, you will find images, language, and stories to enrich and support your congregation’s call to welcome the stranger and to celebrate our oneness in the body of Christ.