We like to share community events. Here is one that’s coming up:
“For I Was a Stranger and You Welcomed Me”
These words in Matthew are among the most powerful reminders of the practice of our faith. Like you, I have been moved beyond tears at the images of refugees trudging through the mud of distant lands, the stories of broken families, the interminable waiting in camps, the use of refugees in the political posturing of the powerful, and, above all, their suffering. They are without states, without homes, without resources, and often without succor. Especially now.
Because of the extraordinary challenges faced by refugees in the present climate, All Saints’ Episcopal Church plans to dedicate the proceeds of its annual pancake supper to be held on February 28th to the Integrated Refugee and Immigrant Services of Connecticut (IRIS). IRIS takes as its symbol the iris, which not only thrives around the world, but signifies hope and peace. From its founding in 1982, the goal of IRIS has remained constant: “to provide a haven for refugees and other immigrants around the world.” Over the years, it has aided waves of refugees of many nationalities. Its efforts since 2015 have centered around Syrian refugees, who are at the center of one of the largest humanitarian crises the world has known.
Because our own parish hall has limited space and we want to be able to raise as much as we can for this worthy cause, the Deep River Congregational Church has kindly agreed to host this event. It will be held from 6:00-8:00 at the Deep River Church. Ashley Makar, the Director of Community Co-Sponsorship at IRIS and a graduate of Yale Divinity School has agreed to speak to our guests about the organization’s work and the plight of refugees.
While All Saints’ is putting this supper on, I am hoping for your enthusiastic support to publicize this event and encourage your congregants to attend. Only then will we be successful. Please announce it each of the next three Sundays. I know this is a great deal to ask, but never before has the plight of refugees been so dire and their welfare so tenuous. We are grateful for whatever efforts you can make.
We will have tickets for sale by next week. If you can designate someone to collect funds and sell tickets after the services, that would be most appreciated. While we are also looking into online ticket sales, I cannot make a firm commitment about that at this time and will let you know if we are able to arrange for this.
If you have questions about this event or have parishioners who would like to volunteer their services to help out, please contact John Yrchik, the chair of this event, at firstname.lastname@example.org (860-833-6414 – cell). Clergy may contact Rev. Brendan McCormick at 860-388-3494.
Rev. Brendan McCormick
All Saints’ Episcopal Church