Refugee aid & advocacy – what the Episcopal Church does
Helping refugees isn’t a new idea for Episcopalians. For more than a century, The Episcopal Church has been engaged in the ministry of welcoming immigrants and refugees. Episcopalians have a deep, biblical commitment to aid the stranger in our midst. Working toward meaningful social change, and working with people whose voices are unheard, working for justice and equity, is a part of what we do. It’s even part of our baptismal covenant, where we promise to “strive for justice and peace among all people, and respect the dignity of every human being.” Even amidst cultural backlash against refugees and immigrants that has swept across America, the Episcopal Church compassionately upholds the dignity of every person.
The Episcopal Church has three organizations that work on behalf of refugees, providing direct aid, migration assistance, and helping to shape public policy.
Episcopal Relief and Development (ERD)
Episcopal Relief and Development (ERD) works with partner agencies worldwide to help refugees and internally displaced people affected by natural disaster, conflict, civil unrest, and war. They serve people in the midst of crisis with food, health, and education programs to help rebuild lives.
Episcopal Migration Ministries
Episcopal Migration Ministries (EMM) is the church’s foremost response to refugee crisis. Working in partnership with offices and groups within the church as well as with governments, non-government organizations, and a network of 30 affiliate offices in 26 dioceses, Episcopal Migration Ministries assures safe passage and provides vital services for thousands of refugee families upon their arrival in America: English language and cultural orientation classes, employment services, school enrollment, and initial assistance with housing and transportation.
EMM partners with affiliates like Refugee Services of Texas, whose offices work to receive refugees from overseas into supportive and prepared communities. Their mutual goal is to help refugees achieve self-sufficiency as quickly as possible.
Episcopal Church Office of Government Relations & Episcopal Public Policy Network
The Episcopal Church Office of Government Relations represents the priorities of the Episcopal Church to the policy community in our nation’s capitol. Through engaging Congress, the administration, and U.S. government departments and agencies, they aim to shape and influence policy on critical issues, highlighting the voices and experiences of Episcopalians and Anglicans globally. All of their work is grounded in the resolutions of General Convention, the primary governing and legislative body of the Episcopal Church. Based on General Convention resolutions and mission priorities of Presiding Bishop Michael Curry, the focus of the office’s work is racial reconciliation, climate and the environment, and justice.
Episcopal Public Policy Network
Episcopal Public Policy Network (EPPN) is the national grassroots network of Episcopalians who are engaged in advocating for the public policy issues of the church. Supported by the Office of Government Relations, the network aims to help Episcopalians become effective advocates by supporting their engagement with elected and government officials, providing resources on public policy issues, and connecting the ministry of public policy advocacy to the Gospel. EPPN members contact members of Congress and the administration, raise awareness about priority issues, and share their own stories to inform lawmakers and government officials about the impact of particular decisions and policies.
How many times have you read an article in the paper or watched a news story and wished there was something you could do? With the EPPN, you can. Senators and Representatives care about what you, their constituent, think about a particular issue. Join the EPPN here.