Conference Minister The Rev. Kent J. Siladi today (Aug. 31) emailed a letter to churches inviting them to respond in particular ways to the Syrian refugee crisis.
First, Siladi invites churches to sign on to a letter sent by the Immanuel Congregational Church of Hartford to Senator Chris Murphy, asking that he respond to the plight of tens of thousands of refugees stranded in make-shift settlements along the Jordan-Syria border. Second, he asks that churches prayerfully consider taking part in an interfaith effort to send postcards related to the crisis.
Siladi also expressed his gratitude for the 45 congregations who have been directly involved in supporting Syrian refugees who have arrived in the state.
Below is the text of Siladi's letter, and the letter from the Immanuel Church.
Grace and peace to you in these waning days of summer.
I am writing to you with an invitation of response to the Syrian refugee crisis. At last count more than 45 of our congregations have been directly involved in supporting Syrian refugees who have arrived in Connecticut. I am so thankful for the impulse by so many to make a difference and to provide an extravagant welcome to those in need. If your church is welcoming refugees please let Drew Page (email@example.com) know.
One of our congregations, Immanuel Congregational Church in Hartford has written a letter to Senator Chris Murphy about the Syrian refugee crisis. I am sharing this letter with you so that you might prayerfully consider adapting or “signing on” to this letter. Senator Murphy serves as a member of the US Senate's Committee on Foreign Relations.
Another action that I would encourage you to prayerfully consider comes from the national setting of the United Church of Christ which has also been working on addressing the crisis. You are invited to sign the interfaith endorsed postcard linked below or add voices by signing on here. The postcards should be packaged with others and mailed to 110 Maryland Avenue, NE, Suite 110, Washington, DC, 20002 by September 12th.They will be delivered to Congress and the White House on September 15, 2016. Faced with the largest refugee crisis in history, the postcards ask the U.S. government to lead by example. The postcards ask for an increase in humanitarian aid, access to education, guarantee the right to work, and to double the number of refugees admitted for resettlement. Postcard 1, Postcard 2, Postcard 1 (with return address), Postcard 2 (with return address).
Thank you for considering this request for action.
Connecticut Conference, United Church of Christ
August 29, 2016
The Honorable Chris Murphy
United States Senate
136 Hart Senate Office Building
Washington, DC 20510
Dear Senator Murphy:
As members and friends of the Immanuel Congregational Church in Hartford, CT, we wish to bring to your urgent attention a humanitarian crisis of great concern to us – the desperate plight of tens of thousands of Syrian refugees presently stranded in make-shift, inhospitable desert settlements along the north-eastern Jordan-Syria border. From numerous news reports and eye witness accounts filed by the international press corps, relief agencies and humanitarian organizations, we summarize these salient facts:
Senator Murphy, in your capacity as member of the United States Senate’s Committee on Foreign Relations, we urge you to bring this pressing matter to the immediate attention of your Congressional colleagues and to senior officials of the Obama Administration. In doing so, we wish to suggest the following steps to address this international humanitarian crisis:
As our Senator in Congress, we hope that you will take a strong advocacy role in resolving this urgent issue. We stand ready to assist you in any way we can.
MEMBERS AND FRIENDS OF IMMANUEL CONGREGATIONAL CHURCH, UNITED CHURCH OF CHRIST, HARTFORD, CONNECTICUT