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Emmanuel Episcopal Church Orcas Island

The Episcopal Church is gravely disappointed by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s announcement yesterday that the administration has set the refugee admissions ceiling for next year at 30,000. This is the lowest ceiling in the history of our country and is one more effort to pull the United States back from our leadership in addressing humanitarian crises. Further, the retreat from refugee resettlement flies in the face of our nation’s history of being a place of refuge to persecuted persons. The Episcopal Church, through the ministry of Episcopal Migration Ministries, is committed to welcome for all.

“As followers of Jesus Christ, we are saddened by this decision,” said Presiding Bishop Michael B. Curry. “Our hearts and our prayers are with those thousands of refugees who, due to this decision, will not be able to find new life in the United States. This decision by the government does not reflect the care and compassion of Americans who welcome refugees in their communities every day. Our faith calls us to love God and love our neighbor, so we stand ready to help all those we can in any way we can.”

Episcopal Migration Ministries, having resettled more than 90,000 refugees since the 1980s, is the Episcopal Church’s foremost response to refugee crises. Working in partnership with offices and groups within the church as well as with governments and nongovernmental organizations, Episcopal Migration Ministries 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. For each family, the goal is self-reliance and self-determination. After years of living in limbo, refugees have the opportunity to begin again on a strong foundation that honors their stories and dignity, thanks to Episcopal Migration Ministries. Support EMM as we continue to welcome newly arriving refuges and support those families already here: www.episcopalmigrationministries.org/give.
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Dear Ones,

We have been watching disasters around our country of late. Landfall of Florence and the devastation we continue to see from it can make us forget about the fires that have affected so many on our coast. I know all of these things have been in your prayers. Along with that, we must also act. The best source still remains Episcopal Relief and Development. You can find out the latest about Florence and the disaster response by ERD and the various dioceses currently affected by going to the ERD Website
There you will also find bulletin inserts and other resources for your use.

As is usual in these disasters, it is too early to say where feet on the ground may be needed and how to coordinate but as those opportunities arise I will do my best to let you know. I can tell you that the Rev. Patty Baker, our Diocesan Disaster Coordinator has been in contact with the affected dioceses already and is working with ERD and will keep me, and thereby us, informed.

I also spoke to the Rev. Canon Andrea McMillan, Canon to the Ordinary in the Diocese of Northern California . She writes:

If you wish to contribute to our relief efforts, we use 100% of your donation for relief: after the first responders leave, we generally provide 'gap' assistance with gas and grocery cards for people who are fragile populations and cannot access the social safety net. We are not there yet with this particular fire. We ARE in the recovery phase in two other areas, and have created some teams who are working within Habitat for Humanity to do some building as well as teams to spruce up our church in Lakeport - a community that has been hit twice now in three years. It is an impoverished community and we have a thrift store in the basement of our church that is providing a huge support for that community as people get back into their homes or back into jobs.

Most importantly, please do continue the prayers. It means so much when we can say that our wider church is holding us in prayer - and for our smaller churches to be reminded that so many people love them and support their well being.

To donate:

Checks can be mailed directly to the Office of the Bishop
Made out to "EDNC" memo "disaster fund"
The Episcopal Diocese of Northern California
350 University Avenue, Suite 280
Sacramento, CA 95825

You may donate online to our Diocesan Disaster Relief fund here.
Choose "Disaster Relief" from the drop down options

secure.accessacs.com/access/oglogin.aspx?sn=159790
Please keep all those affected across our country in your prayers!

+Greg

The Rt. Rev. Greg Rickel
Bishop of Olympia
1551 10th Ave E
Seattle, Washington 98102
206-325-4200
206-325-4631 FAX
grickel@ecww.org
www.bishoprickel.com
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