November 17, 2017
Friday, November 17, 2017
"My ancestor was homeless, an Aramean who went to live in Egypt."
(Moses' words to Israel, Deuteronomy 26:5)
"And angel appeared to Joseph in a dream and said, 'Get up! Hurry and take the child and his mother to Egypt! Stay there until I tell you to return, because Herod is looking . . . to kill him.'"
"When I was a stranger, you welcomed me."
Dear Fellow Sojourners in Christ,
"Grace to you in the name of Jesus Christ, Prince of Peace, Healer of Our Brokenness and Hope of the World!"
The United Methodist Church will observe Global Migration Sunday on December 3, 2017. The challenge of migration is something very familiar to our Judeo-Christian tradition. Our biblical ancestors were forced to leave their homeland because of tribal conflicts, natural disasters, acts of violence of corrupt governments, and God's instructions. We are a faith people whose history is synonymous with migration. The earthly life of our Savior Jesus Christ started as a refugee with his parents.
The dilemma of global migration has continued over the past 4,000 years and escalated. Today 65 million people are displaced worldwide (the highest since World War II); 22.5 million are refugees under the age of 18; 28,300 people a day flee their homes due to conflict or persecution; every 5 seconds a person is displaced or forced to leave their home; and yet less than 1% find permanent settlement annually.
Many of us remember the heart-breaking picture of the young child whose lifeless body washed up on shore. Refugees and migrants represent "the least of these" in our world at these times. The Council of Bishops is asking our congregations to receive a special offering to demonstrate our commitment to care for their dire needs.
December 3rd is the first Sunday of Advent. We prepare to welcome the Christ child who was homeless. I invite you to be generous in the spirit of the season to build bridges of safety and a future for the misplaced children of God. You may want to find more helpful resources for the Global Migration Sunday by clicking umcmigration.org.
Offerings collected should be sent to the Susquehanna Annual Conference at 303 Mulberry Drive, Mechanicsburg, PA 17050-3198 with a note, "Migration Advance No. 3022144". Church treasurers are to submit their congregation's gifts on their monthly remittance slips beside line item, number 2900.
Your prayers and gifts for the migrant families in refugee camps and temporary displacement will be God's channel of healing and hope. Blessed by God to be a blessing, I am most grateful and humbled by your witness of compassion, mercy and justice.
With You in Christ's Ministry,
Jeremiah J. Park
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