Blessing Not Burden | June 12, 2017
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Dear advocates,

Mark your calendars — June 20 is World Refugee Day! This day provides us an opportunity to remember the growing worldwide refugee crisis and to celebrate the gift that refugees are to our communities. CRC congregations have a strong tradition of extending welcome to refugees fleeing violence and oppression and it continues today with congregations walking alongside refugee families from Syria, Myanmar, the Congo, and beyond. We have seen the face of God in refugees and have been forever changed. Throughout this newsletter, you will find ways to both remember and celebrate refugees this month and beyond. Be sure to find the World Refugee Toolkit at the bottom for ideas of how congregations, families, and individuals can recognize this day!

Faithful Budget Series: Funding Refugee Resettlement

The federal budget is a reflection of our nation's beliefs and values. As followers of Christ, it is important to advocate for a faithful budget – one that reflects our call to protect and defend the vulnerable. The administration recently released its proposed budget for the 2018 fiscal year, which includes dramatic cuts to programs that would directly affect CRC ministries.

Check out this piece from Bethany Christian Services on our Faithful Budget blog series about how the proposed budget would impact refugees worldwide and in the U.S. Here’s a sneak peak: the proposal eliminates and cuts funding for vital programs that help refugees successfully rebuild their lives in the U.S. It also includes the elimination and cut of preventative programs that work to mitigate people being forced to flee their home and become refugees. Learn more about the budget's impact on refugees here.

Join the National Call in Week for Refugees: June 12-16!

The national call in week for refugees begins today! We have a powerful message for Congress: we welcome refugees. The goal is for members of Congress across the country to receive 100,000 calls this week from advocates, including you! Whether you just call right now or commit to calling once a day this week, your voice will make a difference. Will you help spread this message?

Here’s what you can do:

  1. Dial 1-844-478-2635 to be connected to a brief introduction with instructions.
  2. Input your zip code on the dial pad. You will be automatically connected to your members.
  3. Say, “Hello, my name is ____ and I am a constituent. As a Christian, I welcome refugees in my community. Thank you.” Feel free to add anything else you like.
  4. Call three times in total to be connected to your representative and both senators.

The message is simple but combined with 100,000 others, it’s powerful!

World Refugee Day Toolkit

The Office of Social Justice, the Christian Reformed Centre for Public Dialogue, and World Renew invite you and your congregation to recognize World Refugee Day throughout the month of June. We have put together this toolkit to offer you resources and ideas for celebrating World Refugee Day as congregations and individuals. Whether through Sunday worship, advocating with refugees globally and locally, hosting a community dinner for refugees, or another creative idea, you can actively demonstrate that Christians across North America stand with refugees—fellow imagebearers of Christ.