Our SJA Welcome the Stranger ministry is partnering once more with Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service to provide a message of support and unity to migrant families held in three U.S. detention centers. It is a small gesture, but it is something we can do to let families and children know they are not forgotten at this time of year, when Christians celebrate the birth of the migrant Jesus. More than 16,000 cards were distributed last year. Let’s help top that in 2020.
There are several ways to participate in this project:
- Purchase a holiday card (or cards) and write a message in Spanish and/or English. We have attached some greetings and sentiments in Spanish, which is the primary language of many of these families. You can then:
1. Mail the cards, marked “Christmas Card Project” to SJA at 4537 3rd Ave. So.; Mpls; 55419. Cards can be mailed or dropped off in their envelopes, which will be removed before we mail all the cards from SJA.
2. Drop the cards off to the SJA parish center, open Monday thru Friday, 9am til 3pm.
3. Drop the cards off at the Thanksgiving Drive-Thru in the SJA parking lot on Thanksgiving Day from 9-10am
ALL CARDS MUST BE RECEIVED AT SJA BY FRIDAY, DECEMBER 4.
- Make a financial donation to help LIRS purchase gifts for the children in detention. Donations are accepted at lirs.org/hope or you can send a check to:
Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service
PO Box 17467
Baltimore, MD 21298-8266
Attn: Hope for the Holidays
- Help us end the detention of children and families. Our immigration system is broken, and family detention is a horrible response to the plight of human beings fleeing violence and persecution. Go to lirs.org/hope to sign a petition and join our Welcome the Stranger ministry for ongoing opportunities to build relationships and stand in solidarity with immigrants, asylees, and refugees in our community. Contact Julie Madden for info.
- Finally, please remember these brothers and sisters, mothers and fathers, in your prayers, especially at this time.
What is happening, and how LIRS has helped:
Since 2014, family detention has increased by 4000%. There are currently 6,074 individuals who are or were in ICE custody who have tested positive for COVID-19 since testing began in February. So far this year, LIRS was able to help over 5,300 family members reunite with unaccompanied children, and provide stability and care for an additional 1,471 children through post-release services.
Thank you so much for being part of this project. We can’t imagine spending Christmas in a cage in a detention center, and we mourn what is being done in our name. Let’s take this step together to remind one another, and to remind our nation’s leaders, that we are joined in God’s love as one family.
Blessings to you and your families, and if you have any questions, please contact Julie Madden at 612.823.8205x228 or jmadden [at] stjoan.com.