Called to care for the outsider, Brethren have long supported the refugees in our communities. With many thousands of Afghan arrivals coming to the US, churches are challenged to welcome these strangers that flee persecution in their homeland.
“The primary truth of faith as we consider… refugees today is that Christ has made another appearance among us, as Himself a… refugee in the person of political dissidents, the economically deprived, and foreigners on the run. We are to join them as pilgrims in search of that city yet to come, with foundations of love and justice whose architect and builder is God.”
Church of the Brethren Annual Conference statement, 1982
Give to the Emergency Disaster Fund to support Afghan resettlement across the country. Grants from the Emergency Disaster Fund are supporting Church World Service in resettling Afghan arrivals and refugees.
How to Help an Afghan Family Resettling in the US
Volunteer to assist or sponsor an Afghan Family and support their resettlement. Congregations or groups can work with Church World Service, or other resettlement agencies, to welcome Afghan people into their community. Think outside the box to discover ways you and your congregation/group can be a welcoming force in your community!
- Church World Service (CWS) is the historic and current refugee partner of the Church of the Brethren and currently has offices and affiliates in 17 states. Learn more about welcoming Afghan arrivals and advocating for their needs with up-to-date information and resources from CWS.
- Volunteer – there are many ways to be a welcoming face and voice!
- Sponsor an Afghan family by working through a CWS office or affiliate.
Find a CWS resettlement office near you.
- Sponsor an Afghan family through the CWS APA Program (Afghan Placement and Assistance). Churches that are not close to a CWS office can apply to be an APA community partner, either working on their own or partnering with other churches or organizations in their community. APA Community Partners receive training and mentorship through CWS.
- CWS is the preferred partner for Church of the Brethren congregations, however there are eight other resettlement agencies partnering with the US government. If having a local resettlement office is important to you, rather than participating in the CWS APA program, other agencies and their affiliates providing refugee resettlement programming in your state or area can be found at the Refugee Council USA or the U.S. Office of Refugee Resettlement.
- BDM is maintaining a list of churches or denominational entities that are sponsoring or exploring sponsorship of Afghan arrivals. This will help us know how we can assist you, help to tell your story, or possibly connect you with others with whom you could partner. Please contact the BDM office. (See also below: Faith in Action Fund grant information)
- Please be patient! The unprecedented number of Afghans arriving in the US within a short period of time with very little notice, as well as the tremendous response of people wanting to help, is straining the capacity of the resettlement agencies, most of which had downsized due to the low refugee ceilings of the past few years. They are ramping up as quickly as possible to meet the needs before them. Your patience and grace are much appreciated!
- Contact Brethren Disaster Ministries for more information: firstname.lastname@example.org or 410-635-8731/800-451-4407
- Read about Community Sponsorship and/or the APA Community Partner program, including the expectations of the congregation or partner group.
- Complete the CWS interest form here or APA form here.
- Wait at least a week to hear back from CWS.
- If you have questions or do not hear back in a week, contact Brethren Disaster Ministries.
Support congregations resettling Afghan families
- Partner with another church or organization on Afghan family resettlement. You may not be equipped to take on a full sponsorship but there could be many ways that you can work with others to provide a warm welcome in your community or even in another community. Think outside the box! Contact the BDM office for possible partnerships.
- Hold a special fundraiser for a resettlement in your community or for the national effort.
- Apply for a Church of the Brethren Faith in Action Fund grant to assist with resettlement costs. (certain criteria and application requirements apply)
Advocate for Afghan evacuees
- Church of the Brethren Action Alert: Evacuate Afghans and Decrease Military Spending
- CWS Action Alert: Protect and Welcome Vulnerable Afghans
- CWS Action Alert: Welcome Afghans and Equip Local Communities
- CWS Action Alert: Hold Officials Accountable and Expand the Refugee Admissions Goal
- Church World Service resources
- Afghanistan Response – Refugee Council USA
- Welcome.us – Initiative of groups welcoming Afghans
- US Dept. of State Afghan Placement and Assistance (APA) Program (the program that supports the APA programs of the resettlement agencies)
Contact Brethren Disaster Ministries for additional information: email@example.com or 410-635-8731/800-451-4407