Loving and Helping Our New Neighbors
Soon Afghan families will be our new neighbors as they move into the metropolitan areas of Oklahoma. Some of our Disciple congregations are already making preparations to help welcome them. As you might imagine, the needs to help one family relocate are tremendous, and there will be many families who need our help. If your congregation would like to join this ministry and work together, please contact Mary Heath, Chair of the Region’s Refugee & Immigration Commission or the Regional Office. Please note there are many resources to help understand the needs of our Afghan communities. The resources below are just a start!
Disciples Hospitality & Welcome
These links will take you to the most comprehensive resources to learn about Disciples hospitality and welcome of Afghanistan refugees into our midst. You are welcome to use any and/or all of these resources in your congregation.
Disciples Refugees & Immigration Ministries (RIM)
These links will direct you to many resources for your congregation to learn more about the Afghan refugees.
Week of Compassion
Church World Service
Church World Service is an organization in the US serving the Afghan resettlement program. There are twenty-one CWS offices around the US. Just recently, CWS approved the Afghan Placement and Assistance Program to make it possible for CWS to provide resources to communities who want to partner with CWS who are further than 100 miles from a CSW office, places like Oklahoma and West Virginia.
Please follow the links below to help your congregation learn about the CWS Afghan Resettlement ministries and worship resources.
Oklahoma Congregations Already Preparing
The Region of Oklahoma has eight congregations already preparing to help in the resettlement of Afghan families.
- Edmond Trinity
- Norman FCC – working ecumenically in the Norman community
- OKC Crown Heights
- OKC Western Oaks
- Ponca City FCC
- Stillwater FCC – working ecumenically in the Stillwater community; OSU has contributed housing
- Tulsa Harvard Avenue – working ecumenically in the Tulsa community
- Weatherford Federated
How Your Congregation can Participate
The needs of resettlement are great. Here are some of the many ways your congregation can be a partner in this ministry.
1. Pray for these Afghans who have been displaced from their home and are seeking a new home — here.
2. Partner with a larger congregation who is already in motion.
3. Designate a point person in your congregation to contact one of the congregations noted above to see what the needs are and report back to your board to determine the best way for your congregation to partner. Some of the needs include:
- financial support for rent, utilities, legal services
- medical care
- furniture and home goods
- appropriate seasonal clothing for adults and children
- language interpreters for Dari and Pashto
- volunteers when the time comes
4. Make a financial contribution to the Region’s Restricted Fund: Refugee & Immigration Afghan Resettlement.
We cannot do this ministry by ourselves. We work best together. Let us welcome and love our new neighbors with joy and gratitude!
Peace & God’s Grace,
Rev. Pamela Holt