From the Pastor’s Desk…
According to Matthew, Jesus was an evacuee and refugee shortly after birth. Strangers in a foreign land welcomed him.
This month St. James will begin our sponsorship of an Afghan Evacuee family. We are honored to welcome one family out of 74,000 who will resettle in our nation. St. James member Cathie Coffman is our coordinator and we will need everyone’s help.
We will work in partnership with Lutheran Community Services NW (LCSNW). For our part, we will welcome the family at the airport, teach them how to travel by public transportation by taking the bus with them, teach them English, assist them in food shopping, medical appointments, finding jobs, and registering for school. They will be eligible for some Federal benefits but we also need to assist financially for the first several months and provide furniture when housing is found.
Due to the circumstances of why they left Afghanistan, we will most likely not be able to publish their names or photos. St. James members who volunteer in-person with the family will require background checks. Since 99% of Afghans are of the Islamic faith, we look forward to connecting them to a local mosque.
This new year of ministry begins by welcoming the stranger, just as young Jesus was welcomed.
This month we will welcome an Afghanistan Evacuee family to Portland. They are currently at a military base on U.S. soil. We will sponsor them, assist them in settlement, walk with them and fall in love with them. All this will take our volunteer time, energy, and money for several months. St. James member Cathie Coffman is already busy coordinating this effort. Let her know you want to help.
Looking Back and Looking Forward: Congo Refugees
We were delighted to help bring Christmas joy to the Innocent/Lweso family. On December 19th we delivered 54 gifts (warm clothing, toys, diapers) to their home and also included a delicious Christmas dinner. In 2017 they fled war-torn Congo and were settled in Portland by Lutheran Community Services NW (LCSNW). The family will worship with us on Sunday, January 9th. Our thanks to all who contributed gifts for this family.
Annual Congregational Meeting
Help us plan ministry in 2022. After worship on Sunday, January 23rd at 10:45am, we will gather to elect leaders, pass a ministry spending plan, and hear of our ministry in 2021. Your presence is requested. An “Annual Report For the Year 2021” will be available to all members online the week prior, and some paper copies will be available on the day of the meeting. Please take time to join us so we can make ministry decisions together.