A MESSAGE FROM THE REV. LINDSEY ALTVATER CLIFTON: Supporting our Afghan friends
Even though it’s just now the middle of July, the program committees (Congregational Life, Discipleship, Mission, and Engagement) and I have already been hard at work brainstorming for the fall. We’ve been enjoying collaborative planning meetings once a month since May, and this month, we’ll be ready to start getting dates for programs and events on the calendar. It’s exciting to see themes and threads start to come together!
This past fall, we kicked the program year off with our church-wide reading and discussion of Neighborhood Church: How to Transform Your Congregation into a Powerhouse for Mission. As I look back, I can see at least one significant way in which that inspired our work: the commitment we’ve made to co-sponsor the resettlement of our Afghan family.
Putting our faith into action in ways that have a long-term, relational impact is at the heart of being a Neighborhood Church. It is clear that both the Refugee Family Support Team and our whole congregation really have skin in the game with Baz, Mursal, Taib, Bahar, and the baby on the way!
At our most recent Table Talk potluck last Sunday, we learned more about our family’s immigration status, and we made a shared commitment to advocate for all Afghans to have a clear, accessible pathway to permanent residency and citizenship. Advocacy is yet another way we can be a Neighborhood Church!
We’re joining together in a letter-writing campaign to encourage our Congressional elected officials to pass the Afghan Adjustment Act. If you’d like to participate, you can learn more on this document, which includes a letter template that you can revise and customize as you wish.
Letters are due to the church on Sunday, July 31; they don’t have to be stamped and addressed since we’ll send a large envelope with all of them together. (Just label them with the legislator’s name and your return address so that you’ll receive a response.) We’ll have a basket out to collect them in the narthex, just before going into the Sanctuary; you can also contact the Church office at 610-867-5865 and we’re happy to send you a stamped envelope to mail your letters to the church.
At our next Table Talk on Sunday, August 7 following Summer Worship, we’ll celebrate with a Baby Shower for our Afghan family. Be on the lookout for information about a registry of items that they need, along with a note about what you can bring food-wise (as you’re able).
Friends, it’s good to be Christ’s church together and in the world! I’m grateful for the many ways in which we’re living out our faith as a Neighborhood Church.
Blessings, dear ones.