Welcoming the Stranger

Welcoming the Stranger

The New York Times Looks at Churches and Afghan Refugees


What do Afghan refugees and churches like CHS have in common?

As our faith community has prepared to ease the path of Afghan refugees to their new homes so have other faith communities across the U.S. In the usually secular pages of The New York Times, the editorial page recently featured an op-ed by Farah Stockman, titled “Afghan Allies Deserve Our Help.” What made this article important for us at Church of the Holy Spirit is that Farah Stockman shows how the Afghan people and churches like CHS both place great value on welcoming the stranger.  To read more about how the Afghans and our community share this commitment and how this welcome is playing out across the country, read Farah Stockman’s piece. (Note that the print version is titled “Afghan Allies Deserve Our Help” while the online version is titled “Would You Sponsor a Refugee?”)


What are we at CHS doing to welcome the Afghan refugees?

During the last few weeks, the Vashon Afghan Resettlement Team (VART) has been waiting for information. First, we are waiting for our statement from Island Lumber at the end of the month to see how many donations have been received. Second, we anticipate meeting in the Unitarians’ Lewis Hall to sort through the items that have been turned in. Marian Brischle has been picking up and watching over items left in the narthex. Getting pots, pans, bedding and much more together in Lewis Hall will let us organize the Welcome Kits to deliver to the Diocese’s Refugee Resettlement Office. Imagine the Welcome Kits like a stripped-down version of wedding and shower gifts to prepare for a new home.