The Circle of Welcome is a new Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service (LIRS) initiative that has been developed to engage both congregations and community groups in the successful integration of refugees into communities in the United States. This initiative is anchored on a close partnership between LIRS, local resettlement partners, and volunteer teams from faith and community groups across the country. Lutheran Services of Georgia (LSG) is one of two LIRS local resettlement partners piloting the Circle of Welcome. Welcoming the stranger and caring for their needs is a calling that is shared by most faith traditions and people of good conscience. Perhaps now more than ever, there is a critical need for private support for resettling refugee families and walking with them as they rebuild their lives. Your faith and community group not only has access to local resources refugees can tap into, but your community networks and connections are beneficial to the newly resettled refugee families. Your partnership with us creates a welcoming group of friends that results in a strong support system for refugee families. The goals of the program are to:
To improve outcomes for refugee families arriving in the U.S. by engaging faith and community groups and local resettlement agencies in shared resettlement and integration work across the country.
To enhance the longer-term integration and not just short-term stabilization for newly arrived refugees; recognizing the power in transforming the lives of refugees and the communities that receive them.
To create meaningful and simple ways for faith and community groups to engage with and walk alongside refugees in service and friendship.
We encourage you to take some time to reflect on and consider this opportunity, particularly how it supports the mission of your faith, congregation and/or community group. For more information on becoming part of the Circle of Welcome, please contact Melanie Johnson at firstname.lastname@example.org .