Update April 17, 2017 In “The Voice of First Trinity”: Refugee Resettlement

After receiving results of a congregational survey on various skills and interests which members are willing to offer to this ministry, we have submitted the formal application to Lutherans Social Services of the National Capitol Area.  LSS has plans to staff an office in the District and assign a specific caseworker for this program.

Once  that caseworker is in place and our sponsorship becomes a reality, we’ll be asking for donations of furniture and other items for the three-bedroom apartment.

In the meantime, there are some things which you can do now.

  • Donate Funds  Make either a one-time gift or monthly gifts. Write Resettlement on the envelope, along with your name, so that the funds will be recorded properly. Though approximately 50% of the estimated financial commitment has been included in the congregational budget, we hope to receive financial gifts to cover the entire cost of this ministry. We will use the congregational budget funds last.
  • Pray  Pray not only for the yet unidentified family we hope to sponsor, but for all refugees:  for their physical and emotional well-being, for their continuing hope to find a new home, and for national policies which make this ministry a priority.

First Trinity’s website has a dedicated section on this ministry; it will be updated whenever there is a need.  Check out http://firsttrinitydc.org/refugee-resettlement/ because it will have the answers to frequently asked questions.

 

Update March 23, 2017 In “The Voice of First Trinity”: Resettlement Ministry

The First Trinity council and congregational assembly have endorsed a proposal to serve as sponsor for a refugee family. St. Matthew’s members are joining us in this effort. Phil Soucy and Glen Sea serve as the congregational coordinators.

We are working with Lutheran Social Services of the National Capitol Area, which resettles several hundred refugees each year in Maryland and Virginia. Because the housing we will provide will be in the District, we have to wait for LSS to establish a district office for this and to assign a case worker.

Our plan is to make a Level 1 commitment in the Good Neighbor Program. This is a full commitment for hosting. Initially, we will provide a furnished apartment, with monthly rental assistance in decreasing amounts each quarter for one year. We will stock the housing’s pantry initially and provide a culturally appropriate welcome meal upon the family’s arrival. Subsequently we will have various volunteer opportunities as we journey with this family to self-sufficiency within one year. We will not know who the refugees we will sponsor are until several weeks before their arrival.

What can you do now? Donate funds: Make either a one-time gift or monthly gifts. Write Resettlement on the envelope, along with your name, so that the funds will be recorded properly. Though approximately 50% of the estimated financial commitment has been included in the congregational budget, we hope to receive financial gifts to cover the entire cost of this ministry. We will use the congregational budget funds last.

We are building an informational website on the First Trinity website. Increasingly there will be further information including volunteer possibilities available there, find “Resettlement” under the Service tab. Specific questions can be emailed to settlementFTStM@gmail.com.