"You Mean The World To Us: Our global embrace of refugees through local resettlement" will top the Episcopal Church"s observance of the annual United Nations-designated World Refugee Day on June 20.
The Friday live webcast will begin at 12:10 pm Eastern with the celebration of the Eucharist in the Chapel of Christ the Lord, located in The Episcopal Church Center in New York City. (11:10 am Central, 10:10 am Mountain, 9:10 am Pacific). Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori will celebrate and preach at this World Refugee Day-themed service.
Following the Eucharist at 1 pm Eastern, Presiding Bishop Jefferts Schori and Bishop Andrew D. Smith of Connecticut will participate in a panel discussion of World Refugee Day. The panel will be moderated by Deborah Stein, director of Episcopal Migration Ministries.
The Presiding Bishop will reflect on the church"s long-standing commitment to refugees and Bishop Smith will speak about the impact of ongoing resettlement in his diocese. Members of an interfaith sponsorship team that includes St. Matthew"s Episcopal Church in Wilton, Connecticut and an Iraqi refugee family they helped to resettle will also share their experiences.
The live webcast of the Eucharist, beginning at 12:10 pm Eastern, is expected to be 35 minutes. The live webcast of You Mean The World To Us, beginning at 1 pm Eastern, is expected to be 45 minutes. Questions for the panel can be submitted by emailing email@example.com.
The live webcasts of the Eucharist and You Mean The World To Us can be accessed on the home page of The Episcopal Church www.episcopalchurch.org.
Episcopal Migration Ministries
Episcopal Migration Ministries (EMM) is one of 10 voluntary agencies partnering with the U.S. State Department in the work of refugee resettlement.
EMM has its origins in the response to refugees fleeing Eastern Europe during World War II offered by churches in the Episcopal Diocese of Southern Ohio beginning in 1938. In the mid-1970"s, Episcopal parishes and many other faith communities assisted Vietnamese refugees relocated to this country by the U.S. government. The Episcopal Church became a participating organization in the U.S. refugee program, when Congress passed the Refugee Act of 1980.
Since that time, EMM has resettled thousands of refugees from Southeast Asia and the Near East, Europe and the former Soviet Union, Africa and Latin America.
In addition to Vietnamese, Cambodian, and Hmong, other major refugee groups resettled by the Episcopal Church over three decades have been from Cuba, Bosnia, Kosovo, Liberia and the Sudan. EMM is currently resettling large numbers of Burmese, Bhutanese and Iraqi refugees.
In 2008, EMM resettled a record 4,070 refugees and anticipates assisting at least as many refugees in 2009.
The Episcopal Church, with 110 dioceses in 16 nations, is a member province of the worldwide Anglican Communion.