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Episcopal, Lutheran partnership focuses on asylum-seeker sponsor training

April 10, 2024
Office of Public Affairs

Building on a shared vision for Gospel-centered hospitality and inclusion, Episcopal Migration Ministries (EMM) and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America’s (ELCA) ministry to migrants have entered a partnership to better train and support asylum-seeker sponsors.

Accompanying Migrants with Protection, Advocacy, Representation, and Opportunities (AMMPARO) is the ELCA’s strategic commitment to help migrant families. In this new collaboration, AMMPARO will use the Neighbor to Neighbor program designed by Episcopal Migration Ministries to provide training for community sponsors.

The two groups will coordinate efforts as they work with sponsors, who welcome new neighbors by offering friendship, fostering community connections, and providing practical support such as housing, assistance in accessing services and navigating the community, enrolling children in school, supporting adults in learning English and securing employment, and more.

“This Gospel work of serving asylum seekers deepens even more our 25-year partnership of ‘Called to Common Mission,’ working together in response to this great need of this time,” said the Rev. Margaret Rose, ecumenical and interreligious director for The Episcopal Church.

Mary Campbell, director for AMMPARO-ELCA, noted the excellence of the Neighbor to Neighbor materials. “They are very comprehensive and will help ELCA congregations engaged in asylum-seeker sponsoring to accompany migrants well,” she said. “The AMMPARO team is really excited about this partnership.”

Episcopal Migration Ministries is one of 10 national agencies responsible for resettling refugees in the U.S. in partnership with the government. In addition to its longstanding work in refugee resettlement, EMM is also The Episcopal Church’s convening place for collaboration, education, and information-sharing on migration.