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Special event to support Episcopal Migration Ministries features presiding bishop, religious iconographer

June 14, 2021
Office of Public Affairs

A special webinar highlighting the vital refugee work of Episcopal Migration Ministries will feature artist and iconographer Kelly Latimore in conversation with Presiding Bishop Michael Curry.

“The Work of Your Church: An Evening in Support of Episcopal Migration Ministries” will be at 6 p.m. ET Wednesday, June 23, moderated by the Rev. Charles Robertson, canon to the presiding bishop for ministry beyond The Episcopal Church. Through the lens of religious iconography, the webinar will focus on the past, present and future work of Episcopal Migration Ministries (EMM) in responding to the needs of refugees and asylum seekers.

An iconic poster produced in 1938 by the Episcopal Diocese of Southern Ohio, titled In the Name of These Refugees, will guide discussion of EMM’s historic roots, which include serving new U.S. immigrants in the late 1800s and helping finance steamship passage in the 1930s for those fleeing Nazi Europe.

EMM’s current and future ministry will be depicted in a new commissioned work by the St. Louis-based Latimore, who has painted religious icons for 10 years. His works have featured prominently in recent years in Episcopal and Roman Catholic communities. In 2020, Latimore’s icon Mama, showing a Black Mary holding a crucified Black Jesus who resembles George Floyd, became a visible image at Black Lives Matter demonstrations, Christian Century magazine reported.

“What a wonderful opportunity Kelly Latimore’s visionary work gives us to see in the faces of these many and various people who have endured so much to seek a new home and new hope nothing less than the face of Jesus,” said Robertson.  “We hope that many Episcopalians and others will join us for this fresh look at our longstanding migration ministry as a critical work of justice, of racial reconciliation, of the way of love.” EMM, which has 12 affiliate offices in 10 states, is one of nine national agencies responsible for resettling refugees in the U.S. in partnership with the federal government. In 2020, EMM helped resettle more than 1,100 individuals from 29 countries. In addition to its refugee resettlement ministry, EMM is The Episcopal Church’s convening place for collaboration, education and information-sharing on migration. 

The webinar is one of several events hosted this month by EMM in recognition of World Refugee Day, including an upcoming virtual prayer vigil on June 20. Learn more here.

The 60-minute event will include a moderated panel discussion followed by a Q&A. Participants will be invited to donate to EMM’s life-saving resettlement and engagement work.

The event is free; all participants are required to register. Online registration can be found here.