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Building a Summer of Welcome

Summer is right around the corner! It’s the season of graduation parties, life transitions, and changing ministry rhythms. In the midst of all that, my team has been wondering, How can your church keep serving and welcoming our immigrant and refugee neighbors through the summer season – and have some fun along the way? 
Here’s one creative example. Recently a Ukrainian colleague and her niece spent time with a group of high schoolers to share about their life experiences. The students were so stirred by hearing from a peer about the realities of displacement and adaptation to a new country that they self-organized and collected $2,000 to supply newly arriving families with welcome kits – sets of donated items that furnish homes for new families. 
Their ingenuity was totally unexpected and blew us away! However, as our offices continue receiving over 80 people a month for refugee resettlement, the needs continue.  
Summer is a time to slow down a little and invite your church to embrace the joy and fun activities of the summer. With some creativity and cheerful hearts, how could your church think of new ways to collect Welcome Kits? 
Perhaps you could … 

  • Challenge your youth group to hold a scavenger hunt at Walmart to collect all the items for a Welcome Kit in record time.  
  • Send off your small groups to see who can find the most discounted kitchen item at Bed, Bath, and Beyond before it closes!  
  • Invite your tech savvy college students and their friends to build a Welcome Kit item by item from their computers or phones by using the Welcome Kit Amazon wishlist. 

Like the students at this high school did, I’m sure you can think of your own ideas to engage your congregation!  

If you’d like to learn more, sign up here and someone from our team will reach out with details. You can also view our  Welcome Kit guide here. We can’t wait to see what ideas you come up with as you continue building communities of welcome and love with our immigrant and refugee neighbors this summer! 

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