This week’s message is about Saturday’s benefit concert for the Asylum Seeker Assistance Project. Please come at 4:30 pm (with friends, family, and neighbors) for an hour of musical selections featuring themes of sanctuary and hope, along with stories shared by refugees. Admission is free, though of course we hope you’ll make a donation to the important work of this wonderful organization. A celebratory reception will follow!
Last year, the Music Committee and Choir paired with the Mission & Social Action Committee to create and organize a benefit concert in support of immigrants seeking asylum. Of course, we had to choose a group whose methods and goals were trustworthy and successful. So, congregation member Dianne Lipsey researched The Asylum Seeker Assistance Project (ASAP), and we were all impressed with the work done by this relatively new organization. We’ve had a good time producing and publicizing the concert in coordination with ASAP staff while our church choir and guest musicians have been rehearsing under Dorothy Mora and William Browne. I look forward to a great event!
Here’s a short blurb on the work of ASAP:
The Asylum Seeker Assistance Project (ASAP) is the only nonprofit dedicated to serving asylum seekers and their families living in the DC Metro region. Our community is home to an estimated 25,000 asylum seekers. It is not illegal to seek asylum in the US, but asylum seekers face tremendous challenges during the asylum process.
To address client needs, ASAP employs a holistic service model designed to promote client self-sufficiency via social work, community engagement, and employment programs. All services are provided free to clients. Our vision is to empower asylum seekers to rebuild their lives in the US with dignity and purpose.
As I wrote in my last Pastor’s Page: “Legal immigration has been significantly curtailed by the current administration over the past two years. And this is a big problem in a world with so many people legitimately seeking asylum from dangerous situations in their countries of origin. We can’t admit every suffering soul, but we can do our part. Jesus’s ministry highlighted the importance of welcoming the stranger and caring for the outcast. And, as a follower of Jesus, I believe unless and until we find a way to create safe and humane conditions for more humans around the globe, we have a moral imperative to assist the ones who suffer in the gap.”
I hope you’ll come this Saturday—and, of course, make a generous contribution to ASAP, www.asylumprojectdc.org. See you there!
Peace and Blessings,
Asylum Seekers Benefit Concert, 2/23— Join us this Saturday at 4:30 pm for a concert featuring Stories and Songs of Hope in support of refugees seeking asylum in the U.S. Admission is free with donations encouraged for the Asylum Seekers Assistance Project, www.asylumprojectdc.org. Reception following. Please spread the word!
Coffee Hour Conversation: Asylum Seekers, 2/24—We’ll gather after worship for a discussion with staff and clients of the Asylum Seeker Assistance Project.
FaithLife, 2/24—Join us from 5:30-7 pm for a conversation about our lived faith. This month’s topic is “Apologies.” We’ll discuss the RadioLab podcast, Apologetical (listen to the whole piece or start at the 14 minute mark).
Lectio Divina: Holy Listening, 3/3—Join fellow seekers from 4-5:15 pm for contemplative prayer in community. Led by Kris Davis, we’ll listen for God in sacred text, silence, the natural world, and relationship with others. Please bring a journal and pen.
Ash Wednesday Service, 3/6—We’ll gather at 6:30 pm at the front of the sanctuary for a short service about love and mortality. If you’ve never participated, consider joining us this year: it’s a truly meaningful way to begin the Lenten Season.
Lenten Retreat: Slow Down, 3/9—Join Pastor Ellen from 9:30 am-1 pm for a morning of slowing down, soul searching, and spiritual reflection. Please wear comfortable clothing, bring a yoga mat and/or blanket and pillow, and a journal and pen. RSVP (so I can provide enough snacks): firstname.lastname@example.org.