A lay-led group of St. James's and St. John's parishioners work with IRIS to support a Syrian refugee family that has recently begun the process of settling into the United States. The family of five arrived in West Hartford on August 4th, 2016. So far they have had as smooth a transition as anyone could hope for. Our roles include plugging the family into health, education, and transportation services, assisting them with grocery shopping, laundry, and every other aspect of daily life. Our goal is to help them gain independence and feel "at home" in a very new culture. The father is employed, the children are in school, and all of them are on their way to learning English.

There may be something you can do to help the Kattoub Family. If you are interested in learning more, please contact the Refugee Committee.

IRIS (Integrated Refugee & Immigrant Services)

IRIS — Integrated Refugee & Immigrant Services is a program of the Episcopal Church in Connecticut and is the local affiliate of Episcopal Migration Ministries and the Immigration and Refugee Program of Church World Service.

IRIS resettles approximately 200 refugees each year. IRIS also provides some services to asylees and other immigrants. Currently, IRIS’s refugee clients come from Afghanistan, Congo, Cuba, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Iran, Iraq, Sudan and other countries.

Episcopal Migration Ministries

Episcopal Migration Ministries (EMM) is the refugee resettlement program of the Episcopal Church, and a living example of the Church’s commitment to aid the stranger in our midst. In 2013, EMM helped almost 5,000 refugees build new lives in security and peace in 30 communities across the United States. EMM collaborates with local partner agencies in 26 Episcopal dioceses and 22 states to welcome those fleeing persecution.

What the Bible Says About Refugees

This article from Relevant Magazine highlights a scriptural basis for us to contemplate how the biblical witness encourages us to welcome the stranger. "The issue of immigration reform is nuanced, and policies are often legislatively complex. But the wisdom of the Bible is both simple and timeless."