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A litany for asylum seekers


Mother and Child Fleeing, 1942, Josef Herman (Polish)

I've been highlighting the work of our outreach partners over the past few weeks. This week features Restoration Immigration Legal Aid (RILA). RILA provides free legal aid to asylum seekers, who are more vulnerable than ever in this year of widespread job loss, hunger, and changes to immigration policies.

We have been honored to partner with RILA from our earliest days as a church. Now, as we approach our second birthday, nearly everyone in our congregation has volunteered with RILA in some way -- that's amazing! You've prayed for asylum applications and work permits and safe housing and stable relationships. You've served meals, provided childcare, interpreted and taken notes, bought groceries, donated winter clothing, delivered food and formula and diapers, driven mothers to appointments, and more.

And we'll have a couple opportunities to serve RILA this fall -- stay tuned!

Join me in praying this litany for our beloved partners at RILA and those they serve (adapted from Fran Pratt's Litany for Refugees):

God, we lift up to you the plight of our sisters and brothers fleeing from their homes Escaping poverty, war, violence, abuse, persecution. We pray in solidarity with those who must uproot themselves and their families in order to survive. Be with them now, Oh God.

We remember that Jesus himself, along with his parents, were refugees escaping genocide. Give us Christ's compassion for those endangered. For Restoration Immigration Legal Aid clients and all asylum seekers, we pray: For provision for practical needs, For safe passage through distressed regions, For a home, a hope, and a future. For RILA workers, we pray: For the love of Christ to flow through them, For world awareness and support of their needs and work, For effectiveness in helping distressed people.

We are reminded of mandates you’ve given us, to extend hospitality to strangers, To love our neighbor as ourselves. May we live in light of your commands, and in the light of Your love, even when it is inconvenient. We love because You first loved us. May we generously give, serve, and listen, sharing in the richness of the Kingdom of God, Extending grace and mercy to all.



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