Pastoral word from Presiding Bishop Michael Curry on 20th anniversary of Sept. 11 [Sept, 8, 2021]
As followers of Jesus, and with our siblings in other faith traditions, we place great value on the act of remembrance. As we reflect on the solemn anniversary of Sept. 11, 2001, we remember many loved ones lost and first responders who put their lives at risk, modeling the sacrificial love of Jesus, who said: “No one has greater love than this, to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.”
While 20 years have passed, I also want us to pause and remember the days that followed these tragic events. There was a moment in the aftermath when people came together. We were praying, grieving, and also working together. Because in that moment, however fleeting it was, we knew with immediacy and vulnerability that we need God, and we need each other.
Memories of that tender cooperation—of love for each other as neighbors—serve as guiding lights for the present. Amidst the ongoing pandemic and natural disasters that have taken so many lives and pushed first responders to their limits, and amidst a worldwide reckoning with the sin of racism, we are called to become the Beloved Community whose way of life is the way of Jesus and his way of love.
Presiding Bishop Michael Curry will deliver a blessing and sermon Sept. 11 and 12 as part of A Time and Space of Remembrance and Healing at Trinity Church Wall Street in New York, which served as a relief mission for recovery workers at Ground Zero for nearly a year after the buildings fell. Tune in online at trinitywallstreet.org/september-11.
Presiding Bishop Michael Curry highlights ways to help Afghan refugees through Episcopal Migration Ministries - August 31, 2021
[View Bishop Curry's video message.]
As Episcopalians, as followers of Jesus, as people of faith, we mourn the recent loss of life in Afghanistan, the ongoing chaos and instability, and the risk that many Afghans face, in particular women and girls.
The situation in Afghanistan is changing quickly with many lives lost and thousands more at risk. The current crisis leaves over 5 million displaced Afghans in the country, in bordering nations and many more around the world who have been evacuated, who are trying to find long-term safe solutions.
As Afghans arrive to the U.S. with the hope of safety, The Episcopal Church, through the work of Episcopal Migration Ministries, is assisting our new neighbors through the Afghan Parolee Support Program.
This new U.S. program, dependent on private resources and community-led welcome and support, will provide security and foundation necessary for arriving Afghans to begin life in the U.S.
The ministry of offering welcome to those fleeing violence is nothing less than God's work—one that calls us to walk the way of love as Jesus of Nazareth taught us, through compassion, through practical care, showing to our newest neighbors that we are neighbors.
Episcopal Migration Ministries has launched a special appeal—Neighbors Welcome: Afghan Allies Fund—to meet the financial and in-kind needs necessary to provide adequate housing, basic services, and long-term support.
The needs are great and will require our communities and congregations to come together to contribute financially, offering housing, volunteer, and pray.
You can also stay involved in the work of advocacy in ensuring that the
government of the United States honors its commitments to our Afghan allies.
Included with this video, there are links and information sources that can assist you in participating in any way that you can.
As Episcopalians in the late 1930s rose up to respond to allies, primarily Jewish allies fleeing tyranny in Europe, at the advent of the Second World War, as Episcopalians have continued to rise up wherever and whenever there has been human need, joining hands with other peoples of faith and people of goodwill, so now I invite you to rise up again for our Afghan friends, to stand with them in their time of need.
Thank you for all that you do.
Thank you for this work.
Thank you for anything that you can do.
God love you.
God bless you.
And may God bless the people of Afghanistan wherever they may be. Amen.
Find out how to stay involved in the work of advocacy in ensuring the U.S. government honors its commitments to our Afghan allies at https://www.episcopalchurch.org/ministries/office-government-relations/
To contribute financially to provide for housing, medical and financial support, and expanded community sponsorship to serve our Afghan allies, visit bit.ly/supportafghanallies to make a secure donation online, or text “EMMALLIES” to 41444.
For opportunities to volunteer, provide housing, or sponsor, visit https://episcopalmigrationministries.org/volunteer-community-interest-form/