WASHINGTON, Nov. 21, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The crucial role of churches in building social connections for immigrants was reaffirmed this week as over 40 Lutheran leaders met in Miami to strengthen ties among themselves and with participants in the National Immigrant Integration Conference (Miami NIIC 6).
Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service (LIRS) convened the gathering, which brought together a cross-section of Lutheran leaders from across America in conjunction with the Nov. 17-19 Miami NIIC 6.
"The LIRS-convened meeting of Lutheran leaders in conjunction with Miami NIIC 6 is an incredible opportunity to lift up churches' vital work of welcoming migrants, and especially to reaffirm their crucial role in building social connections among new Americans and with members of their new home communities," said LIRS President and CEO Hartke.
"As LIRS approaches its 75th anniversary in 2014, we're honored to bring together this cross-section of Lutheran leaders from churches and congregations from across the United States, and we're grateful for this opportunity to share their valuable experiences with welcoming migrants and refugees," Hartke said.
"We are confident that the over 40 Lutheran leaders gathered for this LIRS convening and Miami NIIC 6 will emerge better-connected to each other, and invigorated by the chance to build ties to policymakers, practitioners, refugee resettlement professionals, elected officials, funders, and businesses," Hartke added.
The LIRS convening involved Lutheran leaders in conversations on topics including:
- Investing in the development of expertise within church partner networks and jointly exploring the role congregations can play in connecting migrants and refugees to communities
- Uncovering the strengths, barriers, and emerging opportunities for people of faith to be actively engaged in the integration journeys of newcomers
- Developing a shared understanding of ways in which participants can expand the circle of congregations invested in the long-term integration of newcomers in the community
LIRS is nationally recognized for its leadership advocating on behalf of refugees, asylum seekers, unaccompanied children, immigrants in detention, families fractured by migration and other vulnerable populations, and for providing services to migrants through over 60 grassroots legal and social service partners across the United States. LIRS welcomes refugees and migrants on behalf of The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod, the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, and the Latvian Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. Learn more at http://lirs.org/
Miami NIIC 6 is the signature event of the National Partnership for New Americans. The event has grown in size, scope, and vision every year since 2008. Learn more at http://www.integrationconference.org/
SOURCE Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service