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Welcoming the stranger through the Matthew 25 lens

Nov. 17 online event addresses refugees and immigration

by Melody K. Smith | Presbyterian News Service

The next Matthew 25 national gathering, set for 2 p.m. Eastern Time on Nov. 17, will focus on welcoming the stranger. (Photo from Ra-dragon via Unsplash)

LOUISVILLE — The online Matthew 25 program series continues at 2 p.m. Eastern Time on Wednesday, Nov. 17.

Hear the stories of newcomers to this country and their journeys and connect with local leaders offering ministries of welcome and justice. Together we will explore how Presbyterians are living out the Matthew 25 call to welcome the stranger as they accompany new immigrant neighbors who come from Central America and Afghanistan and places in between.

The program will include conversations with guests Carolyn Thalman from Shenandoah Presbytery’s National Response Team and the Rev. Gad Mpoyo, 1001 Worshiping Communities mission associate and the pastor of a diverse refugee community.

This story sharing time will be moderated by Susan Krehbiel, associate for Refugees and Asylum for Presbyterian Disaster Assistance.

To register for this free online event, click here.

Matthew 25:31-46 is often referred to as “The Judgment of the Nations.”

Matthew 25:31–46, which is often titled ‘The Judgment of the Nations,’ is a challenging and pertinent Scripture to read as one contemplates the issue of immigration,” said the Rev. Dr. Diane Moffett, president and executive director of the Presbyterian Mission Agency. “Given Jesus’ family history, he knows what it means to be in need of welcome. When Herod was trying to kill Jesus and issued a mandate to slaughter baby boys of Hebrew origin, his family fled to Egypt for safety and well-being. Imagine what could have happened had they been denied.”

This event is open to everyone — all Matthew 25 congregations, groups and mid councils that have made the commitment to embrace the Matthew 25 vision, as well as anyone interested in learning more about Matthew 25. It will model the previous Matthew 25 events with facilitated dialogue, guest speakers and sharing of resources.

Attendees will hear examples of ways churches and mid councils are addressing this crisis that they can learn from and take away tools and resources for them to actively engage in their community.

Hospitality and the welcome of strangers was a common practice in biblical antiquity. There is a harsh judgment for those who do not practice this discipline,” said Moffett. “May we choose welcome!”

The Matthew 25 vision was launched in April 2019. Currently, there are over 1,030 churches, groups and mid councils that have made the commitment to become a Matthew 25 church.

Register today for this free online event at 2 p.m. Eastern Time on Nov. 17.

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