Churches and refugee advocates have been working to aid vulnerable migrants for many decades, and a number of Episcopal Migration Ministries' (EMM) affiliates are celebrating big anniversaries this year, milestones that put into context the magnitude of the good work done over many years through refugee resettlement.
EMM's affiliate partner in North Carolina, Interfaith Refugee Ministry, is celebrating its 20th Anniversary in 2012, and Bridge Refugee Services, a long-standing EMM affiliate in Tennessee is marking 30 years of service. And next year, 2013, EMM will celebrate its own 25th anniversary as a separate ministry of the Episcopal Church.
Of course, many of these milestones reflect the history of the U.S. Resettlement Program more broadly. The program was created by the Refugee Act of 1980, which serves as the legal foundation upon which this life-saving effort is built.
As these anniversaries demonstrate, EMM and its network of affiliates have been an integral part of this work throughout the program's history. That's certainly a reason to celebrate.