Photo: Paul Jeffrey/ACT Alliance
In the fall of 2021, dozens of Afghan families moved into Owensboro, Kentucky. Like many cities across the United States, Owensboro was already facing a housing crisis; it wasn’t that the rent was too high, but the choices too few.
Thanks to a 10-year connection with the International Center (the local office for refugee resettlement), First Christian Church of Owensboro knew they could help—and they asked Week of Compassion to come alongside with a support grant, allowing them to do even more.
Your ongoing prayerful and generous support of Week of Compassion has brought hope and healing to so many, embodying the love of Christ in the world. Here you can see how your compassion has shared light and life, responding to needs in 2021.
We hope you’ll see what compassion looks like, and join us in a prayer today, on Epiphany, as we renew our commitment to the Light that guides us toward a future filled with hope, peace, joy, and love. Blessings in your New Year.
Star of Wonder, Light of Life,
in you we find hope and meaning, and so we fix our gaze on you.
Reveal to us the hurts of the world -- great and small, elaborate and simple --
and help us discern where can offer the Life and Wonder your people crave.
Star of Night, Light of Wisdom,
in you we find grace and direction, and so we fix our gaze on you.
Reveal to us the path that needs clearing -- where hate has caused harm, and disaster wreaks havoc --
that we may follow your Wisdom through the Night, to reach the heralded Good News.
Star of Beauty, Light of Love,
in you we find energy and inspiration, and so we fix our gaze on you.
As the star comes to rest, may you see great faithfulness revealed in us
that we might shine with the Light of your Love.
On Tuesday, December 14, Kentucky Regional Minister Rev. Dr. Don Gillett visited several communities in Kentucky that were impacted by the recent storm. Week of Compassion staff accompanied Dr. Gillett on this pastoral visit as a sign of solidarity, sharing the prayers and words of support that have been offered by so many from across the wider church. They travelled to Mayfield First Christian Church and Second Christian Church, and to Princeton, where they visited with leaders from First Christian Princeton and First Christian Dawson Springs. They also went to the site of a church member’s home that was destroyed in the storm.
An historic tornado outbreak caused damage in multiple states, with the greatest impact in Western Kentucky. Several Disciples congregations have been directly affected. Week of Compassion is coordinating with the Region, congregations, and ecumenical partners to provide relief.
Many congregations have been working over the past weeks to respond to the growing need and help welcome Afghans to their local communities. Across the country, Disciples have been setting up apartments, collecting food and stocking kitchens, and helping enroll children in school—just a few of the details that need to be taken into account when a family starts life in a new country and culture.
First Christian Church of Bowling Green, Kentucky, has a long history of supporting refugees locally. In the early 1990s, the church worked to help resettle Bosnian refugees in the community. Through that ministry, they built strong relationships with several families who remain friends of the congregation to this day.
In recent weeks, many congregations have been working to welcome Afghans to their local communities. Across the country, Disciples have been setting up apartments, collecting food and stocking kitchens, and helping enroll children in school—just a few of the details that need to be taken into account when a family starts life in a new country and culture.
Week of Compassion has long been committed to supporting the needs of resettled families. Now, there is a growing urgency to create pathways for newly arrived refugees to integrate into their new communities. With the high number of families who have been evacuated due to the collapse of the Afghan government, local and federal agencies alone don’t have the capacity to support that volume of people arriving in the U.S. in a short amount of time.
The earth is the Lord’s and all that is in it, the world, and those who live in it; for he has founded it on the seas, and established it on the rivers.
From Rev. Vy Nguyen, Executive Director
All of Creation is hurting. Our climate is inarguably shifting. And people of faith are among those calling for urgent action.
This week, I am among a group of global leaders gathered for the 2021 UN Climate Change Conference. The 2020 gathering was cancelled due to COVID-19, and the two years since the last conference have seen one devastating disaster after another: from wildfires and severe drought to tornadoes, hurricanes, and typhoons, all made more complicated by the pandemic.