Service Partners: Refugees in Pennsylvania

pa_event_imageAs you may be are aware, recently the Board of Directors of Liberty Lutheran and Lutheran Children and Family Services of Pennsylvania (LCFS) made the decision to bring to a close their work resettling refugees in Allentown, Lancaster, and Philadelphia in the coming months. This has been life transforming work – both for the tens of thousands of refugees who have been able to rebuild their lives in a safe and welcoming place in Pennsylvania, as well as for the communities and congregations that have received these new neighbors.

Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service (LIRS), has been the national partner of LCFS throughout this work. LCFS has been a valued member of our network of 25 partner service organizations that resettle refugees in 45 communities across the United States. In addition to resettling adults and families, LCFS has also provided the specialized services for unaccompanied refugee minors – who come to America alone, and who are welcomed into loving foster families.

LIRS remains deeply committed to resettling refugees in Pennsylvania in partnership with local Lutheran congregations. The amazing legacy of Lutherans in Pennsylvania welcoming refugees – loving them as our own brothers and sisters – will not end. But we need your support in this transition.

We have selected Bethany Christian Services as our new refugee service partner in Pennsylvania. Bethany is already a partner with LIRS in children’s services in Michigan and Maryland, and they also have experience partnering with one of our peer organizations in refugee resettlement in another state. We believe that they share our values and mission, have the demonstrated capacity to serve in this way, and are deeply committed to the engagement of local congregations.

It is our intention to maintain resettlement offices and work in Allentown, Lancaster, and Philadelphia.

We need your help, and this is how:

  • Contact Bethany’s Pennsylvania congregational engagement person Andrew Brunk (abrunk@bethany.org), or 215-622-1790, to volunteer, ask questions, offer to sponsor a refugee family, or become a foster parent.
  • Contact LIRS at: outreach@lirs.org or 844-230-2736.
  • SIGN UP to indicate your interest and support for refugee resettlement in Pennsylvania.
  • Download a bulletin insert that announces the new partnership.
  • Join us at one of three community events (Philadelphia, Lancaster, and Allentown) to celebrate what LCFS has achieved, to thank their staff, to share our commitment to continuing this work in Pennsylvania, and to introduce Bethany Christian Services. We will post the details here and send an invitation to everyone who signs up (see above).

Welcoming Refugees Reception
Monday, May 2, 6:00-8:00pm
Lutheran Theological Seminary
7301 Germantown Avenue
Philadephia, PA 19119
Brossman Learning Center: Room 101C

Welcoming Refugees Breakfast
Tuesday, May 3, 9:00-11:00am
Hyatt Place Bethlehem
45 West North Street
Bethlehem, PA 18018

Welcoming Refugees Reception
Tuesday, May 3, 6:00-8:00pm
Franklin & Marshall College
415 Harrisburg Avenue
Lancaster, PA 17603
Life Science and Philosophy Building
Room: Druker Humanities Commons

Over many decades Pennsylvania Lutherans have lived out God’s call to love and serve their neighbors and I am grateful for the opportunity we have to continue putting our faith in to action. Join us!