Our congregation recently shopped, donated, and provided home kits to welcome immigrating Afghan families, in collaboration with Lutheran Community Services. I want to thank Margo Fleshman and Kendall Burch for their organizational skills to help us achieve this, and Jeffrey Boyce for driving the supplies to Lutheran Community Services. This congregation exceeded our giving goal in the number of kits provided; this was gratifying, but not surprising given what I have seen from Saint Andrew’s over the years. Thank you.

On October 10, 2021, we had Kristen King speak to our congregation. Kristen is a Community Co-sponsor Developer with the Refugee Resettlement Office within the Episcopal Diocese of Olympia. She explained the process for incoming immigrant families and the many different steps that need to be completed to settle a family. Quite a few of the steps can be aided by trained volunteers. The Refugee Resettlement Office is able to provide training and mentor volunteers in this process. As she spoke, the interest from our congregation was palpable. It was also inspiring to realize the involvement and background skill set already present in our congregation. Our representatives from the Diocese also observed this.

In the coming months, we have some great changes in front of us, and the large task of calling a new rector. It will be important to remember our enthusiasm from our meeting with the Resettlement Office, and think carefully about when and how we can put this to work. I think individuals can volunteer their skills when they wish. Perhaps in the future, we can have training available at Saint Andrew’s for volunteers. I can certainly envision the use of some Community Outreach funds in these efforts. The ability to provide service is an exciting gift to think about.

Helping our Afghan neighbors – by Susan Rowe