The Very Reverend Todd Donatelli

Will Bryant Preaching Sunday, His Connection to the Refugee Crisis

Posted By Todd Donatelli on September 18, 2015

As we see in pictures and hear in stories the recent refugee crisis manifesting at the borders of the EU I think about the work Will Bryant has done this past year at the Joel Nafuma Refugee Center in St. Paul’s Church, Rome, Italy.  As part of the Young Adult Service Corps of the Episcopal Church, Will has been present to, served, and heard countless stories of refugees feeling physical and economic terror in their home countries. This recent crisis in Europe, as horrific as it is, can overshadow a reality which goes on every day, year after year across the globe. It is obvious this is a reality to which we in America are no innocents.

Refugees in Croatia

The issue is not simplistic in any way. It does cause us to consider and reconsider what we mean when we speak of adequate resources, the ability to incorporate, assimilate, and absorb those who flow from one country to another including our own country. In the church we hold, as a cardinal virtue, welcoming the stranger. It is certainly an oft repeated statement of Jesus. What does this mean and how does it play out in conversations of refugees, welcome, economics, and infrastructure? Why is it the pictures of children speak to us differently than a talking head conversation about immigration?  How and in what way is our prayer practice with icons applicable here? In what ways might these pictures be present day icons, as sacred as any Byzantine, Russian or Renaissance icon?

Byzantine Painting

We invite you to be present at 7:45, 9:00 and 11:15 a.m. services in which Will joins us as our preacher.