Refugee Services

A Mother’s Nightmare

Imagine, if you can, what it was like for a mother separated from her children to hear the news of 3 refugee travel bans and the suspension of the family reunification process she was depending on. If you add to that scenario a case of terminal cancer, unbelievably complex paperwork complications, and multiple travel cancellations, you might begin to understand a bit of Zaraha’s life experience.

Winter Tapestry Project: What Do Participants Have to Say?

When you move to a new country, there are so many things to learn and you find that there are things that you didn’t even know that you needed to know! MCC’s Tapestry Project aims to help new refugee and immigrant arrivals navigate some of this crucial learning process. This six-session series brings together recently-arrived refugees, immigrants, community resource providers, and welcoming volunteers to strengthen the community. You can read more about Tapestry here .

Donor Profile: Mindy and Steve

We often share the stories of refugee families who we’ve welcomed, but we wanted to take an opportunity to share about a couple of the people who make our work possible—individual donors!

Meet Mindy and Steve. Steve has worked in the financial services industry for 32 years and Mindy works at Lifetime Fitness. They have three young adult children and are longtime members of University Baptist Church in Minneapolis.

The Chance of a Lifetime

We recently welcomed Tesfa, a single Ethiopian man who came without any family ties in Minnesota. Rather than securing long-term housing for him right away, we wanted to make sure he didn’t already have family or friends in the area that he might want to live with. Arrive Ministries, another local resettlement agency, knew of a host family that was happy to host Tesfa for his first weeks in Minnesota, and the arrangement worked out beautifully. On Tesfa’s first weekend here, we gave a volunteer the opportunity to bring Tesfa to church to help him make some community connections.

Observing World Interfaith Harmony Week

The Thursday before the Superbowl brought the world to Minnesota, 130 leaders representing many of the world’s faiths met in Bloomington to generate a state-wide multi-faith network as they marked World Interfaith Harmony Week. The event, held at a site of violence against Muslims but also a site of interfaith solidarity, provided instruction, inspiration and initiation for participants in search of hope and connection.

Reflections on “Charlottesville Revisited: Unpacking Race in America”

On Tuesday, September 12, at the Guthrie Theatre in Minneapolis, a sizeable crowd gathered to hear from an esteemed panel of public intellectuals and activists, moderated by professor and activist Rev. Dr. Nekima Levy-Pounds. My understanding of the purpose of this conversation regarding Charlottesville and Race in America was that the voices we needed to hear were those in communities most directly affected by racism in the United States. The panelists were:

We all need to pray and act

The last two weekends remind us that religious intolerance and white nationalism are potent forces that use the methods of fear and terror in the United States. We live in troubling times, evident in the bombing of the Dar Al Farooq mosque in Bloomington, MN, and the full-scale attack by white supremacists, neo-Nazis, and the KKK in Charlottesville, VA.

Response to Dar Al Farooq bombing

Early on August 5, 2017 a fire bomb was thrown into the Dar Al Farooq mosque in Bloomington, MN, during the first prayer of the morning. We renounce this cowardly act of hate which appears meant to terrorize our Muslim brothers and sisters. The Minnesota Council of Churches has a special affinity for Dar Al Farooq, where we recently celebrated an Iftar dinner during Ramadan as a part of the Taking Heart program that we coordinate in partnership with the Muslim American Society of Minnesota.