11/30/22: Ukrainian Refuges

Last week Fred introduced in his sermon the idea of our making God Visible by using our asset of the Morton House as a temporary home for a refugee family from Ukraine. There was much positive response—heads nodding—thumbs up—etc. And there was some “W-A-I-T!” There were specific questions and there was some concern that we were moving too fast.

This past Sunday we had a Talkback following church. Denise Crosby, from Uniting for Ukraine RV spoke to us about this organization, how they have brought 8 Ukrainian families to Ashland, raising funds for airfare, forming into teams to support the many facets of living here (DHS registration, school enrollment, Oregon Health enrollment, SNAP, learning English), etc. As Denise made clear, these people are refugees, not immigrants. They have lost everything, fled with only their lives, refugees in foreign countries. Their future is unknown—return to Ukraine? Settle in the US? What is certain is they are in Ashland now.

This particular family has been here for 4 months: Sergei, Anya, 10 yo Yurie, and 2 yo Timo. They have been guests in a home and their hosts are in need to having their lives back. And the family is in need of their own space. They are soon to have green cards, government subsidy, SNAP, etc. Uniting for Ukraine RV is taking care of their needs., including furnishing the house. Nothing is required of us–but I hear that people want to be supportive. One immediate way to support these refuges is to attend the Tutunov special concert at the Havurah, Dec 15, 7 pm.

While there is cost to us, there is no additional burden to our budget, as we had planned to use the house as a parsonage. We have received one pledge of additional assistance to offset loss of future rental income. A few former pledgers have recently sent in contributions. A number of folks from our church have expressed an interest in being involved—from being point people to offering various kinds of help. And overwhelmingly, I have heard “Yes! Let’s Do It!”

Council meets tonight, 11/30/2022. I hope we have your support.