Refugee Resettlement Ministry
The stranger who resides with you shall be to you as the citizen among you; you shall love the stranger as yourself, for you were strangers in the land of Egypt: I am the Lord your God.
Who does the ministry serve?
Launched in 2016, the Refugee Resettlement Ministry (RRM) at St. Martin’s was created out of parishioners’ concern about the global refugee crisis. St. Martin’s Refugee Resettlement Ministry joins with leaders of faith communities, secular organizations, and citizens in the Philadelphia area to resettle refugees in a safe, secure, and welcoming environment.
St. Martin's is a member of the New Sanctuary Movement, with whom we have taken action over the past several years. Other collaborators include other churches in the Wissahickon Deanery, and the following:
- HIAS PA
- Nationalities Service Center
- POWER's Live Free Strategy Team
- Driving PA Forward Coalition
- Shut Down Berks Coalition
- Church of the Crucifixion
How has RRM served the refugee community?
In October 2016, RRM began fundraising efforts in preparation to host a refugee family. In December 2016, St. Martin’s welcomed the Dahans, a Syrian refugee family of four, to Philadelphia.
A core group of 20 parishioners and community members, supported by untold numbers in the St. Martin’s community, ensured the Dahan family’s resettlement through generous donations of time, goods, and services. RRM has hosted several public and private fundraisers, raising more than $30,000, and St. Martin’s Committee Engagement Committee’s operating budget has contributed $20,000 to Samra’s LaSalle tuition.
Together, our community coordinated the Dahans' housing and transportation, and supported their access to health care, employment, and education.
In 2022, through the generosity of the congregation and others, the ministry raised $24,000 to help purchase a minivan for an Afghan refugee family of eight. The Payab family narrowly escaped Afghanistan before the Taliban takeover.
Also with generous donations from members of the congregation, RRM mounted a winter coat drive for asylum seekers arriving in Philadelphia from Texas.
During the pandemic:
- RRM provided $6,000 in support of crucial work with immigrants and refugees.
- We were able to provide housing and food for a displaced asylee from Venezuela and return him to a support system in New York.
- We provided hundreds of immigrant families in South Philadelphia with diapers and supplies through JUNTOS and the Church of the Crucifixion.
Anyone interested in working with and building up this ministry is welcome to join us for regular meetings. Contact RRM chair Jeff Meade. Meetings are Monday nights at 7:30.
You can also donate diapers to the ministry's weekly Diaper Drive. Read more here.