Wendy Grace Appointed as Diocesan Liaison for Refugee Resettlement in Vermont
By the Rt. Rev. Thomas C. Ely
Just over a year ago, in response to the Syrian refugee crisis, Presiding Bishop Michael Curry reminded us, “Our instinct tells us to be afraid.” Since then, it seems as if fear has been a powerful motivator throughout our nation. Even still, fear hasn’t overtaken our instinct for justice or our capacity to demonstrate love. As I draft this announcement, the City of Rutland, Vermont is preparing to receive 100 Syrian refugees as early as January 2017, and I am pleased to announce that Wendy Grace, a member of Trinity Episcopal Church-Rutland, has accepted an appointment as Diocesan Liaison for Refugee Resettlement in conjunction with Episcopal Migration Ministries (EMM).
In this new role, Wendy will be responsible for promoting advocacy for the refugee resettlement effort in Vermont and acting as an information liaison between the Vermont Refugee Resettlement Program, the Episcopal Church in Vermont, and EMM. Wendy’s continued support of the resettlement effort, her demonstrated commitment to understanding the issues that face refugees, and her ability to inspire advocacy in others make her a great fit for the position.
As Wendy has rightly expressed in discussions about the resettlement effort, refugees are among the most vulnerable members of society. They arrive with no material possessions and often know very little of the host country’s culture. Although the State of Vermont requires volunteers like Wendy to pass an intensive screening process before working with refugees, EMM aims to go a step further with continuing education for all diocesan liaisons. To that end, EMM is anticipating the launch of its own diocesan liaison training program in 2017 of which Wendy would be a part.
Please join me in congratulating Wendy on her willingness to embrace this mission of education, action, advocacy, and awareness. And join me in continued prayer and thanksgiving for the people of Rutland as they prepare to receive a people seeking dignity and independence.
In the photo: Wendy Grace