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Hallo again to all. In the name of these refugees

In 1938, Episcopalians in Ohio conceived of a campaign to convey the identity of the Holy Family in Egypt with the European refugee populations fleeing Germany, Austria, the Sudetenland, and those in other countries who read correctly the writing on visible and invisible walls.* For many Anglicans, the image they produced has become the iconic symbol of modern refugee resettlement, reproduced on posters and in social media. The postage stamp-sized versions, made for sharing and collecting by children (and pictured here) have been forgotten by all but a few.

Perhaps the most poignant thing about the current resonance of the image—eighty years after its creation—is that there has never been a time when human populations were not in flight from war or persecution, engaged in desperate migration for what Franklin Roosevelt called the Four Freedoms: of speech, of worship, from want, and from fear.

Over the years we have been careful to a fault about writing on topics that are specifically American, even though most of our staff are Americans. We have also treated partisan politics as a third rail, avoiding the mention of candidates, parties, national referenda, and many controverted topics on which we have diverse but clear and well-reached opinions. We've done this because it has been the vision of Anglicans Online to be a site for everyone who is Anglican to find everything Anglican. And because we are polite.

While avoiding the natural temptation to think of the present as the ne plus ultra in history, the 500 days since the death of Alan Kurdi have marked a period of remarkable worldwide crisis of migration. There is crisis from Syria to Manus Island and Nauru, and from Calais to Central America and now even the port where at 'sea-washed, sunset gates' there is

A mighty woman with a torch, whose flame
Is the imprisoned lightning, and her name
Mother of Exiles. From her beacon-hand
Glows world-wide welcome; her mild eyes command
The air-bridged harbor that twin cities frame.
"Keep ancient lands, your storied pomp!" cries she
With silent lips. "Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!"

It is not a partisan matter to note that in the cores of scriptural revelation we receive—the Torah and the Gospels—there is utter clarity about the way in which believers are to treat those who come to us from without:

But the stranger that dwelleth with you shall be unto you as one born among you, and thou shalt love him as thyself; for ye were strangers in the land of Egypt: I am the Lord your God.

[Jesus said:] I was a stranger, and ye took me in.

This is no silly proof-texting; it is one of the epicenters of the social vision God has revealed in the scriptures, and it provides the person who would be a faithful Anglican today with a stark opportunity for discipleship.

Thankfully, leaders from Olympia to New York to Dallas and Canterbury have spoken words of truth to and for the Church about the unchanging duty of the present hour. The Church is a never-yet-extinguished body of hearts trained to alleviate suffering, to care for the weak and frightened, to clothe the naked and feed the hungry; and to replicate itself through witness and clear teaching. The acceptable worship we offer flows from the integrity with which we undertake these things. We often do this best in dialectic with falsehood—and so it is a very good time indeed to have fresh changes and chances to tell the truth about displaced persons by whatever lights are available to us. There are resources here and here and here and here to guide our steps toward that end in paths of peace.

Our Signatures

Richard Mammana

All of us at Anglicans Online

29 January 2017

*There is a dispute about whether it was in the Diocese of Ohio or the Diocese of Southern Ohio, but we hide that in our Inside Baseball files.

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