Mission Center: The Episcopal Church: Community

Our History

Episcopal Migration Ministries works through a network of offices and volunteers to assist immigrants and help refugees resettle in the United States. Our work today is a continuation of a ministry initiated by the Church more than 100 years ago.

As early as 1883, the Episcopal Church officially expressed its commitment to the uprooted, passing a resolution that paved the way for a "Committee for the Spiritual Care of Immigrants.” Shortly thereafter, a port chaplaincy was established in New York City to respond to the influx of Europeans. Two decades later, the church formed chaplaincies in San Francisco and Seattle as people from China and Japan came in large numbers to the West Coast.

Following World War I, the Episcopal Church created a bureau to minister to new arrivals – often war-ravaged Europeans. As the Rev. Thomas Burgess, the bureau's secretary, said: "Our American Church itself needs the richness of spiritual life that will come from the effort to provide for men and women of every race. These foreign neighbors of ours have as much to give us as we have to give them. They can make this Church really American."

His words hold true today.

When the Nazis committed human rights atrocities against Jews and other minorities during World War II, the Diocese of Southern Ohio enlisted other parishes and dioceses to respond to the plight of European refugees. And in 1946, The Episcopal Church partnered with sixteen Protestant denominations to found the Church World Service, the overseas relief arm of the National Council of Churches of Christ.

Evolving from these World War II initiatives was the Presiding Bishop's Fund for World Relief. This organization focused on the needs of refugees, especially war victims and displaced persons.

And in 1988, Episcopal Migration Ministries was established as a separate program unit of the Church. With a growing network of faith- and community-based partners, we continue a tradition of service to refugees and immigrants that lives on now many generations hence.


Resources »


ECCC Annual Conference
1/22/2012  - 1/27/2012    - Camp McDowell, AL

NAECED Annual Meeting and Tapestries Conference
2/2/2012  - 2/4/2012    - New Orleans, LA

Why Serve 2012
6/6/2012  - 6/10/2012    - Virginia Theological Seminary, Alexandria, VA

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