Bishop’s Challenge

Welcoming the Stranger

"As a church called to welcome the stranger, and as the North Carolina Synod, we are asking you to help us care for and welcome refugee families."

—Bishop Tim Smith, NC Synod

The Challenge

Our goal is 70% of the synod's 190 congregations (133 congregations) will actively engage in resettlement through December 2023.




A key partner for us in this work is Lutheran Services Carolinas (LSC).

  • Lutheran Services Carolinas (LSC) current resettlement offices: Raleigh and Asheville
  • LSC future resettlement offices: Salisbury and Wilmington
  • 164 congregations fall within the 100-mile coverage radius of LSC offices.
  • Congregations that fall outside LSC's coverage radius can partner with a congregation that does or connect with a partner like Church World Service.


Refugees Resettled
by LSC Since 1980


Afghan Refugees Resettled
by LSC in 2021


Ukrainian Refugees to be Resettled by LSC in 2022-2023

What Can We Do?

Play a pivotal role in a family’s ‘long welcome’ with the support of LSC and the NC Synod Immigration & Refugee Team. Micro-grants are available to congregations beginning new Circles of Welcome. For more information about starting a Circle of Welcome, email Matt Hembree, Executive Director of LSC's New Americans Program, at 

View/Download Circle of Welcome Handout

Provide gift cards for families and/or needs like food, transportation, furniture donations, etc.

Consider using your parsonage—or any congregation-owned housing—for refugee families. LSC will provide a rental stipend for these properties.

Make an appeal in your congregation to raise funds to specifically support Refugee Resettlement. For more information about holding a Be the Light Campaign, email Emily Dubay, LSC Director of Development, at

Learn more about Be the Light.

Bishop’s Challenge (1200 × 1200 px)

Join the Fall 2022 Book Study
They Are Us: Lutherans and Immigration

The NC Synod Immigration & Refugee Ministry Team invites all to join this synodwide book study!

They Are Us offers "a thoughtful and timely look at the Christian calling to Welcome the Stranger" and will compliment the work of congregations engaging in the Bishop's Challenge!

Five Zoom sessions are scheduled on Thursdays from 7:00- 8:15 p.m.:

  • October 20 = Kick-Off: Introduction & Chapter 1 with author Stephen Bouman
  • October 27 = Chapters 2 & 3
  • November 3 = Chapters 4 & 6 with Mary Campbell, Program Director of AMMPARO
  • November 10 = Chapters 5 & 7
  • November 17 = Chapter 8 + Q&A with author Stephen Bouman

Zoom Webinar Links will be emailed to registered participants.

Order They Are Us from Fortress Press or other sellers.

GIVEAWAY: One free copy of They Are Us will be provided to each congregation that registers! Giveaways will be available for pickup at Fall Convo, Oct. 10-12. Unclaimed books will be mailed directly to the congregation after Fall Convo.

For more information, email Carissa Abraham at

Share Your Progress

Please email Carissa Abraham at with the name and contact of the team leader. Include a description of your resettlement work.

Read More About Resettlement

Communications Resources

Digital, print, and social media resources are available for congregational use.

This work on the synod level is supported by our Immigration & Refugee Team led by staff member Carissa Abraham.

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