Friday, January 19, 2024

Global is better than Lutheran. . .

The press release I read this morning from Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service CEO Krish Vignarajah:
As Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service enters its 85th year, I am excited to share the beginning of an impactful new chapter in the history of our organization. On January 17, 2024, Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service (LIRS) is becoming Global Refuge.

Our decision to rebrand is rooted in the massive worldwide need for compassionate support of those seeking safety. With more than 100 million people displaced by war, famine, climate change, and persecution, our mission of providing the "long welcome" is more crucial than ever. Our Board knew we needed to build a bigger table of supporters.

The Global Refuge brand fittingly conveys our mission of providing safety and support to refugees, asylum seekers, and immigrants from across the world. As our new identity makes us more accessible to clients, partners, and supporters, it leaves unchanged our core vision: to foster a world of just and welcoming communities, informed by our Lutheran heritage and decades of experience. Our faith-based identity remains integral to our organization, reflecting the spirit of love that shapes our work of welcome and strengthens our relationships with Lutheran communities and congregations, as well as with ecumenical, nondenominational, and interfaith partners.

We cannot overstate our gratitude for your continued support, partnership, and commitment to welcoming immigrants and refugees. As we redouble our commitment to advocating alongside, caring for, and empowering newcomers, we hope you will join us in celebrating this new chapter of transformational service.  
So another NGO has decided that faith based (whatever that means) is better than Christian or Lutheran and that a hip name that sounds bigger than big is better than their historic name that identified who was doing the mercy work.  How sad!  How sad it is that now the Lutheran connection is mere heritage and history and that the Lutheran values and identity of the organization have given way to a faith based identity whose values will be decided by the board of directors and its staff!  How sad that they are driven more by their need (or is it want) of more money and a broader income stream and that they think that Lutheran identity and name hinders that purpose!  Well, they decided long ago that there CEO did not have to reflect a Lutheran faith or identity so I think the handwriting was on the wall than.  I even blogged about it and its impact upon the future of LIRS.  Now we know.  For you Missouri types, this agency has long ago ceased to have a formal relationship with the LCMS (it is not an RSO). 

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