Melting Pot: Panel to discuss immigrant, refugee communities

Saturday, September 15, 2018 | 11:41 AM

Community Contributor - Karen Hallisey

St. Andrew’s and Emsworth UP Churches are partnering with Pittsburgh immigrants and service agencies to provide informational afternoon open to the community.

At 3 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 13, at St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church in Sewickley, community members and service agencies will gather to serve on a discussion panel addressing the needs of immigrant and refugee communities in our area. The event is free and open to the public. This interfaith panel will include speakers from local resettlement and housing agencies, as well as panelists who came to the United States as refugees and immigrants, and visiting Presbyterian International Peacemaker, Manolis Ntamparakis.

Rev. Charissa Clark Howe, pastor of Emsworth and St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Churches, says, “In my own context as a Presbyterian minister, I see my congregations struggle with knowing there are refugees and immigrants in our city and around the world who are in need of compassionate friends, but often they don’t feel like they have the tools or knowledge to do anything about it. In our divisive political atmosphere these days, we need all the love we can get. It’s my hope that we can educate and empower the community and bring people together for the benefit of all.”

The panelist list for Oct. 13 is:
● Manolis Ntamparakis (keynote speaker), Presbyterian International Peacemaker, Thessaloniki, Greece, director of social action Naomi Ecumenical Workshop for refugees
● More information on Manolis and the peacemaker program is available online.
● Aweys Mwaliya, executive director of the Somali Bantu Association of Pittsburgh
● Sister Linda Yankoski, President of Holy Family Institute
● Jewish Family and Community Services of Pittsburgh
● Northern Area Multi-service Center
● Saleem Ghubril, Lebanon, founder of the Pittsburgh Project and current executive director of the Pittsburgh Promise
● Gisele Fetterman, Brazil, founder of 412 Food Rescue and Free Store 15104

The panelists will discuss their work in the community and their experiences as refugees and immigrants. The panel discussion will be followed by a moderated Q&A time.

About St. Andrew’s and Emsworth U.P. Churches
St. Andrew’s and Emsworth U.P. Churches are members of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.). These two congregations are partnered together to seek creative new ways to minister to and participate in their communities. Sunday morning services are held at Emsworth UP at 9:30 a.m. weekly and at St. Andrew’s at 11:30 a.m. Mid-week Bible study is held Wednesdays at 7 p.m. from fall to late spring. All are welcome for worship and study at St. Andrew’s and Emsworth Churches.

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