Grace Cathedral

Grace Cathedral

Article | October 27, 2017

Make Room for Refugee Schoolgirls!

Blog|Nicole Stahl

“Gracious God, in your loving heart, there is room for everyone—without exception,” our Dean Emeritus, The Very Rev. Dr. Alan Jones, reminded us when he created the Home Prayer last year.

This simple, eloquent invocation has become a challenge I hear in my mind daily as I walk along our city streets, prompting me to acknowledge the shared humanity of every individual I encounter. It also fills my thoughts when I turn on the news at night and witness, not just the decline of governmental civility, but yet another refugee crisis.

It’s complicated to make room for others, especially refugees, but it is possible. As the Cathedral’s representative to Interfaith Welcome: Bay Area Refugee Support, I’m working with members of 15 Bay Area congregations committed to extending a welcoming hand of support to refugees locally and around the world. Our activities range from information sessions that raise awareness and understanding across cultures, to a teddy bear drive for Syrian children in refugee camps, to assembling Welcome Kits for newly arrived refugee families.

Our latest collaboration, with Zion Lutheran Church, is a benefit concert featuring the highly acclaimed local pianist Sarah Cahill, to be held on Friday evening, November 10. A reception will follow.

All proceeds from the concert will be donated to the Vision Project, a new initiative launched by the International Rescue Committee to empower refugee schoolgirls in Oakland to envision their future by introducing them to a panoply of professional possibilities. Thanks to the pilot Vision session, a group of refugee girls are now contemplating careers as a surgeon, photographer, architect, international lawyer, police officer, even a rock star! Who knows what aspirations will come out of the next session, which you can help support?

WHEN: Friday, November 10, 2017, at 7:30 pm, followed by a reception

WHERE: Zion Lutheran Church, 495 9th Ave. (at Anza), San Francisco

DONATION: Suggested is $15/person or $25/family (credit card, check, or cash)

RSVP: Reservations are not necessary to attend, but it’s helpful for us to RSVP via Facebook here or email Nancy Levine at

If you’ve been looking for a way to make room for refugees, please come join us on November 10!

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