February 10, 2020
By: Melissa Heim, Associate for Community Formation
Andover Newton Seminary students, faculty, staff, and friends joined others from Yale Divinity School for the 13th annual run/walk for refugees on February 2nd, 2020. The event, which included participants from around New Haven and Connecticut, was coordinated by the Integrated Refugee and Immigrant Services of New Haven (IRIS) – Andover Newton’s first mission partner upon arriving as an embedded seminary at Yale Divinity School. 2020 marks the fourth year of Andover Newton’s participation in this event. Ned Allyn Parker (MDiv ’10) posted a Facebook live video during the event, which can be found here.
In addition to raising well over $100,000 for refugee resettlement and services, the event offered an opportunity to connect with friends. Through IRIS’s cultural companion program, community members are paired with an IRIS refugee, meeting regularly for conversation and support in homes. Sarah Drummond and I have participated in the program and, on the day of the race, I was able to greet and catch up with my cultural companion and family. What a blessing, indeed.
Members of the IRIS Youth Leadership program also participated in the race. Those same members earlier had taken part in an Andover Newton Marquand worship service in November 2019. This Warm Welcome worship service included readings in Arabic and English given by the youth leadership young people and a hymn sung by the young people and the Marquand Gospel Choir. Warm hats knitted and crocheted by students, and other winter items donated by Andover Newton alums and the Andover Newton at YDS community were blessed at the service. It was a pleasure to meet again the youth leadership program young people at the race on Sunday. The connections between IRIS and Andover Newton Seminary at Yale continue.