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Tulsa Church opens store for Afghan refugees

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A church in Tulsa turns its old shrine into a store to help Afghan refugees.

People from all walks of life and all faiths come together to do something good and help hundreds of families feel at home here in America.

“It’s not just charity, it’s an example of what we might call justice,” said Reverend Chris Moore, United Church of Christ Fellowship.

One of the slogans of the Fellowship Congregational United Church of Christ is that God always speaks.

“What you see here is not the work of this congregation, it is certainly not the work of its pastor – it is the work of a community,” said Moore.

Reverend Chris Moore believes this piece is an extension of that promise.

“Come in and don’t just get clothes, but could have a sense of agency and dignity and come in with family and go shopping,” Moore said.

Tulsa’s metropolitan ministry, which is made up of religious leaders from across the community, stepped in to help Catholic charities settle more than 800 Afghan refugees in Tulsa.

“He’s a Muslim executive director of the Tulsa metropolitan ministry, a Christian board chairman working with a Jewish congregation to help Afghans resettle in our city,” Moore said.

Rev. Moore is the chairman of the board and his congregation is transforming the old church sanctuary into a store for refugees.

Donations came from organizations across the community.

“These are people who often spent weeks or months in military bases – they left behind family members, in some cases their spouses and children who could not come with them,” said Moore.

Organizations are always looking to bring refugees from their current homes to spaces like this store where they can collect the things they need for free. They are looking for people to help with transportation and volunteers to help run the stores.

“We’ll have to restock at some point, but we just don’t have room for more clothes right now,” Moore said.

Reverend Moore believes God always speaks – through this community that comes together for families they have never met and provides them with as much stability as possible as they get used to life in America.

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