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Evangelical Gathering January 20 to Help Christians and Churches Respond to the Global Refugee Crisis

January 14, 2016

The Billy Graham Center for Evangelism at Wheaton College (BGCE) and the Humanitarian Disaster Institute at Wheaton College (HDI) are partnering with LifeWay Research and humanitarian organizations World Vision and World Relief to help Christians respond to the global refugee crisis. The meeting, called a GC2 Summit, will focus on how Christians and churches can think about and engage with refugees both domestically and globally in a way that honors the biblical call of caring for those in need.

The GC2 Summit will be held Wednesday, January 20, 2016 at Community Christian Church in Naperville, IL and will feature a number of key speakers and collaborators from the evangelical community who specialize in ministry to refugees. Presenters include Rich Stearns, President of World Vision; Stephan Bauman, President of World Relief; Bill Hybels, Founding and Senior Pastor of Willow Creek Community Church; Christine Caine, Founder of The A21 Campaign; Dr. John Azumah, Professor of World Christianity and Islam at Columbia Theological Seminary, and many more.

The event will also feature video messages from Rick Warren, founding Pastor of Saddleback Church; David Platt, President of the International Mission Board; and Jo Anne Lyon, General Superintendent of The Wesleyan Church. Leaders of several evangelical denominations helped to plan and convene the meeting.

The all-day event will feature morning breakouts led by World Vision, World Relief, and HDI leadership for those in attendance. The afternoon session will also be live-streamed and feature TED-style talks by a number of Christian leaders and interviews with those personally impacted by the refugee crisis.

Ed Stetzer, Senior Fellow of the BGCE, said, “Jesus calls his people to minister in the midst of a broken and hurting world, and the GC2 Summit is all about showing and sharing that love to people who have become the Samaritans of our day—refugees.”

Rich Stearns, President of World Vision U.S., said, “The global refugee crisis is the greatest humanitarian emergency of our day, and the Church must respond. The GC2 Summit demonstrates that Christians in America care for refugees around the world and are eager to show Jesus’ love for them.”

According to Stephan Bauman, CEO/President of World Relief, "We are facing a critical moment as the Church. Will we acquiesce to fear, ignoring the facts and blaming the victims of war instead of its perpetrators? Or will we find courage within ourselves to honor the vision and values of our faith? GC2 is a gathering of leaders committed to responding to the refugee crisis with love and wisdom."

For more information and to register for either the in-person event or live stream, visit gc2summit.com.

Reserved space will be available for media members who attend the event. Media should RSVP to laurie.nichols@wheaton.edu.

The Billy Graham Center for Evangelism at Wheaton College trains and resources church and lay leaders to develop and mobilize Christians to share their faith and develop a lifestyle of evangelism. More information about the BGCE is available at wheaton.edu/bgc.

The Humanitarian Disaster Institute is comprised of a college-wide interdisciplinary team of scholars and educators committed to helping underserved and vulnerable populations challenged by disasters and humanitarian crises. More information about the HDI is available at wheaton.edu/hdi.

LifeWay Research is a leading evangelical research firm in Nashville, Tenn. that conducts frequent research into today’s church and culture to equip church leaders with insight and advice that will lead to greater levels of church effectiveness. For more information, visit lifewayresearch.com