by Kenn Speicher, District Mission Coordinator

Save The Date – One Journey Festival, June 24, 11a.m.–6p.m. at the Washington National Cathedral

Mark your calendars for the fourth annual  One Journey Festival, the national celebration of refugee talents and stories. Its mission is to change the narrative about refugees and other displaced people by celebrating the contributions they bring to their host communities. 

Evolving from the refugee ministries of St. George’s Episcopal Church and Mount Olivet UMC in Arlington, this free, family-friendly event features a dynamic lineup of music, dance, storytelling, art, food technology, and food provided by refugee and immigrant performers, storytellers, artists, artisans, and entrepreneurs. RSVP here.

This year’s Festival includes an exciting new partner, Sesame Street, which will take part in children’s activities and arrange for Grover the beloved blue muppet character to meet visitors on the Festival grounds. The Sesame Workshop offers educational programs for refugee children worldwide and broadcasts the Welcome Sesame version of Sesame Street to children in Middle Eastern refugee camps.

TV personality and DC media ambassador, Tommy McFly, returns to host the Festival through most of the day. Other programming includes the acclaimed Pihcintu Multinational Girl’s Chorus, performers from countries like Afghanistan and Ukraine, an International Food Lane, Global Marketplace, Children’s Tent, and a Take Action Tent with 30+ refugee-serving organizations where visitors can learn how to take action to help refugees locally and worldwide. You can watch video highlights from previous festivals on the One Journey website.

For congregations, the One Journey Festival is an amazing, high-energy event with a missional element. Faith leaders from different denominations offer messages of welcome. In addition to entertainment, congregations can learn how to get involved in assisting refugees or explore new resources and connections for an existing refugee ministry. In every part of the Festival, attendees can meet and connect with newcomers. The event is organized completely by volunteers, so there are lots of opportunities for everyone who would like to help. Find out more about volunteering here.

“We are all on one journey of humanity together.” This is the message of the One Journey Festival, where all are invited to join in its celebration of unity, connection, and belonging.