Episcopal Migration Ministries is teaming up with renowned iconographer Kelly Latimore to create an inaugural monthly calendar featuring depictions of refugees, asylum seekers and displaced persons.
The 2023 calendar includes a newly commissioned triptych for EMM—titled “Build a Longer Table”—featuring the Holy Family and other individuals at a long table as a representation of those served by EMM throughout its 80-plus-year ministry.
The calendar is available to EMM donors. More information is in an EMM news release.
“We are delighted to partner with Kelly to share a collection of his stunning iconography,” said Sarah Shipman, EMM’s director of operations. “His rich work well reflects our Anglican theology of the ‘communion of saints’ and invites us to discern how each of us are called to be the ‘hands and feet’ of Jesus.”
The calendar is not the first EMM project in which Latimore has participated. Last year he and Presiding Bishop Michael Curry held a webinar conversation that focused on the work of EMM through the lens of religious iconography.
The St. Louis-based Latimore has painted religious icons for more than 10 years. He views making icons not as simply following an inherited tradition, knowledge and process, but more as “a creative process, meditation, and practice that brings about new self-knowledge for the viewer and myself.”
This approach offers a fresh perspective on this ancient craft, placing people in the modern world as if they were saints, asking the viewer, “Who are the saints among us here and now?”
His works have featured prominently recently in Episcopal and Roman Catholic communities.
Two of Latimore’s icons garnered national attention for their political undertones: “Mama,” showing a Black Mary holding a crucified Black Jesus who resembles George Floyd, and “Refugees: La Sagrada Familia” showing a Guatemalan family crossing the U.S. border. The icon “Mama” and other works were discussed in an interview with Pamela Lewis for Episcopal Journal in 2021.
Episcopal Migration Ministries is one of nine national agencies responsible for resettling refugees in the U.S. in partnership with the federal government.
With its network of affiliates, EMM has resettled refugees from more than 24 countries, serving a diverse range of human needs. The agency also provides support to asylum seekers and continues to help Afghan arrivals through its Neighbor to Neighbor program.
The calendar is dedicated to former EMM director Demetrio Alvero, who recently retired. During his 17-year tenure, the ministry reached a milestone of welcoming and helping more than 100,000 newcomers to the U.S.