"The foreigner residing among you must be treated as your native-born. Love them as yourself, for you were foreigners in Egypt. I am the LORD your God." --Leviticus 19:34 (NIV) "...I was a stranger and you did not invite me in...Truly I tell you, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me." --Matthew 25:43,45 (NIV)
|Call to ACTION!|
As people of faith, The United Methodist Church has a long history of welcoming and supporting immigrants and refugees. Now more than ever, the Church needs to act boldly to welcome the stranger and to change the systems that seeks to exclude and divide. Over 258,000,000 people are part of the largest migration in human history. This unprecedented number demands compassionate care and courageous advocacy rooted in our Wesleyan identity. (Red words and phrases below represent links to additional information.)
Support UMCOR's Work with Migrants
UMCOR ensures access to humanitarian assistance (food, water, shelter, clothing and health care) and serves all people without discrimination. You can join UMCOR in the following ways:
- Pray for children. You might choose to dedicate a worship service to suffering children everywhere, or conduct a prayer vigil in your community for the children suffering along the border.
- Act on behalf of children. While we cannot take UMCOR hygiene kits to the US government holding centers, we are distributing them at transitional shelters all along the US-Mexico border. In the last three months, UMCOR delivered 46,128 hygiene kits to six church-run transitional shelters. Instructions on how to make and send these kits are available here. See information below on how you can ADVOCATE for just and fair policies and practices.
- Donate to UMCOR's Global Migration Advance Special to support ministry with migrants around the world.
- Learn More about UMCOR's work with Migrants
Because United Methodists care about the "stranger in our midst," believe in keeping families together, and believe in protecting survivors of violence, we are called to Act!
Advocate with Congressional Leaders to End Child Detention
- To find your Congressional Representative, go to this link.
- To contact Ohio Senators Rob Portman and Sherrod Brown, go to this link.
- Help young people send letters or drawings to Congress
- Write your own letter to Congress
- You can also call 202-224-3121; ask for your Representative by name; and tailor your message by using the following talking points:
- Introduce yourself as a concerned constituent and a United Methodist.
- Urge them to to stop the separation of families and detention of children.
The US Constitution provides legal rights for all people, regardless of legal status. Unfortunately, many are unaware of these rights. You can help others learn how to advocate for themselves and their families when facing an immigration raid.
- Know Your Rights and Family Preparedness Video - This 7-minute video provides critical information regarding rights of all immigrants and how to create a family plan.
- Conozca sus derechos y haga un plan de preparación para su familia - The same video in Spanish.
- Red Cards - Red Cards help people assert their Constitutional rights and defend themselves in many different situations. They can be downloaded in several different languages.
- Informed Immigrant - Learn how to prepare yourself, friends and church members for an immigration raid.
- National Immigration Law Center - This website provides accurate legal information regarding the rights of immigrants when facing raids and deportation. Also contains important information on preparing families.
- Justice for our Neighbors - A United Methodist Immigration Ministry, Justice for our Neighbors (JFON) provides free immigration legal services at clinics across the United States and engages in community and legislative advocacy.
- GCORR Infographic - How do we protect our undocumented friends and neighbors?
We are a people of prayer, and prayer can be an effective public witness. Organize a prayer vigil for Family Unity and Immigration Reform using this Planning Tool Kit and reflect on the deep scriptural roots of just immigration reform.
Join the West Ohio Immigration Team. Learn how you can engage more deeply in your own community, build relationships with immigrants and advocate for just policies. dstickley [at] wocumc.org (subject: Immigration%20Network, body: I%20would%20like%20to%20join%20the%20West%20Ohio%20Immigration%20Network.%0AName%3A%0AEmail%3A%0ACity%2C%20State%20and%20Zip%20Code%3A%0ALocal%20Congregation%3A) (Email Dee Stickley-Miner), the Director of Connectional Ministries for The West Ohio Conference.
What does The United Methodist Church say about Immigration?
- 2016 Book of Discipline, ¶ 162.H - "We oppose immigration policies that separate family members from each other or that include detention of families with children, and we call on local churches to be in ministry with immigrant families."
- 2016 Book of Resolutions #3281 - Welcoming the Migrant to the US - We advocate for the "elimination of indefinite detention [and the] incarceration of children."
- 2016 Book of Resolutions #6028 - Global Migration and the Quest for Justice
- 2016 Book of Resolutions #3164 - Dream Act
- Bible study based on the Psalms and stories highlighting the plight and of immigrants and refugees.
- Hear the stories of 8 young Hondurans who are a part of the exodus of migrants from the country.
- Welcoming the Stranger: Justice, Compassion & Truth in the Immigration Debate by Matthew Soerens & Jenny Hwang Yang
- Christians at the Border: Immigration, the Church and the Bible by M. Daniel Carroll R.
- Seeking Refuge: On the Shores of the Global Refugee Crisis by Stephen Bauman, Matthew Soerens & Dr. Issam Smeir
- The Rev. Dr. David Watson - "The Real Message of Romans 13"
- The Rev. Dr. Susan Henry-Crowe - "A Shocking Violation of the Spirit of the Gospel"
- In the video below, West Ohio local pastor Scott Hicks shares thoughts about why it is important for the Church to not only care about the immigrant, but why we are called into actions of justice and mercy on their behalf.