Cross
Immigration - Faith in Action

"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!
  • Study what the Bible says about Immigration
  • Pray for all impacted and our leaders
  • Hold a public prayer vigil
  • Contact Congress to End Child Detention
  • Join the West Ohio Immigration Network by emailing dstickley [at] wocumc.org (Dee Stickley-Miner), Director of Connectional Ministries

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

Advocacy 

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

Accompany Immigrant Neighbors

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?

PRAY

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.

A Prayer for Suffering Children (from UMCOR)
God of All Children Everywhere,
Our hearts are bruised when we see children suffering alone.
Our hearts are torn when we are unable to help.
Our hearts are broken when we have some complicity in the matter.
For all the times we were too busy and shooed a curious child away, forgive us, oh God.
For all the times we failed to get down on their level and look eye to eye with a child, forgive us, oh God.
For all the times we did not share when we saw a hungry child somewhere in the world, forgive us, oh God.
For all the times we thought about calling elected officials to demand change, but did not, forgive us, oh God.
For all the times we thought that caring for the children of this world was someone else's responsibility, forgive us, oh God.
With your grace, heal our hearts.
With your grace, unite us in action.
With your grace, repair our government.
With your grace, help us to find a way to welcome all children everywhere,
That they may know that Jesus loves them,
Not just because "the Bible tells them so,"
But because they have known Your love in real and tangible ways.
And may they know that nothing, absolutely nothing, can separate them from Your love.  Amen.

Connect

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?

Learn More