Immigration and the Bible

Journey to Becoming an Immigrant Welcoming Congregation

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May 14, 2012

The response by congregations in serving the daily needs of immigrant communities continues to be necessary. While these services are essential they will not bring about needed legislative reform to fix the badly broken immigration system. We need reform to provide legal status for undocumented immigrants and to reunify their families. What the current context demands is justice for immigrants. Congregations that provide direct services for immigrants witness the brokenness of the current system and are in the best position to advocate for necessary legislative reform. Yet many congregations are not fully engaged in the mission of advocacy or are frustrated because they simply do not know how to best to engage in advocacy. Our goal with this journey to become an immigrant welcoming congregation is to equip churches to travel from mercy to justice, from service-only to incarnational friendship, from ministering to to being transformed alongside of. For each step, we will offer suggestions for participation and guidance for how the desire for justice can be a reality. Just is a calling and is best experienced as a means of missional engagement.

Participating conferences as of March 2012 include: California-Pacific, Arkansas, West Michigan, Detroit, West Ohio and Eastern Pennsylvania. For more information, contact Bill Mefford:

  1. Understanding Our Faith
    Start with our faith. Learn what scripture says about welcoming immigrants and moving from mercy to justice.
  2. Build Incarnational Relationships
    Learn that the basic root of building a movement for justice for immigrations is incarnational relationships. Get to know people directly affected!
  3. Education for Transformation
    Education that leads to incarnational relationships and engagement is key to bringing about societal transformation.
  4. Prayerful Action
    Through worshipful action, we will publicly find ways to be relationally present with our immigrant sisters and brothers.
  5. Affirm Our Covenant
    Bless and affirm our commitment to become an immigrant welcoming congregation. Celebrate leaders and congregations.

Resource adapted from the Immigrant Welcoming Congregation Resource Guide of the Chicago New Sanctuary Coalition, a project of the Chicago Religious Leadership Network on Latin America.

Posted or updated: 5/13/2012 11:00:00 PM