Immigration and the Bible

Steps You Can Take to Welcome Immigrants

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May 17, 2012

The United Methodist Women’s Immigrant and Civil Rights Initiative has actively engaged members in study and action since 2006. The initiative draws on our biblical understandings of God’s reign, where all God’s children, created in God’s image, are valued and welcome at the table and where Jesus’ commandment to love our neighbors as ourselves becomes reality. Here are some ways you can take action:


  • Host a local unit or district United Methodist Women program.      
  • Encourage your conference mission team to do a workshop at a School of Mission.           
  • Make immigration a focus of your annual meeting.  
  • Create table displays on immigration at any United Methodist Women event.        
  • Write articles on immigration for your conference United Methodist Women newsletter or website.
  • Hold a film screening (such as of the film Made in LA) as an educational event on immigration.
  • Attend a seminar on immigration through the United Methodist Seminar Program in New York or Washington, D.C. Contact Jay Godfrey at
  • Seek partners. Find out who is advocating for racial justice and immigrant rights in your community. Attend events of other organizations related to immigration.

Spiritual Growth


  • Distribute United Methodist Women action alerts via e-mail. Visit to sign up.        
  • Sign up for United Methodist Women e-blast for action on immigration. Contact Linda Viney at
  • Distribute United Methodist Women “How to” handouts for action on immigration.
  • Take action on U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) detention or deportation.
  • Send letters to the editor of your local paper regarding local immigration concerns.           
  • Send letters to state or federal elected officials regarding immigration policy.        
  • Work with your conference social action coordinators and mission teams to host a legislative event at the state level. Contact United Methodist Women executive for public policy Susie Johnson at for more information.
  • Monitor state immigration legislation.
  • Organize or join a public witness for immigrant rights.
    See How to: Organize a Public Witness for Immigrant Rights
  • Wear or distribute United Methodist Women immigrant rights buttons. Contact Linda Viney at for buttons.
  • Seek partners. Find out who is advocating for racial justice and immigrant rights in your community. Attend events of other organizations related to immigration.           

Welcoming Immigrants       

  • Work at district and conference levels to address needs and concerns of United Methodist Women members who are immigrants and fully include them. 
  • Provide language interpretation at United Methodist Women meetings to welcome immigrant United Methodist Women sisters.
  • Provide volunteer services for immigrants in the community.
  • Distribute “Know Your Rights.
  • Support a United Methodist Women national mission institution that serves immigrants. See February 2012 issue of response or visit National Mission Institutions Map.  
  • Provide material aid to families impacted by immigration laws.
  • Support Justice for Our Neighbors through volunteer, material or financial support. See: or Contact Alice Mar at
  • Visit immigrants in detention (prison ministry).
  • Provide emergency support to immigrant families facing detention and deportation (bond, accompaniment to ICE, child care, access to legal aid, etc.).      
  • Participate in community efforts to welcome immigrants.    
  • Supported refugee resettlement in your community. Contact Naomi Madsen, UMCOR, at                        


  • Make immigrant and civil rights a district social action priority.
  • Have immigration as one of your Racial Justice Charter priorities. See United Methodist Women Resources for Racial Justice.
  • Create a United Methodist Women district or conference immigration team.
  • Serve on conference-wide immigration team.

United Methodist Women Resources

Immigration and the Bible: A Guide for Radical Welcome2012 United Methodist Women spiritual growth study by Joan M. Maruskin
Book and leader’s guide available from the Mission Resource Center: or call 1-800-305-9857

United Methodist Women Facebook Immigration Page

United Methodist Women Program Book
Available from the Mission Resource Center: or call 1-800-305-9857

response magazine
Subscribe to response magazine at:

United Methodist Women News
To subscribe to this free quarterly newsletter, visit

Reading Program Books

United Methodist Women e-mails for action on immigrant rights

Sign up for occasional action e-mails: Linda Viney

United Methodist Women Legislative Action Alerts

For more information, contact United Methodist Women executive for community action Carol Barton at or call 212-682-3633 ext. 3104.                               

Posted or updated: 5/16/2012 11:00:00 PM