Immigration/Inclusivity

Extravagant Welcome for Immigrants and RefugeesLos Posadas

Amid rising global anti-immigrant rhetoric and sentiment, as people of faith and conscience who know we’re all God’s children, we believe that our calling is to welcome immigrants, offering them hospitality and justice. While we recognize that immigration policy is a complex issue that divides people of goodwill, our faith compels us to stand with the stranger. Some will see “just another illegal” where we see people whose stories are valuable in the eyes of God, brothers and sisters trying to provide for their families.

 

First Congregational has always welcomed the marginalized, even before adopting our Open and Affirming statement in 2008. To that end, our group participates in a monthly silent vigil on the courthouse steps advocating immigration reform. Likewise, the United Church of Christ champions “compassionate comprehensive immigration reform and the protection of the human rights of immigrants” (General Synod 2013).

 

Locally, First Congregational is part of Henderson County's Immigration Network, its Path to College Mentoring Program, and its DREAM Scholarship Selection Committee. We support El Centro, the Latino Coalition community and service organization. We also participate in a Bi-Lingual Eucharist with several other congregations and organized our fourth Las Posadas in 2015. In addition, the Inclusivity & Immigration group is a member of Friends of La Capilla, providing funds, lunches, and tutors for its summer reading and math program. Committee members are on the League of Women Voters Immigration Committee. Most recently, we helped organize and participated in an inaugural Martin Luther King Jr. Day observance through multiple service projects.

 

Going forward, the team is looking into the potential local settlement of a Syrian refugee family. We also supported the UCC’s Immigrant Rights on May 1, when the wider church ministries urged congregations to lift up immigrants.

 

Group member Pat Argue believes, “Too often the immigrants among us are rejected, treated as outcasts, and placed on the margins of society. We will continue to explore avenues to advocate for immigrant justice."

 

Contact us to learn more about First Congregational.

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