Immigration

What does the Rocky Mountain Conference say about immigration?

In June 2011, the Rocky Mountain Conference approved the following petition at the RMC Annual Conference

"AC16
Because of the fundamental value expressed in our Social Principles “We recognize, embrace, and affirm all persons, regardless of country of origin, as members of the family of God” (Discipline ¶162), the 2011 Annual Conference of the Rocky Mountain Conference of the United Methodist Church encourages each local congregation to prepare to provide critical leadership in the diverse and multi-ethnic communities of the 21st century.

Together, with God’s help and through group study, discussion and reflection, each local congregation is asked to use resources such as Who is the Neighbor?  A Faith Conversation on Immigration, Immigration: A United Methodist Perspective and Strangers in the Land  to take these action steps:

1.    EDUCATE their members, constituents and neighbors about immigration and immigrant conditions and concerns,
2.    EQUIP participants for the holy conferencing of civil discourse about a set of issues where there is profound disagreement, and
3.    EMPOWER ministry to and with the immigrants of our communities."

Immigrants and Immigration in the Bible

The following passages all directly or indirectly speak to the ways in which Christians are called to be in ministry with immigrants and immigrant communities. Read through the passages either alone or in a group and reflect on who the passages relate to your local community

  • Genesis Chapters 37-47
  • Exodus 1; 22:21
  • Ruth
  • Luke 10:25-37
  • Matthew 12:9-14
  • Matthew 25
  • Luke 16:19-21

Action Ideas for Your Local Community

  • Tutor at a school with immigrants or children of immigrants
  • Help immigrant adults with English as a Second Language (ESL) classes
  • Volunteer at a local non-profit agencies that works with an immigrant population
  • Be intentional about offering hospitality to immigrants at church events
  • Join the RMC Justice for Our Neighbors (JFON) planning team - contact Katie Vigil at jfondenver@gmail.com

Opportunities for Broader Engagement and Advocacy

Ecumenical Refugee and Immigration Services, www.ersden.org, 303-860-0128 – help a refugee family get settled; there are a variety of ways to help.

El Centro Humanitario, www.centrohumanitario.org – Denver and Aurora, Colorado – prevents exploitation of day laborers; offers empowerment programs for women. Volunteer or just visit and talk with clients.

American Friends Service Committee/Coloradans for Immigrant Rights - AFSC’s Colorado Immigrant Rights Program works to create public discourse and policy that supports immigrants’ full human rights. ASFC collaborates with groups across the state to highlight the root causes of immigration and find humane responses to it. 

Rights for All People, www.rap-dpt.org - RAP’s mission is to bring the voices of immigrant leaders and their allies to the struggle for equality, mutual respect, and justice in the metro Denver area through education, community organizing, and successful campaigns. Recently volunteers have shown solidarity by attending deportation hearings.

Wyoming Association of Churches is an ecumenical community fostering and promoting spiritual growth stewardship of the land, and social justice in Wyoming. For more information, contact Chesie Lee, Executive Director at chesie@wyochurches.org.

Crossroads Urban Center  helps low-income people in Salt Lake City and throughout Utah.  We operate one of the busiest emergency food pantries in the state, and a free/low-cost thrift store.  Beyond direct service, we also address the root causes of poverty through community organizing and advocacy.

Detention Center Vigils – Denver
First Monday of the month, 6:00 – 7:30 pm, meet at 30th and Peoria
Create community and solidarity between immigrants, allies and people of faith
Educate the public about immigrant detention and the profits involved
Contact: Jennifer Piper, JPiper@afcs.org

Detention Center visits with immigrants – Spanish speakers a plus
Contact Rev. Anne Dunlap at liberation.community@gmail.com

Educational Resources

United Methodist Resources

United Methodist Social Principles on Immigration

UMCOR  Work to Help Refugees and Other Immigrants

GCORR Immigration Resources

2009 United Methodist Bishop's Statement

Call for Comprehensive Immigration Reform - 2008 General Conference Resolution

Other Online Resources

Resource Sheet for Talking About Immigration

Who Is My Neighbor? A Faith Conversation on Immigration

What Part of Legal Immigration Don't You Understand

Broken Promises: NAFTA at 15 - Economic Causes of Migration from Latin America

The Pew Hispanic Center

Books

Just Like Us: The True Storu of Four Mexican Girls Coming of Age in America by Helen Thorpe

They Take Our Jobs! - And 20 Other Myths about Immigration by Aviva Chomsky

The Devil's Highway: A True Story by Luis Alberto Urrea

Trails of Hope and Terror: Testimonies on Immigration by Miguel De La Torre

A People's History of the United States by Howard Zinn

Contacts

Rev. Cesar Duran - Hispanic/Latino Ministries Developer, cduran@rmcumc.com

Laurie Day - RMC Assistant Director of Mission and Ministry, laurie@rmcumc.com

Susan Livingston - Immigration Resource Team Coordinator, susanwehrlivingston@comcast.net

If you would like to be added to our Immigration Resource Network email list for news about current events and media articles, please contact Susan Livingston at susanwehrlivingston@comcast.net

 

Upcoming "Sanctuary Church" Training 

On April 1-2, the Mountain Sky Area will host a training and educational event at Smoky Hill United Methodist Church for congregations and individuals interested in learning more about the ways in which they can become a part of the “Sanctuary” movement. Kristen Kompf, Director of Organizations,  General Board of Church and Society, will lead our time together and will be joined by local immigration advocates, legal professionals, and members of the immigrant community.
 
If you are interested in becoming a part of the Sanctuary Movement, please contact me at Youngsook@rmcumc.com.   To register for the training, click here. Also, you may find the attached resource kit on the Sanctuary Movement helpful in exploring the possibility to become a sanctuary church. To access the free kit, click here.