In June 2011, the Rocky Mountain Conference approved the following petition at the RMC Annual Conference
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."
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
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 firstname.lastname@example.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 email@example.com
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
Rev. Cesar Duran - Hispanic/Latino Ministries Developer, firstname.lastname@example.org
Laurie Day - RMC Assistant Director of Mission and Ministry, email@example.com
Susan Livingston - Immigration Resource Team Coordinator, firstname.lastname@example.org
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 email@example.com
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.