Written by Emily Mullins
United Church of Christ representatives will host faith-based leaders from around the world during a two-day consultation on globalization and migration. The Rev. Linda Jaramillo, executive minister of UCC Justice and Witness Ministries, and the Rev. James Moos, executive minister of UCC Wider Church Ministries, will lead the summit June 26-27 at the UCC's Centro Romero Center in San Ysidro, Calif.
The event is a prelude to General Synod, taking place June 28-July 2 in Long Beach, Calif.
"Migration justice is critically important in its own right, and it is connected with a number of other justice issues including war, human trafficking, LGBT rights, climate change, poverty and political oppression," said Moos, who is also co-executive of UCC/Disciples Global Ministries. "It is essential that migration be addressed from a global perspective, and this gathering is a unique opportunity to hear the voices of brothers and sisters from all parts of the world and to move forward together in advocating on behalf of hundreds of millions of migrants."
Church leaders from countries including Palestine, South Africa, Angola, Thailand, the Philippines, Italy, Ghana, the Democratic Republic of the Congo and the United States will be present, along with representatives of the Mexican community. Goals of the event include compiling information on the complex migration issues facing every nation and faith community, drafting a declaration that calls the respective communities of faith into collective action, and strengthening global relationships.
"Our task then is to reflect on our own experiences and the nature of migration in our countries, unique situations or challenges that have emerged, ways our churches are responding in mission or ministry, and offer specific models with partners currently addressing migration in place," said Andrea Cano, event facilitator and Global Ministries missionary with the World Council of Churches. "We also welcome key points for a declaration that will emerge from our consultation and content for our workshop during General Synod."
Lead by Cano, the Global Migration workshop will take place Saturday, June 29, and will bring together domestic and global faith leaders for a panel presentation and moderated discussion in which various dimensions of global migration will be examined.