Hope trumps fear as President Donald Trump's rewritten refugee ban slated to take effect Thursday, March 16 is blocked, stopped by a federal restraining order that contends religious discrimination.
Tucked away in the southeast corner of New Hampshire, Community Church of Durham has been putting its shoulders behind the effort to help Syrian refugees who've come to the United States for safety. The United Church of Christ congregation is ramping up efforts ahead of the UCC's One Great Hour of Sharing mission offering, looking to raise money that supports local athletes at home — while supporting a critical humanitarian cause abroad.
MASON CITY | More than 50 people gathered this week to start making plans for welcoming one or more refugee families to Mason City.
Despite a revised version of the White House's executive order on travel restrictions for citizens of six predominately Muslim-majority nations, United Church of Christ leaders remain committed to keeping America's doors open to refugees and immigrants.
A battle over an anticipated revision to the White House's travel ban is building up in ecumenical circles. The United Church of Christ is adding its voice to a new nationwide effort of three dozen faith groups in support of refugees that responds to the needs of the most vulnerable and seeks to restore their hopes for resettling in the United States.
As a three-judge appellate court panel was listening to arguments on the constitutionality of the Trump administration travel ban, a Syrian family, bound for Chicago's O'Hare Airport and a UCC welcome, was in the final hours of a journey from Turkey to resettlement in Illinois.
Two churches, one mission, two very different outcomes.
During the month of December, when the Church relives the Advent journey of preparing to welcome Christ, who was a refugee himself, our initiative lifted up Syrian refugees - It emboldens efforts to be an extravagant welcome by accompanying displaced people near their homeland and those who seek to resettle in the United States.
President Trump's order barring people from seven predominantly Muslim countries from entering the United States caused fear and uncertainty at customs in airports around the country Friday night, and that travel clampdown quickly turned those airports into protest zones in several cities over the weekend.
Esther was on staff of the Southwest Conference of the United Church of Christ when I arrived there in 2008. She was the daughter of a Mexican diplomat who had been stationed in Phoenix for over 20 years. Her father was sent to serve in that position when she was just a baby. When I met her, she was in her early 20s and was helping organize our church camps and youth ministries.