United Church of Christ

Solidarity with People Seeking Asylum

Worship

The UCC  engages in support for asylum seekers because of and through the lens of faith.  Worship, ritual and theological articulation are central to why and how the UCC supports people seeking asylum.
Praising God and caring for one another as God’s children is the heart of who we are as Christians 

Act Now:

--Preach and Study using Scripture Texts on Welcoming the Stranger 

--Use Litany for Families Being Separated

--Use Refugee Justice Sunday Litany

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Policy Action

The UCC advocates for Comprehensive Immigration Reform and connects with members of Congress on particular legislation and policy actions that will support Asylum Seekers in the United States.


Act Now:

--Sign pledge of solidarity with people seeking asylum

--Tell Congress to Support Those Seeking Asylum

--Write Opinion Editorial for Local Media Platform

--Host a letter writing party during Sunday morning coffee hour and visit federal legislators in home districts 

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Public Witness

The UCC encourages congregations and individuals to mobilize for public witness in support of people seeking asylum in the United States.   Public witness is important within every local community in the U.S. and in collective actions in locations close to the U.S. southern border.

Act Now:

--Order and Display Lawn Sign for Epiphany
 #WelcomeRefugees, #WelcomeAsylumSeekers, #WelcomeChrist

--Sign Pledge of Solidarity with People Seeking Asylum

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Accompaniment & Shelter

Local UCC congregations and national networks are physically accompanying people seeking asylum in the United States through short-term sheltering, personal accompaniment through the asylum legal process and connecting with local resources in communities throughout the U.S.

Act Now:

--Sign pledge of solidarity. 

--Participate in 2019 Webinar on ways to Provide Welcome and Support for Asylum Seekers in your Community. More information coming. 

--Accompany families in your local community.

-- Apply to become a long-term Partners in Service volunteer (1-6 months)

--Apply for the Young Adult Service Communities 2019-2020 with placements related to immigration and refugees. 

--Plan a group solidarity trip with an organization working with asylum seekers for the long term with Mission Trip Opportunities.

--Subscribe to Global Ministries (UCC/Disciples) Weekly Up-dates.

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UCC Loomis Basin Congregation writes letter to Congress

December 19, 2018

Congressman Tom McClintock:

As a constituents and persons of faith, we are profoundly saddened and shocked by the violence perpetrated against those legally seeking asylum in the United States. These attacks on immigrants and asylum seeking families and individuals need to stop.

Congress must take action to stop the Administration’s rampant disregard for the legal right to seek asylum and the moral imperative to provide refuge for those seeking safety. In the upcoming budget discussions, Congress should reject funding for the border wall, increased border militarization and any spending increases for immigrant detention and enforcement.

I also urge you to vigorously engage in congressional oversight. The Administration needs to be held accountable for their actions against asylum seekers. The right to asylum is sacred and should be upheld and protected. Please take action and call for an immediate end to the Administration’s attack on those who seek asylum. We also request a full investigation into the death of seven year old Jakelin Amei Rosemary Caal Maquin, who died last week in the custody of Customs and Border Patrol. Jakelin should never have been separated from her father, and until there is a full investigation into Jakelin’s death, no child is safe.

It is up to you to make decisions to uphold our moral standing as a country and recognized the contributions of immigrants and those who come to our country seeking refuge. It is up to you to decide what kind of country we want to be.

 

Members of Loomis Basin Congregational United Church of Christ

Pastor Casey Tinnin

6440 King Road

Loomis, CA 95650


This Christmas we remember that Jesus was a refugee

caravan.jpgDisplay this 18”x24” plastic lawn sign in your church’s front yard, on the side of your building or wherever you see fit to share the story of Jesus’ birth and proclaim to your neighbors that when we welcome refugees, when we welcome asylum-seekers, we are welcoming Christ.

The Christmas story is not only a story of the birth of our Savior, but also a refugee story - a story of a family forced to seek asylum to escape terrible, life-threatening violence at home. Matthew 2:13-14 reminds that after Jesus was born, his family was forced to flee to a foreign country where inhabitants spoke a different language and practiced a different religion. They were forced to flee without knowing whether they would be offered welcome and refuge, or meet further rejection and violence. They had only their faith in God, and the hope that the Egyptian people would provide them safety and shelter.

Advent is a time to share the miracle of Jesus birth and the Gospel promise of peace with justice. And it is also a time to remind ourselves and our neighbors that Jesus, too, was a refugee.

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Trump Signs Dismally Low Refugee Goal

The United Church of Christ partner Church World Service has released a press release regarding President Trump and the setting of the refugee goal for fiscal year 2019. 

Trump Signs Presidential Determination with Dismally Low Refugee Goal

 Congress urged to hold administration accountable to meeting historically low 30,000 refugee resettlement goal for FY 19 

WASHINGTON, D.C - Today, President Trump signed a Presidential Determination setting the refugee admissions goal for Fiscal Year 2019 to 30,000 -- the lowest number in the history of the program. In response, Church World Service President and CEO Rev. John L. McCullough issued the following statement:

“Today’s heartless decision to further cut the refugee resettlement program does not reflect the values of people of faith across this country who welcome refugees into their communities and into their lives. We will continue to work together to prevent anti-refugee voices in the administration from destroying the public-private partnership built by people of faith to provide a lifeline to refugee families who have no other hope of safety. We urge Congress to hold the administration accountable by demanding that this meager resettlement goal be met and working to restore American leadership to address the global displacement crisis.

“The low number of refugees resettled in fiscal year 2017 should not be seen as a marker for U.S. capacity but as an indication of the dire effect that politically-motivated policies such as the refugee ban and unnecessary processing slowdowns can have on the process. With hundreds of thousands of refugees in the U.S. resettlement pipeline, the administration can meet its meager goal for 2018 without even batting an eye.”

The announcement came after months of pressure by refugee advocates, faith communities and resettlement organizations to bring the admissions cap to 75,000, much closer to the historic average.The required consultation with Congress occurred late Monday night with little opportunity for Congressional oversight on the proposed refugee goal.

The organization notes that the administration has the resources and ability to easily meet its stated goal of resettling 30,000 refugees, despite its failure to resettle even half of the refugee admissions goal for fiscal year 2018. As FY18 came to a close only 22,000 refugees had been admitted to the United States.

The U.S. Refugee Admissions Program (USRAP), which was built as a private-public partnership between faith communities and the U.S. government, has maintained broad bipartisan support since its inception in 1980. The USRAP has successfully provided more than three million refugees tools for integration and self-sufficiency to start over in safety and U.S. communities have in turn benefited from these individuals. As a pillar of U.S. foreign policy, our nation’s resettlement program represents a standard of excellence that other countries look to as a touchstone for their own policies.

 As the world faces the worst displacement crisis in history, Church World Service will continue to work to advocate in solidarity with vulnerable refugees, and to provide essential services to displaced families around the world in response to the global migration crisis.

Since 1946, Church World Service has supported refugees, immigrants and other displaced individuals, in addition to providing sustainable relief and development solutions to communities that wrestle with hunger and poverty. Learn more about our work and join our global homebase for refugee solidarity at GreaterAs1.org.


Faith leaders condemn 2019 refugee admission goal

RefugeeColumbus.jpg"A UCC minister in Columbus, Ohio is one of several faith leaders and local lawmakers standing in solidarity with members of the refugee community Thursday morning, September 20, as they shared their stories about resettlement in the United States. How the issue is about people, not numbers. Why the issue isn't about politics – it's about saving people's lives.

"The Trump administration's decision to slash the number of refugees welcomed in fiscal year 2019 to 30,000, the lowest number in U.S. history, is a moral abomination perpetrated by an administration which oft cites biblical references to undergird their decisions and preaches the value of family," said the Rev. Kate Shaner, minister of Mission, First Community Church UCC, Columbus. "The intentional decision to abandon the most vulnerable of our brothers and sisters directly contradicts the Greatest Commandment, to love our neighbors as ourselves, and inflicts misery and despair on those already suffering."

The group took their message to the streets outside Columbus' local refugee resettlement office, Community Refugee and Immigration Services (CRIS), to call attention to the Administration's announced drastic cuts to the refugee program. After setting the lowest refugee admissions goal in history last year – 45,000 – and admitting less than half of that low number, the Administration plans to slash the number even further next year, during the worst refugee crisis in human history."

To read the full story written by Connie Larkman click here


Trump administration sets lowest refugee admission goal

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From our refugee resettlement partner Church World Service:"The Trump administration has just set the refugee admissions goal for next fiscal year at 30,000 - the lowest level in U.S. history. This drastically low number will leave tens of thousands of vulnerable refugees without a chance at safety.

Communities around the country are prepared to welcome at least 75,000 refugees. Refugees are more than just a global figure; they are families torn apart, children who have witnessed profound violence, and people seeking a chance to rebuild their lives and raise a family in safety. Protecting vulnerable populations is not a zero-sum game; we can and should protect refugees and others fleeing violence or persecution. As people who care about refugees, we must make our voices heard and tell both the White House and Congress that 30,000 is inexcusable and that we must set a refugee admissions goal of at least 75,000. The White House is required under U.S. law to consult with Congress prior to setting the annual refugee admissions number. This has not happened yet, which means Congress can and must weigh in today.

CALL YOUR SENATORS & REPRESENTATIVE TODAY: 
Click here to be connected to your 2 Senators and 1 Representative

Sample Script: “I’m your constituent from [CITY/TOWN], and I urge you to protect the refugee resettlement program. I am outraged that President Trump has set a new historic low for FY 2019’s refugee admissions goal at 30,000. Protecting vulnerable populations is not a zero-sum game; we can and should protect refugees and others fleeing violence or persecution. Refugee resettlement facilitates U.S. diplomatic, national security, and foreign policy interests. The White House is also required to consult with Congress prior to setting the refugee admissions number, but they have not done so. Congress must act. I urge you to do everything in your power to see the administration resettle at least 75,000 refugees in 2019 and to stop the administration from further dismantling the resettlement program. My community welcomes refugees, and I urge you to reflect the best of our nation by supporting refugee resettlement."

Feel free to share a personal story about standing in solidarity with refugees. Let them know the specific ways that refugees contribute and are welcomed into your community.

You can also tweet at your Senators and Representatives and the administration. Here are some sample Twitter and Facebook messages:

BREAKING: @SecPompeo just announced the LOWEST refugee admissions goal in history - 30k - putting the lives of vulnerable families in danger. We will not stand for this. @[MemberOfCongress]

BREAKING: @SecPompeo‘s announcement of the lowest refugee admissions goal in history - 30k - is an affront to the countless American communities who have welcomed refugees and understand that they are valuable members of their cities and towns. @[MemberOfCongress]

CWS's statement is available here. For more information, please visit: https://greateras1.org/act/

 


Ahli Arab Hospital provides right to health

Al_Ahli_Arab_Hospital_Gaza_(101)_copy.jpgGlobal Ministries’ partner, the Ahli Arab Hospital in Gaza, provides high quality patient centered health care services based on the principle “Right to Health.”  This means that the hospital offers to serve all who seek treatment without prejudice to any religious or ethnic community and irrespective of social class, gender and political affiliation.  These services are delivered in a spirit of love and service, compassion and dignity for all.  Annual support for the Ahli Arab Hospital is part of the UCC’s global sustainable development ministries (through One Great Hour of Sharing).

This support is important today as the embargo of emergency fuel makes the United Nations fear a catastrophic breakdown in essential services such as hospitals and sewage disposal. This on-going relationship was important in May 2018 when violence against protestors required that the Ahli Arab Hospital upgrade its emergency and trauma services to ensure that injured patients with different injuries and fractures receive safe medical intervention within an acceptable time. Through additional emergency support the hospital obtained additional medicine, medical supplies, fuel for generators and support for doctors and nurses working non-stop with the injured and traumatized.


Become an immigrant welcoming congregation

Become_a_immigrant_welcome.jpgBecome an Immigrant Welcoming Congregation. Practice hospitality –embrace accompaniment – engage in advocacy. Asylum seeking families and others who have been forcibly displaced from their homes of origin are seeking safety in our midst. Participants in the Southwest Conference’s Week of Faithful Witness AT the Border between Arizona and Mexico are catalysts for our faithful witness of welcome throughout the U.S.


Economic and political violence brings surge of refugees to Morocco

Economic and political violence has created thousands of refugees who have now found their way to Morocco. Recently, over 600 migrants and refugees found shelter in the train station in the town of Fez. But in early July, the campsite was closed and evacuated due to a fire. On the same day of the fire, the large migrant and refugee camp in Casablanca was also evacuated.


Action Alert for Refugee Community Advocacy Month

This is a critical time.

As people of faith we know without a doubt that the face of God is in every refugee, asylum-seeker and sojourner in our midst, and we must make sure that our Members of Congress do everything they can to hold the Administration accountable for meeting the 45,000 refugee admissions goal and urge them to commit to resettling at least 75,000 refugees in Fiscal Year 2019. The U.S. can resettle 75,000, and our communities want to welcome refugees.


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