United Church of Christ clergy, delegates and visitors to the General Synod will be putting their faith in action on the streets of Milwaukee Monday afternoon, with a procession and rally outside the local Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Office.
Concerned about the inhumane treatment of their immigrant neighbors and President Trump’s recent threat to increase deportations, the UCC General Synod, meeting at the Wisconsin Center, passed a resolution of witness on Saturday, June 22, to advocate for an immediate end to the practice of separating migrant children and families.
At this rally, scores of UCC members are expected to make their voices heard.
“As ICE reportedly prepares for massive country-wide raids, the UCC is joining local impacted immigrant leaders and faith communities in taking our call for justice to the ICE Milwaukee office. We are also calling on all UCC congregations to open their doors and create safe spaces where families can gather, unite, find services and legal support,” said the Rev. Noel Andersen of Church World Service and the UCC Collaborative on Immigration. “We are proud to say that we have 248 UCC Sanctuary and Immigrant Welcoming Congregations in 37 states, but we must continue to grow our solidarity to support the immigrants’ rights movement as we pledge to resist these raids and continue to offer Sanctuary to our undocumented siblings.”
The UCC is partnering in this action with a number of other faith groups and local community justice organizations: Racine Interfaith Coalition, the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, representatives of Milwaukee's Jewish community, WISDOM, a Wisconsin justice organization, the community group MICAH-Milwaukee and Voces de la Frontera.
Paola Hincapie, the daughter of recently deported student pastor Betty Rendón of Emaus Lutheran Church in Racine, will be speaking at the rally. Other speakers will include the Rev. Linda Jaramillo, former UCC Justice and Witness Ministries Executive Minister; the Rev. Traci Blackmon, UCC Associate General Minister, UCC Justice and Local Church Ministries; Nikki Fisher, Vice President of Racine Interfaith Coalition; the Rev. Willie Brisco of WISDOM; the Rev. Joe Ellwanger of MICAH and Rabbi David Cohen of Congregation Sinai in Milwaukee.
UCC delegates and visitors will process from the Wisconsin Center at the corner of Wisconsin Ave. and Vel Phillips Ave. to the ICE building beginning at 1:15pm. Advocates interested in participating will meet at that convention center entrance at 1:00pm. Transportation will be available for those who cannot march.