As part of Global Cleveland's 2019 Welcoming Week, the United Church of Christ will host an interfaith service in its downtown chapel Sept. 16, and the UCC General Minister and President will take part in a Sept. 18 forum at the City Club.
Global Cleveland is a nonprofit agency devoted to attracting, welcoming and connecting international newcomers to economic and social opportunities in Cleveland and vicinity. The UCC local churches and its global, national and regional mission units work extensively with refugees, immigrants and asylum seekers and advocate their rights -- and have a long history of that work.
- At noon Monday, Sept. 16, all are welcome to attend a nondenominational Interfaith Welcome Service and Luncheon in the Amistad Chapel on the first floor of the UCC’s national office building, 700 Prospect Ave. Immigrants, refugees, international newcomers and faith leaders from all traditions are especially encouraged to be present as diverse cultures and religions are celebrated. The event is free. Attendees are asked to RSVP by email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
- At noon Wednesday, Sept. 18, the Rev. John C. Dorhauer, UCC General Minister and President, will introduce speaker Khizr Khan at the Constitution Day Forum at the City Club, 850 Euclid Ave. Since his 2016 speech at a national political convention went viral, Khan – a Gold Star military father – has written two books and become a widely sought speaker on the Constitution and immigration issues. Tickets to the luncheon and forum are available here.
"Welcoming Week is a natural fit for the United Church of Christ," said Cynthia Bailie, who leads the denomination's Office of Philanthropy, Technology, Identity and Communication. "For decades, our congregations around the country have resettled refugees and given sanctuary and legal help to immigrants. Our office in Washington, D.C., works for just immigration policies. Action and dialogues with interfaith partners, on immigration and other issues, are a regular part of our life. We are an 'Immigrant Welcoming Denomination,' by formal declaration of our governing body, the General Synod. Living out God’s call to show hospitality and welcome the stranger is very important to us."