UCC advocates, religious leaders and interfaith allies gathered outside a federal courthouse in Greenbelt, Md., Wednesday morning, Jan. 8, to celebrate refugees and their contributions to the United States. Representing more than 50 denominations and faith groups that work on refugee resettlement, they came together to oppose Trump administration efforts to further limit the number of refugees allowed into the U.S.
The Rev. Noel Andersen, coordinator of the UCC Collaborative on Immigration and grassroots organizer for Church World Service, joined Katie Adams, domestic policy advocate with the UCC office in Washington, D.C., who spoke on behalf of the church.
"The sacred scriptures of our faiths lay out a blueprint for how we are to welcome refugees," Adams said. "Over and over again we are exhorted to watch over the stranger, love the least of these. We are told clearly: 'Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for by doing that some have entertained angels without knowing it.'"
The Maryland court is slated to hear oral arguments in a case filed by three refugee resettlement agencies suing the federal government to protect that program. HIAS, Church World Service, Lutheran Immigrant and Refugee Service v. Trump challenges the president's order that allows states and local governments to keep refugees out of their jurisdictions.
"The decision to limit where and how the welcome is extended to refugees in this exceedingly cruel and arbitrary edict is not just unlawful, it is immoral," Adams continued. "And let's be clear: the root of these policies is fear of the 'stranger' and white supremacy. We know that the administration's harmful changes are not being made to serve any reasonable policy objective."Read more
Here are some recent international grants approved by UCC Disaster Ministries:Read more
A pilot program to help communities launch long-term recovery following disasters is growing ecumenically. Over the past two years, the disaster ministries of the United Church of Christ, Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) and Church of the Brethren have joined forces to pioneer the Disaster Recovery Support Initiative (DRSI) in nine states and U.S. territories. Now DRSI is folding into the disaster programs of Church World Service (CWS).Read more
Send joyful Christmas greetings and provide your friends and family a practical tool to get prepared for natural disasters at the same time. Disaster Preparedness Christmas Cards from United Church of Christ Disaster Ministries include a complete up-to-date list of what should be included in an individual ‘Go-Bag’ – a bag that is prepared to grab and ‘go’ when a disaster strikes. A faithful reminder to start the year off prepared!Read more
UCC Disaster Ministries just contributed $10,000 toward an ecumenical response through CWS Japan to assist 1,000 families with home and livelihood restoration, volunteer mobilization to clear debris, and capturing of lessons learned for reducing risk in the disasters that are sure to follow as climate change brings more unprecedented destructive weather.Read more
UCC Disaster Ministries has contributed $15,000 to support care for 25 orphaned, abused, neglected or abandoned children evacuated from Grand Bahama after Hurricane Dorian destroyed the Children’s Home there.Read more
There's a lot you can do right now!Read more
It's a gift that keeps on giving! UCC Disaster Ministries' initial investment of $200,000 has built earthquake-resistant homes for 53 vulnerable families who survived the devastating 2015 earthquakes in Nepal. The families are paying back interest-free loans into a revolving fund, already used to build 20 more homes. Now the UCC has just sent an additional $40,000 for yet more homes!Read more
UCC Disaster Ministries and the Iglesia Evangelica Unida de Puerto Rico (IEUPR) have completed the restoration of 105 Maria-damaged homes to date, especially the repair of roofs, with the help of 420 volunteers. Immediate goal: restore 45 more roofs wait-listed to be fixed to bring the total to 150. UCC Disaster Ministries will continue to support recovery efforts as long as financial resources allow. Give/volunteer!Read more
$5,000 seed grants from UCC Disaster Ministries will go toward costs for three Hurricane Michael long-term recovery groups in the Florida Panhandle - Liberty (County) Strong, Gadsden (County) Strong and the North Florida Inland Long-Term Recovery Group (Jackson and Calhoun Counties). The UCC also is supporting recovery in Bay and Washington counties, including with recruitment of volunteer work teams.Read more