Since 1946, the United Church of Christ and the United Church of Christ congregations have played an active role in welcoming resettled refugee families to our cities, neighborhoods, and churches. We’ve set up new homes with clean sheets and warm blankets. We’ve stocked kitchens with hot meals and pots and pans for cooking a family dinner. We’ve accompanied parents and their children to doctor’s appointments and to enroll in school – sometimes for the first time. We’ve shared the joy that comes from landing that first job in the states or welcoming a new baby in a new country. We have been blessed with opportunities to be accompaniers, neighbors, friends. And our communities have been enriched by the many talents, ideas, and contributions of resettled refugees.
In addition to welcoming refugee families resettled to the U.S., each day the United Church of Christ is present in the halls of Congress, working to protect the U.S. refugee resettlement program, advocate for the rights of refugees and asylum seekers and work for world peace.
Providing welcome and care for refugees around the world
United Church of Christ values of justice and diversity, of ecumenical and interfaith relationships, mean that long-term partners are already engaged in both the worlds’ most well known and most invisible refugee crises.
People who are forcibly displaced within their own national boundaries and across them access holistic support with care for body, mind, spirit, and community. People experiencing the effects of war, violence, persecution and political disruption are met with flexible, personal and innovative approaches that honor their dignity and human rights as wonderfully and fearfully made children of God.
The United Church of Christ recognizes that most refugees are located in countries in their regions of origin and that often those places are struggling with poverty and displacement themselves. Support of local communities that welcome refugees helps strengthen a delicate social balance for the well-being of all.
It is indeed a blessing to serve as the hands and feet of Christ in a world that often fails to embody God’s unending love and to join in God’s infinite joy at seeing God’s children live together in peace. Our God is still speaking, and we invite you into this ministry with us.
What we do
The United Church of Christ accompanies refugees through
- Church participation as welcome teams and volunteers with refugee resettlement offices across the United States. We are trying to learn how many of our churches are working with refugee families! If you are, please tell us about your ministry here!
- International support to partners accompanying refugees around the globe through One Great Hour of Sharing
- Placing UCC Partners in Service volunteers with refugee resettlement agencies and United States’ partner organizations serving asylum seekers.
- As Global Ministries (Disciples//UCC), placing volunteers and Global Mission Interns with partner churches and organizations serving refugees internationally.
- Annual financial support to Church World Service (CWS) for the Refugee and Immigration Program – in 2018, with the help of UCC and other churches, CWS resettled 3,554 refugees in 24 cities around the U.S. They also received and placed more refugees on Special Immigrant Visas than any other U.S. refugee resettlement agency. Church World Service also consistently receives a U.S. State Department contract to process refugee claims for U.S. resettlement for people throughout sub-Saharan Africa.
- Advocacy – our team in Washington, DC raises all of our voices and the Gospel call to ‘welcome the stranger’ (Matt 25:35) through skilled advocacy, collaboration with interfaith and secular partners, bearing witness at Congressional hearings and meetings, and holding our elected officials accountable.
- Encouraging UCC congregations to get involved with an office of any of the nine national refugee resettlement networks that are local to them.
- Financial and organizational support of specific refugee emergencies around the world.