Becoming an Immigrant Welcoming Congregation
The United States is a nation of immigrants, continually reshaped by new groups of people bringing diverse cultures, perspectives, and resources. Yet immigration has become one of the most emotionally charged and polarizing social and political issues.
Immigration is a core issue for faith communities. The Bible is full of stories of people on the move, and continually shows God’s concern for the migrant and the outcast. Churches have been in the forefront of those who have supported and spoken up for the more recently arrived members of their communities.
Come to this event to find out how your church can become more welcoming to the immigrant neighbors in your community. Be inspired by stories of what other congregations are doing. Bring back useful information and resources for education, advocacy, or service that is appropriate to the needs and readiness of your congregation. No matter how much, or how little, your church has been involved with immigrants and immigration issues, these plenary presentations and workshops will help you move forward with courage, justice, compassion, and solidarity.
This event is co-sponsored by the Wisconsin Conference – United Church of Christ and the Wisconsin Council of Churches, in cooperation with SOPHIA of Waukesha County, and is open to all churches.
- What You Need to Know About Refugee Resettlement Today , Mary Flynn, Program Manager of Refugee Resettlement, Lutheran Social Services of Wisconsin and Upper Michigan.
- Becoming a Supportive Congregation of the New Sanctuary Movement, Bernie Gonzalez, Lead Organizer for SOPHIA.
- Becoming Welcoming Communities: Immigration in Light of Biblical Faith – A Curriculum for Congregations, Alexia Gianitsos, Public Policy Intern with the Wisconsin Council of Churches.
- Understanding the Immigration Debate, Sarah Blackwell, Milwaukee-based immigration attorney
Peter Bakken, Coordinator for Public Policy, Wisconsin Council of Churches, which supports grassroots advocacy on issues of social & economic justice and empowers faith communities to give public witness. Author of “Becoming Welcoming Communities: Immigration in the Light of Biblical Faith.”
Bernie Gonzalez, Community Organizer for SOPHIA of Waukesha County (Stewards of Prophetic Hopeful Intentional Action) will share updates on issues impacting immigrants in Wisconsin, tools for effective advocacy and opportunities for immediate action.